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The Native American Heritage Month Book List

Books are vital to understanding ourselves and those around us. Use this month as a starting place to read more beloved stories by indigenous authors and about Native American history. From award-winning contemporary and classic fiction to nonfiction and young adult, there are so many books to choose from!

  1. 1
    Carry Book Cover Picture
    Carry Book Cover Picture

    Carry

    by Toni Jensen

    A powerful, poetic memoir about what it means to exist as an indigenous woman in America, told in snapshots of the author’s encounters with gun violence. In prose at once forensic and deeply emotional, Toni Jensen shows herself to be a brave new voice and a fearless witness to her own difficult history—as well as to the violent cultural landscape in which she finds her coordinates. With each chapter, Carry reminds us that surviving in one’s country is not the same as surviving one’s country.
    Carry Book Cover Picture
    Carry Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $27.00

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  2. 2
    Little Big Bully Book Cover Picture
    Little Big Bully Book Cover Picture

    Little Big Bully

    by Heid E. Erdrich

    Little Big Bully begins with a question asked of a collective and troubled we – how did we come to this? In answer, this book offers personal myth, American and Native American contexts, and allegories driven by women’s resistance to narcissists, stalkers, and harassers. In a new collection that is “a force of nature” (Amy Gerstler), renowned Native poet Heid E. Erdrich applies her rich inventive voice and fierce wit to the deforming effects of harassment and oppression.
    Little Big Bully Book Cover Picture
    Little Big Bully Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $20.00

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  3. 3
    Almanac of the Dead Book Cover Picture
    Almanac of the Dead Book Cover Picture

    Almanac of the Dead

    by Leslie Marmon Silko

    Almanac of the Dead weaves ideas and lives, fate and history, passion and conquest in an attempt to re-create the moral history of the Americas, told from the point of view of the conquered, not the conquerors.
    Almanac of the Dead Book Cover Picture
    Almanac of the Dead Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $23.00

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  4. 4
    Prudence Book Cover Picture
    Prudence Book Cover Picture

    Prudence

    by David Treuer

    Prudence is a story of desire, loss, and the search for connection in a riven world; of race and class in a supposedly more innocent era. Most profoundly, it’s about the secrets we choose to keep, the ones we can’t help telling, and whom – and how – we’re supposed to love.
    Prudence Book Cover Picture
    Prudence Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.00

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  5. 5
    Winter in the Blood Book Cover Picture
    Winter in the Blood Book Cover Picture

    Winter in the Blood

    by James Welch

    The narrator of this beautiful, often disquieting novel is a young Native American man living on the Fort Belknap Reservation in Montana. Sensitive and self-destructive, he searches for something that will bind him to the lands of his ancestors but is haunted by personal tragedy.
    Winter in the Blood Book Cover Picture
    Winter in the Blood Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.00

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  6. 6
    There There Book Cover Picture
    There There Book Cover Picture

    There There

    by Tommy Orange

    There There is a wondrous and shattering portrait of an America. Tommy Orange’s novel grapples with a complex and painful history, with an inheritance of beauty and profound spirituality, and with a plague of addiction, abuse, and suicide.
    There There Book Cover Picture
    There There Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.00

    Also available from:

  7. 7
    Code Talker Book Cover Picture
    Code Talker Book Cover Picture

    Code Talker

    by Joseph Bruchac

    Throughout World War II, in the conflict fought against Japan, Navajo code talkers were a crucial part of the U.S. effort, sending messages back and forth in an unbreakable code that used their native language. They braved some of the heaviest fighting of the war, and with their code, they saved countless American lives. Yet their story remained classified for more than twenty years. But now Joseph Bruchac brings their stories to life for young adults through the riveting fictional tale of Ned Begay, a sixteen-year-old Navajo boy who becomes a code talker.
    Code Talker Book Cover Picture
    Code Talker Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $8.99

    Also available from:

  8. 8
    The Grass Dancer Book Cover Picture
    The Grass Dancer Book Cover Picture

    The Grass Dancer

    by Susan Power

    Set on a North Dakota reservation, The Grass Dancer reveals the harsh price of unfulfilled longings and the healing power of mystery and hope. Rich with drama and infused with the magic of the everyday, it takes readers on a journey through both past and present.
    The Grass Dancer Book Cover Picture
    The Grass Dancer Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $15.00

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  9. 9
    Talking Leaves Book Cover Picture
    Talking Leaves Book Cover Picture

    Talking Leaves

    by Joseph Bruchac

    Thirteen-year-old Uwohali has not seen his father, Sequoyah, for many years. So when Sequoyah returns to the village, Uwohali is eager to reconnect. But Sequoyah’s new obsession with making strange markings causes friends and neighbors in their tribe to wonder whether he is crazy, or worse—practicing witchcraft.
    Talking Leaves Book Cover Picture
    Talking Leaves Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $8.99

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  10. 10
    The Translation of Dr. Apelles Book Cover Picture
    The Translation of Dr. Apelles Book Cover Picture

    The Translation of Dr. Apelles

    by David Treuer

    Dr. Apelles, a translator of ancient texts, has made an unsettling discovery: a manuscript that has languished for years, written in a language that only he speaks. Moving back and forth between the scholar and his text, from a lone man in a labyrinthine archive to a pair of beautiful young Indian lovers in an unspoiled and snowy woodland, David Treuer weaves together two love stories. Enthralling and suspenseful, The Translation of Dr. Apelles dares to redefine the Native American novel.
    The Translation of Dr. Apelles Book Cover Picture
    The Translation of Dr. Apelles Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.00

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  11. 11
    The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee Book Cover Picture
    The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee Book Cover Picture

    The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee

    by David Treuer

    David Treuer melds history with reportage and memoir. Tracing the tribes’ distinctive cultures from first contact, he explores how the depredations of each era spawned new modes of survival. The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee is the essential, intimate story of a resilient people in a transformative era.
    The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee Book Cover Picture
    The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $17.00

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  12. 12
    Two Roads Book Cover Picture
    Two Roads Book Cover Picture

    Two Roads

    by Joseph Bruchac

    It’s 1932, and twelve-year-old Cal Black and his Pop have been riding the rails for years after losing their farm in the Great Depression. Pop tells Cal something he never knew before: Pop is actually a Creek Indian, which means Cal is too. And Pop has decided to send Cal to a government boarding school for Native Americans in Oklahoma. At school, the other Creek boys quickly take Cal under their wings. Even in the harsh, miserable conditions of the Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding school, he begins to learn about his people’s history and heritage. And most of all, he learns how to find strength in a group of friends who have nothing beyond each other.
    Two Roads Book Cover Picture
    Two Roads Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $8.99

    Also available from:

  13. 13
    The Heartsong of Charging Elk Book Cover Picture
    The Heartsong of Charging Elk Book Cover Picture

    The Heartsong of Charging Elk

    by James Welch

    This is a story of the American Indian that we have seldom seen: a stranger in a strange land, often an invisible man, loving, violent, trusting, wary, protective, and defenseless against a society that excludes him but judges him by its rules. At once epic and intimate, The Heartsong of Charging Elk echoes across time, geography, and cultures.
    The Heartsong of Charging Elk Book Cover Picture
    The Heartsong of Charging Elk Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.95

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  14. 14
    Ceremony Book Cover Picture
    Ceremony Book Cover Picture

    Ceremony

    by Leslie Marmon Silko

    Almost forty years since its original publication, Ceremony remains one of the most profound and moving works of Native American literature—a novel that is itself a ceremony of healing. Masterfully written, filled with the somber majesty of Pueblo myth, Ceremony is a work of enduring power.
    Ceremony Book Cover Picture
    Ceremony Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $17.00

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  15. 15
    The Portable North American Indian Reader Book Cover Picture
    The Portable North American Indian Reader Book Cover Picture

    The Portable North American Indian Reader

    by Various

    The Portable North American Indian Reader compiles myths, tales, poetry, and oratory from the Iroquois, Cherokee, Winnebago, Sioux, Blackfeet, Hopi, and many other tribes.
    The Portable North American Indian Reader Book Cover Picture
    The Portable North American Indian Reader Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $38.00

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  16. 16
    Imaginary Borders Book Cover Picture
    Imaginary Borders Book Cover Picture

    Imaginary Borders

    by Xiuhtezcatl Martinez

    Pocket Change Collective is a series of small books with big ideas from today’s leading activists and artists. In this installment, Earth Guardians Youth Director and hip-hop artist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez shows us how his music feeds his environmental activism and vice versa. Martinez visualizes a future that allows us to direct our anger, fear, and passion toward creating change. Because, at the end of the day, we all have a part to play.
    Imaginary Borders Book Cover Picture
    Imaginary Borders Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $8.99

    Also available from:

  17. 17
    As Long as Grass Grows Book Cover Picture
    As Long as Grass Grows Book Cover Picture

    As Long as Grass Grows

    by Dina Gilio-Whitaker

    Through the unique lens of “Indigenized environmental justice,” Indigenous researcher and activist Dina Gilio-Whitaker explores the fraught history of treaty violations, struggles for food and water security, and protection of sacred sites, while highlighting the important leadership of Indigenous women in this centuries-long struggle. As Long As Grass Grows gives readers an accessible history of Indigenous resistance to government and corporate incursions on their lands and offers new approaches to environmental justice activism and policy.
    As Long as Grass Grows Book Cover Picture
    As Long as Grass Grows Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.00

    Also available from:

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