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Native American history

Burling, Alexis  Occupying Alcatraz: Native American Activists Demand Change
Middle school, high school     112 pp.     ABDO/Essential Library

Hidden Heroes series. Well-paced chapters with archival photos examine Native American activists’ first attempt to occupy Alcatraz in 1964, the history of their struggles with non-Native settlers and the U.S. government, and the seeds of activism in the Native American community. Later chapters cover the nearly two-year-long occupation of Alcatraz beginning in 1969 and the protest’s ongoing impact. Reading list, timeline. Bib., glos., ind.
Subjects: Native Americans—North America; Alcatraz Island; San Francisco (CA); Activism; Prisons and prisoners

Dupuis, Jenny Kay and Kacer, Kathy  I Am Not a Number
Gr. K–3    32 pp.     Second Story

Illustrated by Gillian Newland. The author shares a story based on her grandmother Irene’s experience in an Indian residential school in Ontario, Canada. Taken away from her family, Irene suffers emotional trauma and abuse at the hands of Christian missionaries. Featuring powerful watercolor and ink illustrations, a straightforwardly told first-person narrative of resistance and strength. Author’s note included.
Subjects: Native Americans—North America—Anishinaabe; Schools—Boarding schools; Abuse; Prejudices; Race relations; Ontario

Haugen, Brenda  Geronimo: The Inspiring Life Story of an Apache Warrior
Gr. 4–6     112 pp.     Capstone/Compass Point

Inspiring Stories series. He rode in Teddy Roosevelt’s second inaugural parade and was one of the most photographed Native Americans of his time. With lots of primary sources, this well-documented, accessible biography, suitable for school reports, includes much information on Geronimo’s life as a warrior and as a prisoner of the United States. Period illustrations and photographs are included. Reading list, timeline. Bib., glos., ind.
Subjects: Native Americans—North America—Apache; Biographies; Geronimo; Kings, queens, and rulers

Lewis, J. Patrick  The Navajo Code Talkers
Gr. 4–6, middle school     32 pp.     Creative Editions

Illustrated by Gary Kelley. Lewis and Kelley (And the Soldiers Sang; Harlem Hellfighters) respectfully relate the story of roughly 420 Navajo code talkers who helped the U.S. win World War II by using their native language for secret military communications. Lewis emphasizes the extraordinary nature of their achievement after a century of unjust treatment by the government. Kelley’s illustrations evoke classic (and violent) wartime images and Native American iconography. Bib.
Subjects: Modern History; History, American—Navajo Long Walk; History, Modern—World War II; Foreign languages—Navajo language; Codes; Native Americans—North America—Navajo; Armed forces

Nelson, S. D.  Red Cloud: A Lakota Story of War and Surrender
Gr. 4–6, middle school     56 pp.     Abrams

After many years of war, Oglala Lakota chief Red Cloud (Makhpiya-luta) signed the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty. Writing from Red Cloud’s point of view, Nelson recounts historical events and includes powerful quotes, documents, and photographs. The book’s vibrant art is inspired by historical Plains ledger art; the sketches, colored-pencil and bright watercolor washes, stand out against the ledger lines. Timeline. Bib., ind.
Subjects: Native Americans; Red Cloud, Oglala chief; Native Americans—North America—Oglala; Native Americans—North America—Lakota; Biographies; Kings, queens, and rulers

From the November 2017 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book. All reviews are from The Horn Book Guide Online. See also booklists and resources for Native American Heritage Month from The Horn Book.

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