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Native Americans

Capaldi, Gina and Pearce, Q. L. Red Bird Sings: The Story of Zitkala-Ša, Native American Author, Musician, and Activist
Gr. 46   32 pp. Carolrhoda

Illustrated by Gina Capaldi. This picture book adaptation of three of Zitkala-Ša’s semiautobiographical stories (published in the early 1900s) begins with the Native American girl’s 1884 enrollment in a Quaker-run boarding school. Music, along with oratory skills, rekindled her ancestral spirit and prompted a life devoted to Native American rights. Sheet music, maps, and photographs are thoughtfully incorporated into the acrylic illustrations in this emotion-stirring biography. Reading list, websites. Bib.
Subjects: Native Americans; Women—Musicians; Musicians; Women—Authors; Authors; Women—Native Americans; Women—Biographies; Biographies; Native Americans—North America—Yankton; Musical instruments—Violin; Zitkala-Ša

Flood, Nancy Bo Cowboy Up!: Ride the Navajo Rodeo
Gr. 46   40 pp. Boyds/Wordsong

Photographs by Jan Sonnenmair. This book invites readers to experience a Navajo Nation rodeo. While focusing on adult competitions (bronco riding, steer wrestling, etc.), Flood doesn’t ignore the roles children play. Double-page spreads feature some combination of free-verse poems, narrative accounts of events, and snippets of the announcer’s dialogue: “Ladies and gents, give a big warm welcome to our youngest competitors.” Well-chosen photographs accompany the readable text. Reading list, websites.
Subjects: Native Americans; Sports—Horseback riding; Native Americans—North America—Navajo; Sports—Rodeo; Cowboys; Arizona; Southwest (U.S.)

Nelson, S. D. Buffalo Bird Girl: A Hidatsa Story
Gr. 46   48 pp. Abrams

Living from approximately 1839–1932, Buffalo Bird Woman of the Hidatsa people experienced the significant changes in Native American life on the Great Plains. Incorporating quotes taken from her interviews with anthropologist Gilbert Wilson, Nelson meticulously recreates incidents from her childhood in the first person. Glowing acrylics, pencil drawings, and archival photographs illustrate the biography. An extensive author’s note is appended. Timeline. Bib., ind.
Subjects:  Native Americans; Women—Native Americans; Disabilities, Physical—Blindness; Women—Biographies; Biographies; Native Americans—North America—Plains; Native Americans—North America—Hidatsa

Patent, Dorothy Hinshaw The Horse and the Plains Indians: A Powerful Partnership
Gr. 4–6   98 pp. Clarion

Photographs by William Muñoz. Patent describes Native American life in the era of dog-drawn travois, then the astonishing explosion of culture that came with the arrival of horses. Simple, precise language and clear organization help readers fully engage with the material, which is enhanced by Muñoz’s sweeping photographs, historical plates documenting turn-of-the-century Plains Indians, and art from both white and Native sources. Reading list. Ind.
Subjects: Folktales, myths, and legends; Mythology, Native American; Animals—Horses; Native Americans—North America—Plains

Yasuda, Anita Coyote, Iktome, and the Rock: A Sioux Trickster Myth
Illustrated by Estudio Haus
Gr. K–3   32 pp. ABDO/Magic Wagon

Yasuda, Anita How the World Was Made: A Cherokee Creation Myth
Illustrated by Mark Pennington
Gr. K–3   32 pp. ABDO/Magic Wagon

Yasuda, Anita The Colors of a Sunset: An Algonquin Nature Myth
Illustrated by Estudio Haus
Gr. K–3   32 pp. ABDO/Magic Wagon

Yasuda, Anita Sky Woman and the Big Turtle: An Iroquois Creation Myth
Illustrated by Mark Pennington.
Gr. K–3
   32 pp. ABDO/Magic Wagon

Short Tales: Native American Myths series. Each of these titles tells one straightforward Native American story about the world’s creation or some natural phenomenon, introduced by brief information about the tribe from whence it emanated. The mythology is nicely distilled for younger children in these small-trimmed books. The color-saturated, active illustrations recall those of graphic novels.
Subjects: Folktales, myths, and legends; Mythology, Native American; Native Americans—North America—Iroquois; Native Americans—North America—Algonquin; Native Americans—North America—Cherokee; Coyote (Legendary character); Native Americans—North America—Sioux; Tricksters

From the November 2013 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book.

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