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Historical Fiction

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Blueberry Patch / Mayabeekamneeboon
Format: Hardcover
Grade Levels: 1; 2; 3;

Based in Duck Bay, Manitoba, in the 1940s, an Elder shares his experience of packing up to go out to collect blueberries, a traditional gathering that took place every summer. He describes the journey and landscape with humor and such vivid imagery that readers will see themselves there with him, boarding the trail of wagons from surrounding communities and heading east toward the blueberry patch. The Elder's stories offer a journey back in time and are complemented by images of fields of plump blueberries, tall green grass, bannock baking over an open fire, clear freshwater streams and the tents the people slept in.

Educator Information
Written in English and Anishinaabemowin. Includes a page of after-reading activities for kids at the back of the book that both test reading comprehension and encourage further inquiry and exploration.

Recommended for ages 6-8.

Themes: Manitoba, Berries, Food Sovereignty, Indigenous, Traditions, Food, Culture.

Includes a recipe for bannock.

Translated by Norman Chartrand.

Additional Information
32 pages | 8.00" x 8.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$19.95

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Broken Trail
Authors:
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 5; 6; 7; 8; 9;

Broken Trail is the story a thirteen-year-old white boy, the son of United Empire Loyalists, who has been captured and adopted by the Oneida people. Striving to find his vision oki that will guide him in his quest to become a warrior, Broken Trail disavows his white heritage—he considers himself Oneida. But everything changes when Broken Trail, alone in the woods on his vision quest, is mistakenly shot by a redcoat soldier.

Series Information
This is the second book in the "Forging a Nation" series. Other titles in this series include The Way Lies North, Freedom Bound, The White Oneida, and Hope's Journey.

Additional Information
246 pages | 5.50" x 7.62" 

Authentic Canadian Content
$11.95

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Buffalo Bird Girl: A Hidatsa Story
Format: Hardcover
Grade Levels: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5;

"I was born in an earth lodge by the mouth of the Knife River, in what is now North Dakota, three years after the smallpox winter." - Buffalo Bird Woman

Born in the 1830s, Buffalo Bird Girl was a member of the Hidatsa people, a Native American community that lived in permanent villages along the Missouri River on the Great Plains. Like other girls her age, Buffalo Bird Girl learned the ways of her people through watching, listening and then doing. She helped plant crops in the spring, tended the fields through the summer - scaring off birds and other animals, as well as hungry boys! - and in autumn joined in the harvest. She also learned to prepare animal skins, dry meat and perform other household duties. Along with her chores, however, there was time for playing games with friends or training her dog. Her family also visited the nearby trading post, where all sorts of magnificent things from the white man's settlements in the East could be seen.

Interweaving the actual words and stories of Buffalo Bird Woman with his artwork and archival photographs, award-winning author and artist S.D. Nelson has woven a poignant yet vibrant story, beautifully capturing the spirit of Buffalo Bird Girl and her lost way of life. The book includes a historical timeline.

Reviews
"The extraordinary illustration of this handsome volume begins with the endpaper maps and features acrylic paintings of the Hidatsa world reminiscent of traditional Plains Indian art. Pencil drawings and relevant, carefully labeled photographs round out the exquisite design. All the artwork both supports and adds to the text. An extensive author’s note and timeline supplement this beautiful tribute." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Nelson's quiet, respectful tone capably balances the factual details of daily life in the Hidatsa tribe with the obvious joy and nostalgia Buffalo Bird Girl feels toward her childhood." —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"As a writer, storyteller, and traditional artist of the Sioux people, his perspective is genuine and effectively portrayed. This book would be enjoyable for anyone interested in history, but would also be an effective resource in the classroom to support the curriculum.”—Library Media Connection

"Nelson's acrylic paintings and b&w pencil drawings are intriguingly interlaced with the photographs, contrasting Native American figures in blunt profile with harvest colors and background textures that mimic dried spears of grass, leather skins, and basket weaves." — Publishers Weekly"

Educator Information
This fascinating picture book biography tells the childhood story of Buffalo Bird Woman. Through her true story, readers will learn what it was like to be part of this Native American community that lived along the Missouri River in the Dakotas, a society that depended more on agriculture for food and survival than on hunting. Children will relate to Buffalo Bird Girl’s routine of chores and playing with friends, and they will also be captivated by her lifestyle and the dangers that came with it.

Recommended Ages: 6-10

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56 pages | 10.50" x 10.25"

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$27.95

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Catching Spring
Authors:
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 3; 4; 5;

The year is 1957, and Bobby lives on the Tsartlip First Nation reserve on Vancouver Island where his family has lived for generations and generations. He loves his weekend job at the nearby marina. He loves to play marbles with his friends. And he loves being able to give half his weekly earnings to his mother to eke out the grocery money, but he longs to enter the up-coming fishing derby. With the help of his uncle and Dan from the marina his wish just might come true.

Educator Information
Themes: contest, family, fishing, Indigenous.

Series Information
This book is part of the Orca Young Readers series, which are award-winning, bestselling chapter books for ages 8–11. Titles in this series include historical and contemporary stories with age-appropriate plots.

Additional Information
128 pages | 5.00" x 7.50"

Authentic Canadian Content
$7.95

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Cheyenne Again
Authors:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Native American; Cheyenne;
Grade Levels: Preschool; Kindergarten; 1; 2;

In the late 1880s, a Cheyenne boy named Young Bull is taken from his parents and sent to a boarding school to learn the white man's ways. "Young Bull's struggle to hold on to his heritage will touch children''s sense of justice and lead to some interesting discussions and perhaps further research.

Reviews
"Young Bull's struggle to hold onto his heritage will touch children's sense of justice and lead to some interesting discussions and perhaps further research."—School Library Journal

Educator Information
This book addresses Native American boarding schools, not Canadian residential schools.

Additional Information
32 pages | 8.06" x 10.00"

Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$11.99

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Children of the Longhouse
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 3; 4; 5; 6; 7;

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

Additional Information
176 pages | 5.13" x 7.75"

Authentic Indigenous Text
$10.99

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Dear Canada: These Are My Words: The Residential School Diary of Violet Pesheens
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Anishinaabeg;
Grade Levels: 5; 6; 7;

Acclaimed author Ruby Slipperjack delivers a haunting novel about a 12-year-old girl's experience at a residential school in 1966.

Violet Pesheens is struggling to adjust to her new life at residential school. She misses her Grandma; she has run-ins with Cree girls; at her "white" school, everyone just stares; and everything she brought has been taken from her, including her name-she is now just a number. But worst of all, she has a fear. A fear of forgetting the things she treasures most: her Anishnabe language; the names of those she knew before; and her traditional customs. A fear of forgetting who she was.

Her notebook is the one place she can record all of her worries, and heartbreaks, and memories. And maybe, just maybe there will be hope at the end of the tunnel.

Drawing from her own experiences at residential school, Ruby Slipperjack creates a brave, yet heartbreaking heroine in Violet, and lets young readers glimpse into an all-too important chapter in our nation's history.

Additional Information
192 pages | 5.54" x 7.66"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$16.99

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Encounter (Luby)
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: Preschool; Kindergarten; 1; 2;

Two people navigate their differences with curiosity and openness in this stunning picture book that imagines the first meeting between an Indigenous fisher and a European sailor.

Based on an actual journal entry by French explorer Jacques Cartier from his first expedition to North America in July 1534, this story imagines the first encounter between a European sailor and a Stadaconan fisher. As the two navigate their differences (language, dress, food) with curiosity, the natural world around them notes their similarities. The seagull observes their like shadows, the mosquito notes their equally appealing blood, the mouse enjoys the crumbs both people leave behind.

This story explores how encounters can create community and celebrates varying perspectives and the natural world. It is at once specific and universal. It's a story based on a primary document and historical research, but it is in equal measure beautifully imagined. It makes room for us to recognize our differences while celebrating our shared humanity.

Debut author Brittany Luby's background in social justice and history brings a breathtaking depth of insight and understanding to this story and Michaela Goade's expressive art brings equal life to the creatures and landscapes. An author's note outlines the historical context as well as situates the story in the present day.

Reviews
"Shared humanity is at the center of this Indigenous author and illustrator team’s alternative history.... Encounter’s most valuable aspect is its backmatter: Both an author’s reflection and a historical note offer crucial context to this spirited revision. “This peaceful encounter does not forgive…violent actions,” Luby notes. “Instead, it reminds us…that everyday people, like Sailor, can participate in systems that hurt others.” Without this addendum, this story runs the risk of obscuring legacies of violence rather than “learn[ing] from our history and tak[ing] the opportunity to map a better future.”

"An uplifting, #ownvoices vision for what could have been and what we are responsible for now." - Kirkus Reviews

Educator Information
Recommended for ages 3 to 7

Includes an author's reflection and historical note that provide crucial context to the events in the story.

Additional Information
40 pages | 8.50" x 10.63"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$21.99

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Encounter (Yolen)
Authors:
Artists:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Caribbean; Taino;
Grade Levels: 1; 2; 3; 4;

When Christopher Columbus landed on the island of San Salvador in 1492, what he discovered were the Taino Indians. Told from a young Taino boys point of view, this is a story of how the boy tried to warn his people against welcoming the strangers, who seemed more interested in golden ornaments than friendship. Years later the boy, now an old man, looks back at the destruction of his people and their culture by the colonizers.

Educator Information
Age Range: 6 – 9 years
Grade Level: 1 – 4

Notes on the historical basis for the text are appended.

Additional Information
32 pages | 9.00" x 11.00"

$11.50

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Freedom Bound
Authors:
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 5; 6; 7; 8; 9;

In Freedom Bound eighteen-year-old Charlotte sails from Canada to Charleston in the beleaguered Thirteen Colonies to join her new husband Nick. During these final months of the American Revolution, she must muster all her wit and courage when she has to rescue Nick from being tortured as a spy in an alligator-infested South Carolina swamp. She must also find ways to bring freedom to a pair of teenage runaway slaves she has befriended. Freedom Bound delivers a frank and realistic picture of the slave system and a powerful account of what was at stake for both white and black Loyalists as they prepared to find a new home in the country that was soon to be Canada. Like The Way Lies North and Broken Trail, the two novels that preceded it, Freedom Bound contains a wealth of carefully researched historical details of one of the least known chapters of our history.

Series Information
This is the third book in the "Forging a Nation" series. Other titles in this series include The Way Lies North, Broken Trail, The White Oneida, and Hope's Journey.

Additional Information
246 pages | 5.25" x 7.63"

Authentic Canadian Content
$11.95

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Ghost Dance
Authors:
Artists:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Native American; Paiute (Piute);
Grade Levels: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6;

When the bountiful world of their ancestors was no more, the Paiute prophets had visions of a dance that would restore it. The ghost dance movement began in the U.S. in the 1800s, in hope as native peoples came together to dance for their shared dream. The dream failed and they tried again. Again the dream failed tragically. But the vision and the dream still call out to all people, envisioning a future when all Indian peoples would be united, disease would vanish, and the earth would be regenerated and restored. 

Reviews
"McLerran's elegant, spare text begins by describing the result of white settlers' relentless westward movement in the U.S... [Paiute visionaries] dreamed that if Native peoples danced, the white people would disappear and the ghosts of the wildlife that had been decimated would return... [Attempts at coming together in a sacred, non-violent ceremony ended in violence to the Native Americans, as their actions were interpreted as warlike.] McLerran encourages readers to hold on to the vision of the Dance, and to unite across the boundaries of culture and politics that we have created, to heal the world... [Morin's] evocative paintings... glow with the golden colors of the sun-drenched prairie, and exhibit a dramatic use of light... This stunning book will hold great appeal for environmentally conscious readers." - School Library Journal

Additional Information
32 pages | 8.50" x 11.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
$14.95

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Gift Horse: A Lakota Story
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Native American; Sioux; Lakota;
Grade Levels: Preschool; Kindergarten; 1; 2; 3;

An action-packed coming-of-age story, Gift Horse is a wonderfully evocative introduction to 19th century Native American life on the Great Plains. When his father gives him a gift horse, marking the beginning of his journey to manhood, Flying Cloud and the horse, Storm, spend their days hunting and roughhousing with the other boys and their horses. But when an enemy raiding party steals his beloved Storm, Flying Cloud faces the ultimate rite of passage. He must join the rescue party and earn the right to wear the shirt of a warrior.

Bold, colorful artwork inspired by the style of the early Plains Indians, illustrates the day-to-day life of the Lakota and tells the story of a boy accepting the challenges of manhood. An author's note gives a brief history of the Lakota and explains the traditions discussed in the story.

Additional Information 
40 pages | 9.25" x 10.62"

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$22.95

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Hiawatha and the Peacemaker
Artists:
Format: Hardcover
Grade Levels: Preschool; Kindergarten; 1; 2; 3;

Born of Mohawk and Cayuga descent, musical icon Robbie Robertson learned the story of Hiawatha and his spiritual guide, the Peacemaker, as part of the Iroquois oral tradition. Now he shares the same gift of storytelling with a new generation.

Hiawatha was a strong and articulate Mohawk who was chosen to translate the Peacemaker’s message of unity for the five warring Iroquois nations during the 14th century. This message not only succeeded in uniting the tribes but also forever changed how the Iroquois governed themselves—a blueprint for democracy that would later inspire the authors of the U.S. Constitution.

Caldecott Honor–winning illustrator David Shannon brings the journey of Hiawatha and the Peacemaker to life with arresting oil paintings. Together, Robertson and Shannon have crafted a new children’s classic that will both educate and inspire readers of all ages.

Includes a CD featuring a new, original song written and performed by Robbie Robertson.

Additional Information
48 pages | 9.50" x 11.25"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$24.95

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Ho'onani: Hula Warrior
Authors:
Artists:
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Hawaiian;
Grade Levels: Preschool; Kindergarten; 1; 2; 3;

An empowering celebration of identity, acceptance and Hawaiian culture based on the true story of a young girl in Hawaiʻi who dreams of leading the boys-only hula troupe at her school.

Ho'onani feels in-between. She doesn't see herself as wahine (girl) OR kane (boy). She's happy to be in the middle. But not everyone sees it that way.

When Ho'onani finds out that there will be a school performance of a traditional kane hula chant, she wants to be part of it. But can a girl really lead the all-male troupe? Ho'onani has to try . . .

Based on a true story, Ho'onani: Hula Warrior is a celebration of Hawaiian culture and an empowering story of a girl who learns to lead and learns to accept who she really is--and in doing so, gains the respect of all those around her.

Ho'onani's story first appeared in the documentary A Place in the Middle by filmmakers Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson.

Reviews
“Boldly outlined watercolor and ink artwork . . . convey visual information with strength that suggests Ho‘onani’s own. And Gale grounds the child’s experience, based on a true story, in Hawaiian traditions, modeling showing ‘every person the same unconditional acceptance and respect’.” --Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Ho'onani’s courage to be true to herself and her place in the middle is empowering. Hawaiian words are intermixed, and Song’s illustrations are full of emotion and determination.” --Kirkus Reviews

Ho’onani: Hula Warrior tells the story of a young gender-nonconforming child who, though she still uses female pronouns, does not wish to be either a girl or a boy. Ho’onani is seen by some as too loud, too brash, too masculine. But when she starts to show an interest in leading a group of students in a hula chant, some don’t believe she can do it because she’s not a boy, not strong enough, not bold enough! Stuck in the middle but not willing to back down, Ho’onani and her teacher, Kumu Hina (“kumu” means teacher), work to build her skills and prepare her to take the tests necessary to show that she is skilled enough to lead. And while her parents and brother are not very surprised at Ho’onani’s determination, Kana, her sister, is less than pleased and stops hanging out with Ho’onani like they used to. But in the end, Ho’onani works hard and continues to buck stereotypes in the process, ultimately bringing her closer to her goal with each passing day, until the moment arrives when she must prove herself in front of the whole community.

This empowering and delightfully engaging picture book is based on the true story of Ho’onani Kamai who was raised in Honolulu and was coached by Hinaleimoana Kwai Kong Wong-Kalu (shortened in the book to Kumu Hina). An author’s note at the beginning gives a more detailed explanation of the real-life story, some history and a mention of the documentary (A Place in the Middle) which was inspired by Ho’onani and Kumu Hina’s working together.

.... The story is not simply one of strength and overcoming obstacles, but it is also a story about traditions, acceptance, and respect for others. Ho’onani is not simply a determined youngster, but also an individual trying to help others understand that gender stereotypes are harmful and limiting. Gale’s picture book will help young readers and adults better understand a small slice of Hawaiian traditions and nonbinary people, referred to as Mahu, those who embody both feminine and masculine traits.

.... An entertaining, illuminating, and empowering read, Ho’onani: Hula Warrior will make a welcome addition to classrooms, libraries, and story times!” --CM Magazine

Educator Information
Recommended for ages 4-8.

The author thanks Ho'onani Kamia and Kumu Hina on her website for allowing her to write this story.

Additional Information
40 pages | 8.80" x 11.40"

Authentic Canadian Content
$21.99

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Home to Medicine Mountain
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 3; 4; 5;

Two young brothers are separated from their family and sent to live in a government-run Indian residential school in the 1930s—an experience shared by generations of Native American children throughout North America. At these schools, children were forbidden to speak their Indian languages and made to unlearn their Indian ways. Sadly, they were often not able to go home to their families for summer vacation.

Native American artist Judith Lowry based this story on the experiences of her father and her Uncle Stanley. Judith and author Chiori Santiago tenderly relate how Stanley and Benny Len found their way home by train one summer. Inspired by their dreams of home and the memories of their grandmother's stories, the boys embark on an adventurous journey from the harsh residential school to their triumphant welcome home at Susanville, California, in the shadow of Yo-Tim Yamne (Medicine Mountain).

Awards

  • American Book Award - Before Columbus Foundation
  • Skipping Stones Honor Award - Skipping Stones Magazine

Reviews
"The real-life experiences of Lowry's father and uncle fuel this account of two Native American brothers in California, sent to a government-run boarding school in the 1930s to unlearn their traditional ways. While the book discloses a sad chapter in the long history of the disenfranchisement of Native Americans, it will also resonate with any kid who has been homesick." - Publisher's Weekly

Educator Information
Guided Reading: N
Lexile: 520L
Interest Level: Grades 3 - 5
Reading Level: Grades 3 - 4

Additional Information
32 pages | 10.00" x 8.50"

Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$19.95

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