Thursday, November 13, 2008

Children's Books Written by Native Writers

Debbie Reese has an article in the November issue of School Library Journal. It’s especially apropos for American Indian Heritage Month. In the article, entitled Native Voices, Debbie includes recommendations for books written by American Indians for elementary, middle school, and high school students. She provides a brief summary for each book recommended. This is a good article to have on hand all through the school year—not just in November.

Here’s the first paragraph of Reese’s Native Voices:

"Robert Berkhofer Jr.’s The White Man’s Indian: Images of the American Indian from Columbus to the Present (Knopf) was published in 1979. Though not about children’s literature, the arguments he made apply to the Indians portrayed in most children’s books. In short, they aren’t really Indians. They have little basis in reality. These imaginings, however, have great staying power. As we approach 2009, stereotypical images of American Indians as bloodthirsty savages and tragic, heroic warriors still strike fear and evoke sympathy as they traipse across the pages of children’s books."

Click here to read the rest of the article.

You may also be interested in this earlier post at Wild Rose Reader: Native American Heritage Month: Book Lists & Resources.


Susan (Chicken Spaghetti) said...

Elaine, thanks for that link; I look forward to reading the piece. I'm glad SLJ put it online.

Elaine Magliaro said...


I wish I had resources like this avavilable when I was teaching. I'm glad SLJ put the article online.