Spirit Run: A 6.000-Mile Marathon Through North America's Stolen Land by Noé Álvarez is his story of growing up in Yakima, Washington, at an apple-packing plant alongside his mother, who “slouched over a conveyor belt of fruit, shoulder to shoulder with mothers conditioned to believe this was all they could do with their lives.” A university scholarship offered escape, but as a first-generation Latino college-goer, Álvarez struggled to fit in.
Crooked Hallelujah by Kelli Jo Ford, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, follows four generations of Cherokee women across four decades. It’s 1974 in the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and fifteen-year-old Justine grows up in a family of tough, complicated, and loyal women, presided over by her mother, Lula, and Granny. After Justine’s father abandoned the family, Lula became a devout member of the Holiness Church — a community that Justine at times finds stifling and terrifying.
Hearts Unbroken, by New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Leitich Smith (enrolled citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Indian Nation in Oklahoma, is a young adult novel about a school musical, friendship, romance and heartache. After breaking up with her boyfriend, Louise joins the school’s Journalism class working on the school newspaper writing stories and meets Joey. The local school musical, The Wizard of Oz, has new guidelines – to be colour-conscious – which sets in motion objections, acceptance, bullying, sexism and racism.
Trust Your Name by Tim Tingle (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma) is a book by award-winning author of an American Indian Youth Literature Awards Honor Book for Danny Blackgoat: Navajo Prisoner. In 2018 Tim Tingle received the Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oklahoma Center for the Book. Trust Your Name is part of the 7th Generation Pathfinders series. In Trust Your Name, Bobby and Cherokee Johnny are Cherokee Panthers and friends with Lloyd, also a Panthers basketball player.
Just Lucky by Cree/Scottish author Melanie Florence is the story of Lucky, a teen who tries to find home again with the help of her friend, Ryan and her Grandma. A number of events leaves Lucky in the hands of Children’s Aid. She is moved between foster homes and school districts, all the while trying to fit in under difficult circumstances. Her foster home experiences are a mix of bad and better ones. Just Lucky weaves friendship, bullying, family and loss with love, patience and responsibility.
Surviving the City written by Tasha Spillett, Nehiyaw (Cree) and Trinidadian, with effective illustrations from Metis artist Natasha Donovan brings the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls to intermediate and secondary level readers. This 56-page graphic novel in the Debwe Series from Highwater Press presents the story of two teen girls attending an urban high school in Winnipeg.
Give Me Some Truth by Eric Gansworth, Sˑha-weñ na-saeˀ, (Onondaga, Eel Clan), is an enrolled member of Onondaga Nation and grew up on the Tuscarora Indian Nation near Niagara Falls, New York. His book If I Ever Get Out of Here was a Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) of the American Library Association Best Fiction for Young Adults pick and an American Indian Library Association Young Adult Honor selection. Give Me Some Truth follows the lives of Carson Mastick and Magpie Bokoni both living on the Rez for different reasons.
If I Ever Get Out of Here tells the engaging story of seventh-grader Lewis "Shoe" Blake from the Tuscarora Reservation. Being the lone rez teen and being bused to a small town for his educations presents a challenge that resonates for many outsider students trying to fit in. Lewis has a new friend, George Haddonfield from the local Air Force base, but in 1975 upstate New York there is a lot of tension and hatred between Native Americans and Whites--and Lewis is not sure that he can rely on friendship.
He Who Dreams by Cree/Scottish author is a new hi/lo title from Orca Publishers. Juggling soccer, school, friends and family leaves John with little time for anything else. But one day at the local community center, following the sound of drums, he stumbles into an Indigenous dance class. Before he knows what's happening, John finds himself stumbling through beginner classes with a bunch of little girls, skipping soccer practice and letting his other responsibilities slide.
Walking Two Worlds by well-known Abenaki author Joseph Bruchac is part of the exciting PathFinders hi-lo novels. These books have First Nation and Native American authors, are written at a 2.5 to 4.5 reading level, and all have plots that are age-appropriate for tweens and teens. The novels feature linear story lines, limited vocabulary, and contemporary as well as historical topics. The main characters are First Nation and Native American teens and the stories always connect to traditional teachings. The Reading Level is 2.5. The Interest Level is ages 12 to 16.