Today we're highlighting some books that capture the Native American experience in an authentic and developmentally appropriate way for children.
All of these books were written by Native and Indigenous authors. There are many books about Native Americans out there, but not nearly as many by them. It’s important to us here at Ditto to lift up the stories and perspectives of people representing their own cultures. We hope you enjoy the books on this list as much as we do!
“Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story” by Kevin Noble Maillard and Juana Martinez-Neal is an evocative depiction of a modern Native American family.
"Hungry Johnny" by Cheryl Kay Minnema and Wesley Ballinger is a sweet tale about a voracious little guy who learns patience and respect for him elders.
“Jingle Dancer" by Cynthia L Smith, Cornelius Van Wright, Ying-Hwa Hu. Set in a contemporary community, this book shows the love and connection of family members and how traditions are passed down through the generations.
“Sharice's Big Voice: A Native Kid Becomes a Congresswoman” by Sharice Davids, Nancy K. Mays, and Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley, an autobiographical picture book that tells the triumphant story of Sharice Davids, one of the first Native American women elected to Congress, and the first LGBTQ congressperson to Kansas.
"For a Girl Becoming" by Joy Harjo and Mercedes McDonald is a lively and touching story speaks to that part in each of us who still stands at the door of becoming.
"You Hold Me Up" by Monique Gray Smith and Danielle Daniel is a foundational book about building relationships, fostering empathy and encouraging respect between peers, starting with our littlest citizens.
As always, we love to help support small and BIPOC-owned bookshops. Shopping our bookshop is a great way for you to join us in this mission, but we also know this may not be an accessible option for everyone. All of these books can be found at larger retailers as well.
Thanks for reading and all of your support.
Ditto Kids Team