Joseph Bruchac

Joseph Bruchac lives in the Adirondack mountain foothills town of Greenfield Center, New York, in the same house where his maternal grandparents raised him. Much of his writing draws on that land and his Native American ancestry. Although his northeastern American Indian heritage is only one part of an ethnic background that includes Slovak and English blood, those Native roots are the ones by which he has been most nourished. Joseph Bruchac is an Abenaki Indian author and storyteller. He is one of the most prominent contemporary Native American storytellers today. Bruchac's books about Native American life in the past and present are highly recommended by us for their accuracy and story quality.

He, his younger sister Margaret, and his two grown sons, James and Jesse, continue to work extensively in projects involving the preservation of Abenaki culture, language and traditional Native skills, including performing traditional and contemporary Abenaki music with the Dawnland Singers.

He holds a B.A. from Cornell University, an M.A. in Literature and Creative Writing from Syracuse and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the Union Institute of Ohio. His work as a educator includes eight years of directing a college program for Skidmore College inside a maximum security prison. With his late wife, Carol, he founded the Greenfield Review Literary Center and The Greenfield Review Press. He has edited a number of highly praised anthologies of contemporary poetry and fiction, including Songs from this Earth on Turtle's Back, Breaking Silence (winner of an American Book Award) and Returning the Gift. His poems, articles and stories have appeared in over 500 publications, from American Poetry Review, Cricket and Aboriginal Voices to National Geographic, Parabola and Smithsonian Magazine. He has authored more than 120 books for adults and children, including The First Strawberries, Keepers of the Earth (co-authored with Michael Caduto), Tell Me a Tale, When the Chenoo Howls (co-authored with his son, James), his autobiography Bowman's Store and such novels as Dawn Land, The Waters Between, Arrow Over the Door and The Heart of a Chief. His honors include a Rockefeller Humanities fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Writing Fellowship for Poetry, the Cherokee Nation Prose Award, the Knickerbocker Award, the Hope S. Dean Award for Notable Achievement in Children's Literature and both the 1998 Writer of the Year Award and the 1998 Storyteller of the Year Award from the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers. In 1999, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas.

As a professional teller of the traditional tales of the Adirondacks and the Native peoples of the Northeastern Woodlands, Joe Bruchac has performed widely in Europe and throughout the United States from Florida to Hawaii and has been featured at such events as the British Storytelling Festival and the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesboro, Tennessee. He has been a storyteller-in-residence for Native American organizations and schools throughout the continent, including the Institute of Alaska Native Arts and the Onondaga Nation School. He discusses Native culture and his books and does storytelling programs at dozens of elementary and secondary schools each year as a visiting author.

Viewing 1 - 15 of 56 |
Keepers of Life Teacher's Guide
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Native American;
Companion to Keepers of Life. Supplementary text, activity guidelines, and supplemental reading lists.
$25.95

Out of Print
Bowman's Store: A Journey to Myself
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Native American; Abenaki;

Little "Sonny" Bruchac's childhood was full of secrets. He didn't know why he lived with his grandparents, who ran a gas station and general store, when his own parents' home was just up the road, or why his grandfather was so defensive about his dark skin. The precocious, sensitive boy knew only that his grandparents nurtured his love of books and wild things as surely as they sheltered him from dangers real and imagined. As Sonny grew up, through experiences both searing and hilarious, he would find himself drawn to all things Indian long before he knew of his grandfather's hidden Abenaki roots.

Bowman's Store gracefully weaves themes from Joseph Bruchac's intimate knowledge of Native American cultures with the scenes from the past that have shaped his life. For those who enjoy memoirs, Native American writings, and books about finding one's cultural heritage -- or just a wonderful read -- here is a consummate storyteller unfolding his most personal and poignant story of all.

Guided Reading: Y
Lexile: N/A
Interest Level: Grades 4 - 12
Reading Level: Grades 4 - College

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$17.95

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Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two
Format: Paperback

Throughout World War II, in the conflict fought against Japan, Navajo code talkers were a crucial part of the U.S. effort, sending messages back and forth in an unbreakable code that used their native language. They braved some of the heaviest fighting of the war, and with their code, they saved countless American lives. Yet their story remained classified for more than twenty years.

But now Joseph Bruchac brings their stories to life for young adults through the riveting fictional tale of Ned Begay, a sixteen-year-old Navajo boy who becomes a code talker. His grueling journey is eye-opening and inspiring. This deeply affecting novel honors all of those young men, like Ned, who dared to serve, and it honors the culture and language of the Navajo Indians.

Reviews
"Readers who choose the book for the attraction of Navajo code talking and the heat of battle will come away with more than they ever expected to find." —Booklist, starred review

"With its multicultural themes and well-told WWII history, this will appeal to a wide audience." —Kirkus Reviews starred review

"Bruchac's gentle prose presents a clear historical picture of young men in wartime, island hopping across the Pacific, waging war in the hells of Guadalcanal, Bougainville, and Iwo Jima. Nonsensational and accurate, Bruchac's tale is quietly inspiring..." —School Library Journal

Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 12+

Recommended English First Peoples Resource for grades 10-12 in units on identity; steps toward reconciliation; and exploring text through local landscape.

Additional Information
240 pages | 5.38" x 8.19"

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$11.99

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Geronimo
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Native American; Apache;

Acclaimed author Joseph Bruchac weaves history and suspense into a riveting account of Geronimo's last days.

"He held up his right hand to show how his third finger was bent back from being struck by a bullet. Then he thumped his palm against his chest, his shoulder, his thigh, touching places where bullets and knives had pierced his flesh...where scars showed how hard it was to kill Geronimo..."

After years of standing against the U.S. government, the great warrior and spiritual leader Geronimo's life is coming to an end, as his grandson visits him where he is imprisoned, in Fort Sill, OK in 1908.

Authentic Indigenous Text
$19.79

Out of Print
Jim Thorpe: Original All American
Format: Paperback

Jim Thorpe's amazing accomplishments as an Olympic medal winner as well as an outstanding professional football and baseball player brings his story to life. Focusing on his years at Pennsylvania's Carlisle Indian School, this title highlights his early athletic career, while also dispelling some myths about him and movingly depicting the Native American experience at the turn of the 20th century.

Ages 12-15

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$13.99

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A Boy Called Slow
Artists:
Rocco Baviera
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Native American; Sioux; Lakota;

A proud Lakota Sioux grows into manhood acting with careful deliberation, determination, and bravery, he eventually earns the new name of Sitting Bull.

Authentic Indigenous Text
$8.50

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Bearwalker
Artists:
Sally Wern Comport
Format: Paperback

Baron has always been fascinated by bears—their gentle strength and untamed power. But the Bearwalker legend, passed down by his Mohawk ancestors, tells of a different kind of creature—a terrible mix of human and animal that looks like a bear but is really a bloodthirsty monster.

The tale never seemed to be more than a scary story . . . until a class camping trip deep in the Adirondacks, when Baron comes face-to-face with an evil being that is all too real.

Reviews
“This fast-paced survival story is a great read for mystery fans, and it also addresses the delicate balance between humans and nature.”— School Library Journal (starred review)

“Bruchac spins a striking story, filled with interesting information about bears, chilling moments around the campfire, and life–or–death chase scenes. Readers will return again and again to this adventure tale.”— Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Additional Information
240 pages | 5.12" x 7.62"

Authentic Indigenous Text
$8.50

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Children of the Longhouse
Format: Paperback

When Ohkwa'ri overhears a group of older boys planning a raid on a neighboring village, he immediately tells his Mohawk elders. He has done the right thing—but he has also made enemies. Grabber and his friends will do anything they can to hurt him, especially during the village-wide game of Tekwaarathon (lacrosse). Ohkwa'ri believes in the path of peace, but can peaceful ways work against Grabber's wrath?

Reviews
"An exciting story that also offers an in-depth look at Native American life centuries ago." —Kirkus Review

"Bruchac, who states in an afterword that his book is 'the result of a lifetime of learning from my Mohawk friends and neighbors,' eloquently conveys how democracy, respectand justice are integral components of the Native Americans' religion and government. Besides learning the origins of modern-day lacrosse and certain kinds of tool-making, readers will come away from this novel with a broadened awareness of a nearly vanished culture." — Publishers Weekly

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176 pages | 5.13" x 7.75"

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$10.99

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Crazy Horse's Vision
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Native American; Sioux; Lakota;

Crazy Horse is among the best known Native American heroes. Yet many people do not know that his boyhood name was Curly, inspired by his curly hair. Curly was a leader even as a young boy, but his bravery could not prepare him for the trouble he and the other Lakota faced from the white settlers. After a fierce battle that mortally wounded Chief Conquering Bear, Curly felt called to help his people. So he defied traditional custom and ran away to seek a vision. Three days went by. Finally, as an exhausted Curly collapsed on the ground, the vision came, a rider suspended above the ground and voices coming from nowhere. It took three years for Curly to understand his vision, and this long journey gave him the strength and leadership to guide his people. Because of this powerful vision, Curly''s father renamed him Crazy Horse.

Renowned Abenaki author Joseph Bruchac tells a gripping and compelling story of how the dedicated young boy, Curly, grows into the brave warrior Crazy Horse. Sioux artist S.D. Nelson, with paintings inspired by the ledger book style of the Plains Indians, evokes the drama and tragedy of an important figure in American history.

Additional Information
40 pages | 8.96" x 10.74"

Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$16.95

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Eagle Song
Artists:
Dan Andreasen
Format: Paperback

A contemporary middle grade chapter book about confronting bullying and prejudice.

Danny Bigtree's family has moved to Brooklyn, New York, and he just can't seem to fit in at school. He's homesick for the Mohawk reservation, and the kids in his class tease him about being an Indian—the thing that makes Danny most proud. Can he find the courage to stand up for himself? Joseph Bruchac explores courage in the face of racism.

Reviews
“A worthy, well-written novella.” —Kirkus Reviews

“This appealing portrayal of a strong family offers an unromanticized view of Native American culture, and a history lesson about the Iroquois Confederacy; it also gives a subtle lesson in the meaning of daily courage.” —Publishers Weekly

"With so many Native American stories set in the misty past, it's great to read a children's book about an Iroquois boy who lives in the city now. Bruchac weaves together the traditional and the realistic as Danny's ironworker father tells stories of his people's history and heroes, stories that give Danny courage to confront his schoolyard enemies and make friends with them.” —Booklist

Additional Information

96 pages | 5.13" x 7.81"

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$7.99

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Flying With the Eagle, Racing the Great Bear: Tales From Native North America
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Indigenous Canadian;

Flying with the Eagle, Racing the Great Bear is a continent-spanning collection of 16 thrilling tales in which young Native American men must face great enemies, find strength and endurance within themselves to succeed, and take their place by the side of their elders.

Additional Information
144 pages | 6.00" x 8.90"

Authentic Indigenous Text
$12.95

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Hidden Roots
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Native American; Abenaki;

Eleven-year-old Sonny and his mother can''t predict his father''s sudden abusive rages. Jake''s anger only gets worse after long days at the paper mill -- and when Uncle Louis appears. Louis seems to show up when Sonny and his mother need help most, but there is something about his quiet wisdom that only fuels Jake''s rage. Through an unexpected friendship with a new school librarian, Sonny gains the strength to stand up to his father, and to finally confront his mother and uncle about a secret family heritage that may be the key to his father''s self-hatred.

Authentic Indigenous Text
$9.45

Out of Print
How Chipmunk Got His Stripes
Artists:
Jose Aruego
Ariane Dewey
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Native American;

In this retelling of a Native American pourquoi tale, Brown Squirrel challenges prideful Bear to keep the sun from rising.

Bear brags that he can do anything-even stop the sun from rising. Brown Squirrel doesn't believe him, so the two wait all night to see if the sun will rise. Sure enough, the sky reddens and the sun appears. Brown Squirrel is so happy to be right that he teases Bear. What happens when a little brown squirrel teases a big black bear? Brown Squirrel gets stripes and is called chipmunk from that day forward . . . Joseph and James Bruchac join forces to create this buoyant picture book, based on a Native American folktale.

Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 5-8.

Additional Information
32 pages | 8.00" x 10.00"

Authentic Indigenous Text
$8.50

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Jim Thorpe's Bright Path
Format: Paperback

From the day he was born, Jim Thorpe's parents knew he was special. As the light shone on the road to the family's cabin, his mother gave Jim another name — Wa-tho-huck — "Bright Path."

Jim's athletic skills were evident early on, as he played outdoors and hunted with his father and twin brother. When the boys were sent to Indian boarding school, Jim struggled in academics but excelled in sports. Jim moved from school to school over the years, overcoming family tragedies, until his athletic genius was recognized by Coach Pop Warner at the Carlisle Indian School.

From the award-winning team of Joseph Bruchac and S. D. Nelson comes an inspiring biography of the young person behind the world-renowned athlete. Thorpe's story of determination and perseverance will resonate with every child who dreams of finding his or her own bright path.

Additional Information
40 pages | 8.90" x 10.20"

Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$16.95

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Keepers of Life: Discovering Plants through Native American Stories and Earth Activities for Children
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Native American;

The first paperback edition of Keepers of Life from the incredibly popular Keepers series.

These bestselling books have been long-time favourites with educators for their innovative approach to teaching children about Native cultures and the environment. Each book, co-authored by Joseph Bruchac and Michael J. Caduto, combines Native legends with information and activities about the natural world.

Reviews
"This book is an excellent school resource for introducing children to Indigenous worldviews. It is comprised of 18 story packages which may be used as teaching tools in the classroom. The stories are divided by subject nature and include one introduction story, two stories about creation, one about celebration, thanksgiving and stewardship, eight about flowers and fruits, seeds and spores, five about survival, and one about healing our relations. Each traditional story acknowledges the Native North American cultures in which the story originated. An accompanying map helps readers situate where these different cultural groups traditionally resided. The stories are typically one to three pages long, making them ideal for sharing in the oral tradition. The stories are accompanied by beautiful black and white ink drawings, artistically representing the events and characters in each story. Following each story is a discussion prompt to help teachers explain the story’s context. The discussion prompts relate the story to Native North American traditional worldviews and emphasize mankind’s interconnection with the natural world." - Rachel Yaroshuk, CM Magazine

Educator & Series Information
Books in the Keepers series are recommended by educational journals across North America for children aged 5 to 12. 

Included at the end of the book is a Glossary and Pronunciation Key to Native North American Words and Names.

Foreword by Marilou Awiakta.

Additional Information
288 pages | 8.17" x 10.73"

Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$31.95

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