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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Not Light in the Forest or Indian in the Cupboard by CFT

Oh my! Not Light in the Forest or Indian in the Cupboard.  Unless it is exceptional, don't go with a nonNative author, though I mention a few below. is an amazing site with explanations and references for what is good and not so good.  Also, you can call them, they are extremely helpful and will talk to you and tell you about books not on their list (because the haven't been vetted by their committee yet)

Code Talkers by Joseph Bruchac deals with issues of being essential to a military unit while feeling completely isolated.  It deals with the issue of language and culture.  It is geared for kids, but the movie that was made from it is geared for parents.
Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich is a good alternative to Little House on Prairie books.  Same time period, different issues (obviously), but they are linked to white settlement.

Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks is written mostly from a white girl's perspective by a white women, but it is the story of the first Wampanoag to attend Harvard University and takes place on the Vineyard.  It's a better option than most books (if you aren't going with a Native author).  A lot rests on the teacher to be able to explain why the white people and Wampanoag act they way they do (society, rules, cultures, laws, etc.) and bridge that abstract gap.

I love Charles Mann's book, 1491:  New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus for a nonfiction historical take.  The adult version is my current FAVORITE book on Native American history.
Indian Givers by Jack Weatherford is an oldie but goodie, also nonfiction, about contributions and how they connect with the rest of the world.