Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Picture Books for #classroombookaday during Native American Heritage Month & All Year Long

Edit 11/1/19:
It was brought to my attention that in centering my work I neglected to recognize the work of Native librarians and scholars who have been doing this work for many years. In my efforts to promote quality books, I missed the chance to amplify voices of Native scholars / organizations / sites that are my go-to resources for finding Native perspectives and guidance on evaluating books with Native content. I am adding several of them to the beginning of this post and encourage you to visit/follow them, read their work, and use their recommendations to guide your book selection. They have all informed my work, practice, & understanding of Native Nations' cultures and representation.
A first place to go for recommendations on books with Native creators/content is the American Indian Library Association's American Indian Youth Literature Award. Every other year, since 2006, "the AIYLA identifies and honors the very best writing and illustrations by and about Native Americans and Indigenous peoples of North America. Books selected to receive the award present Indigenous North American peoples in the fullness of their humanity." Their award will also be announced as part of the ALA Youth Media Awards announcements for the first time in January 2020.

Dr. Debbie Reese’s website, American Indians in Children’s Literature, is one of my go-to resources for finding critical reviews of children’s literature with Indigenous content. I have learned much from her and her critiques about the essential need for representation that is accurate and authentic in books about Native Nations and peoples. She also includes yearly best books recommendations.

Oyate "a Native organization working to see that our lives and histories are portrayed with honesty and integrity, and that all people know that our stories belong to us. For Indian children growing up in the 21st century, it is as important as ever for them to know who they are and learn about the histories that they come from. For all children, it is time to know and acknowledge the truths of history. Only then will they come to have the understanding and respect for each other that now, more than ever, will be necessary for life to continue."

Cynthia Leitich Smith is a citizen of the Muscogee Nation, children's book author of picture books to young adult. She also promotes Native books and creators and has kidlit recommendations on her site.

Indigo's Bookshelf is a blog by the teens & young adults behind the twitter account @OfGlades.

Original Post 10/30/19:
My November #classroombookday post for Follett Community this year shares my picture book recommendations for Honoring Voices of Native Nations. My post is timed to align with Native American Heritage Month, but I hope you'll share these books with your students throughout the year, not just in November, because all students deserve to be represented in the classroom all year long. Please visit this link to read my entire post supporting these recommendations with more context and guidance for critically analyzing Native representation in books you choose to share with students.
All of my Follett #classroombookaday posts/webinars & this year's book recommendation lists are at All of my info on #classroombookaday is at

Also important for when you are searching for titles, I compiled
critical considerations of Native representation from my recent MLIS research of Native scholars and researchers.

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