Before You Begin CC Cycle 3, Don't Forget the Native Americans

Years ago I wrote about my favorite Native American titles for kids, but this book wasn't published yet.

Sherman Alexie wrote Thunder Boy, Jr. about a contemporary Native American boy who doesn't want to be named after his Dad. It's so important to incorporate stories of contemporary Native Americans. Our kids can't think Native Americans lived a long time ago. This kind of thinking may later on excuse some of the "Trail of Tears" behavior of early Americans by dehumanizing these very different tribes into one-dimensional historical "characters" in feathers, instead of living breathing people.

Also, I completely spaced three years ago and forgot to include The Rough-Face Girl, an Algonquin Cinderella story with evocative illustrations and a powerful story. I use this book every semester in my Children's Literature class, and it's always a favorite.

In addition to this stack of picture books, I'm going to add some general information about Native Americans from What Your Kindergartner Needs to Know. This kind of textbook information is not necessary, but I really like the maps and gentle informative style. Overall I agree with Elizabeth Foss that anything can be taught through picture books.

You can see my other recommendations for Native American picture books here.

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