Native American Books for Kids

Here are 10 #ownvoices Children's Books about Native Americans and Indigenous Peoples to read for Native American Heritage Month.

November is Native American Heritage Month. Immerse yourself in their stories of joy and cultural pride through these colorful and inspiring #ownvoices books for every age group.

Bowwow Powwow by Brenda J. Child

Photo credit: Amazon

  • Best for ages: 3-7

Windy Girl dreams of attending a special powwow where the participants are dogs. In this magical dream, she sees a visiting drum group, traditional dancers, grass dancers and jingle-dress dancers.

Children of the Longhouse by Joseph Bruchac

Photo credit: Amazon

  • Best for ages: 10-12

Follow the story of twin 11-year-old Mohawk children who must find the path to peace with neighboring tribes.

Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two by Joseph Bruchac

Photo credit: Amazon

  • Best for ages: 13+

After being taught in a boarding school that Navajo is a useless language, Ned Begay and other Navajo men are recruited by the Marines to become Code Talkers, sending messages during World War II in their native tongue.

First Laugh – Welcome, Baby by Rose Ann Tahe, Nancy Bo Flood, and Jonathan Nelson

Photo credit: Amazon

  • Best for ages: 2-5

The First Laugh Ceremony is a celebration held to welcome a new member of the community. As everyone tries to elicit the joyous sound from Baby, readers are introduced to details about Navajo life.

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard

Photo credit: Amazon

  • Best for ages: 2-5

Learn about the Native American tradition of making fry bread.

If I Ever Get Out of Here by Eric Bansworth

Photo credit: Amazon

  • Best for ages: 13+

Seventh-grader Lewis “Shoe” Blake from the Tuscarora Reservation has a new friend, George Haddonfield, but in 1975 upstate New York, there is a lot of tension and hatred between Native Americans and whites.

Sweetest Kulu by Celina Kalluk

Photo credit: Amazon

  • Best for ages: 0-2

This beautiful bedtime poem describes the gifts given to a newborn baby by all the animals of the Arctic. This book is told by a mother speaking to her own little “Kulu,” an Inuktitut term of endearment.

The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare

Photo credit: Amazon

  • Best for ages: 10-12

In this Newbery Honor book, a 13-year-old boy struggles to survive on his own in the wilderness of eighteenth-century Maine. Soon he meets Attean, a boy from the Beaver tribe.

Taíno Tales: The Secret of the Hummingbird by Vicky Weber

Photo credit: Amazon

  • Best for ages: 3-7

Alida, the daughter of a Taíno chief, lives in paradise and meets a boy from the opposing tribe. A retelling of the Taíno legend of how the hummingbird came to be, this story brings an ancient culture and a young love to life.

We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom

Photo credit: Amazon

  • Best for ages: 3-7

Inspired by the many Indigenous-led movements across North America, We Are Water Protectors issues an urgent rallying cry to safeguard the Earth’s water from harm and corruption.

Looking for more ways to observe Native American Heritage Month? Consider supporting these Native-Owned Businesses in Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor.


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