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A Jump Into a Book Roundup of Native American Heritage Month reads

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Native American Heritage Month

The month is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people. Heritage Month is also an opportune time to educate the general public about tribes, to raise a general awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and in the present, and the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges.

As always, the amazing authors and bloggers have gone above-and-beyond in sharing the best-of-the best in quality Native American booklists, activities and reviews. I’ve share a few of my top picks here along with some great posts from the JIAB archives:
Over the years my family has enjoyed reading a variety of “great flood” tales from our local Blount County Library. This month found us enjoying the Creek Indian version called, The Otter, the Spotted Frog and the Great Flood by Gerald Hausman and beautifully illustrated by Ramon Shiloh.

The Otter the Spotted Frog and the Great Flood

In this version, spotted frog announces to the world that a great flood is coming which will destroy all of their homes. All of the animals ignore spotted frog’s warning, except an otter named Listener.

Ridiculed by all the other animals, Listener heeds spotted Frog’s warnings and begins to build a raft to try and survive the coming flood.

Wisdom Tales

As the story progresses and Listener survives the flood, he learns via a mosquito and a fish about his future wife who becomes “First Woman”.

Listener the Otter, and First Woman the mosquito turned fish, both become the first two-legged beings to walk on earth.

From that time on, the earth was good to them and they always listened to Spotted Frog, who everyone knew was the frog who saved the world by singing.

Our family and friends alike have greatly loved this book. First because the story is told brilliantly by Gerald Hausman. It uses simple and concise language while sharing the story in a simple manner. Also part of this storytelling adventure are the exquisite paintings and illustrations of Ramon Shiloh. There is a nice even flow between story and text forming a single cohesive unit of storytelling magic.

wisdom tales

This beautiful book is one we will come to again and again.

Looking for some fun and educational activities to go along with the book? Read the complete post with book extension activities HERE.

Whispers of the Wolf by Pauline Ts’o.

whisper of the wolf

Whispers of the Wolf is a beautifully illustrated story for children ages 5 and older.  Set among the Pueblo Indians before their contact with Europeans, it tells the story of a young Pueblo boy named Two Birds, coming to know himself through the friendship he has with a small wolf pup that he found while out hunting and gathering herbs with his grandfather. Two Birds who before the wolf pup entered his life was very much a loner. The wolf pup however became an ice breaker and helped Two Birds interact with his peers. During their time together, Two Birds becomes an impeccable story-teller using his wolf as the vehicle to do this. In time, the wolf hears the cries of his fellow wolves in the wild and longs to be with them. Two Birds loved the wolf and understood is desire and let him go.

Whispers of the Wolf

Whispers of the Wolf is a beautiful picture book set around 500 years ago among the Pueblo Indians of the desert Southwest. A heartwarming piece of historical fiction, it weaves together themes of community, tradition, self-esteem, and respect for all life, creating a realistic portrait of a culture that continues to exert a vibrant, living influence today. -Amazon

Read the rest of my original post HERE.

Michael Oren Fitzgerald in his new release Children of the Tipi, Life in the Buffalo Days assembles a collection of Plains Indian proverbs and photographs to answer the question, what was it like for children to grow up in the world of the pre-reservation Plains Indians during the Buffalo Days?


“Our games were feats with the bow and arrow. We had foot and pony reaches, wrestling and swimming. We imitated the customs and habits of our fathers.”  Charles Eastman (Ohiyesa), Wahpeton Dakota


Read the post in its entirety HERE.

Joseph Bruchac, Abenaki descent, newest book “The Hunter” It’s an informative blog posting with “The Hunter’s Promise” a book summary, link to an interview with the author, some teacher resources and two recipes that tie in with the book at Ever Ready.

The Hunter's Promise Book Review and Extension Activities

“The egg of the thunder bird in The Thunder Egg was actually inspired by geodes. The Thunder Egg book extension and review.


Custer’s Last Battle by Paul Goble {A Wisdom Tale’s Book} book review.

Custer's Last Battle

Tipi: Home of the Nomadic Buffalo Hunters by Paul Goble is creative and sacred journey into the world of the Native Americans of the Plains and the art and craft of constructing tipis. For the Plains Indian tribes, building tipis were more than just building a home but an expression of their religious beliefs as well.


The Wisdom Tales website has wonderful tipi patterns for book extension activities. See what happened when we downloaded them and created a village!


Be sure and visit my last Weekend Links and discover all sorts of great book ideas and activities surround Native American Heritage Month!

Native American Heritage Month



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