Picture Books for Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month! Give these picture books about Native American culture, or written by Native American authors, a read!

 Because she has been very ill and weak, River cannot join in the dancing at this year’s tribal powwow, she can only watch from the sidelines as her sisters and cousins dance the celebration–but as the drum beats she finds the faith to believe that she will recover and dance again.

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On an outing in Nicola Valley, British Columbia, a Native American family forages for herbs and mushrooms while the grandmother passes down her language and knowledge to her young grandchildren. Includes glossary.

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The story of the first efforts to save the vanishing bison (buffalo) herds from extinction in the United States in the 1870s and 1880s. Based on the true story of Samuel Walking Coyote, a Salish (Kalispel) Indian who rescued and raised orphaned buffalo calves

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Amazon cover imageLittle Thunder wants a name that separates him from his father, Big Thunder, and considers such options as Touch the Sky and Drums, Drums, and More Drums before his father helps him find the perfect alternative.

 

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Amazon cover imageFinding circles everywhere, a grandfather and his granddaughter meditate on the cycles of life and nature.

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Amazon cover image With vibrant colors and bold geometric forms, Gerald McDermott brilliantly captures the stylized look of Pueblo Indian art in this Caldecott Award-winning retelling of an ancient legend. A young boy searches for his father, but before he can claim his heritage he must first prove his worthiness by passing through the four ceremonial chambers: the kiva of lions, the kiva of snakes, the kiva of bees, and the kiva of lightning. Striking in its simplicity and grace, Arrow to the Sun vividly evokes the Native American reverence for the source of all life–the Solar Fire

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Spooky Books in Middle Grade

It’s officially spooky season so here’s a list of middle grade books to give you a good spook!

 

After suffering a tragic loss, eleven-year-old Ollie only finds solace in books. So when she happens upon a crazed woman at the river threatening to throw a book into the water, Ollie doesn’t think—she just acts, stealing the book and running away. As she begins to read the slender volume, Ollie discovers a chilling story about a girl named Beth, the two brothers who both loved her, and a peculiar deal made with “the smiling man,” a sinister specter who grants your most tightly held wish, but only for the ultimate price.

Ollie is captivated by the tale until her school trip the next day to Smoke Hollow, a local farm with a haunting history all its own. There she stumbles upon the graves of the very people she’s been reading about. Could it be the story about the smiling man is true? Ollie doesn’t have too long to think about the answer to that. On the way home, the school bus breaks down, sending their teacher back to the farm for help. But the strange bus driver has some advice for the kids left behind in his care: “Best get moving. At nightfall they’ll come for the rest of you.” Nightfall is, indeed, fast descending when Ollie’s previously broken digital wristwatch, a keepsake reminder of better times, begins a startling countdown and delivers a terrifying message: RUN.

Only Ollie and two of her classmates heed the bus driver’s warning. As the trio head out into the woods–bordered by a field of scarecrows that seem to be watching them–the bus driver has just one final piece of advice for Ollie and her friends: “Avoid large places. Keep to small.”

And with that, a deliciously creepy and hair-raising adventure begins.

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It looked like an ordinary bunny to Harold. But Harold was a dog by profession, so his judgement wasn’t reliable-as he was the first to admit. But Chester, Harold’s good friend and house-mate, was a very well-read cat and he knew there was something strange about Bunnicula. For one thing, he seemed to have fangs. And the odd markings on his back looked a little like a cape. But when Chester started finding white vegetables drained dry, with two fang marks in them, he was sure Bunnicula was a vampire bunny.

So it was up to Chester-with Harold’s help- to alert the members of their household before another carrot was lost. Because as Chester warned, “Today vegetables, tomorrow the world!”

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The War That Saved My Life meets Coraline in this chilling middle grade historical novel from the author of the acclaimed The Story That Cannot Be Told following an anxious young girl learning to face her fears—and her ghosts—against the backdrop of the typhoid epidemic.

Essie O’Neill is afraid of everything. She’s afraid of cats and electric lights. She’s afraid of the silver sick bell, a family heirloom that brings up frightening memories. Most of all, she’s afraid of the red door in her nightmares.

But soon Essie discovers so much more to fear. Her mother has remarried, and they must move from their dilapidated tenement in the Bronx to North Brother Island, a dreary place in the East River. That’s where Essie’s new stepfather runs a quarantine hospital for the incurable sick, including the infamous Typhoid Mary. Essie knows the island is plagued with tragedy. Years ago, she watched in horror as the ship General Slocum caught fire and sank near its shores, plummeting one thousand women and children to their deaths.

Now, something on the island is haunting Essie. And the red door from her dreams has become a reality, just down the hall from her bedroom in her terrifying new house. Convinced her stepfather is up to no good, Essie investigates. Yet to uncover the truth, she will have to face her own painful history—and what lies behind the red door.

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Olivia wants a new life—and it might take ghosts to get it. A heartfelt, gently Gothic novel from Claire Legrand.

Olivia Stellatella is having a rough year.

Her mother’s left, her neglectful father—the maestro of a failing orchestra—has moved her and her grandmother into the city’s dark, broken-down concert hall to save money, and her only friend is Igor, an ornery stray cat.

Just when she thinks life couldn’t get any weirder, she meets four ghosts who haunt the hall. They need Olivia’s help—if the hall is torn down, they’ll be stuck as ghosts forever, never able to move on.

Olivia has to do the impossible for her shadowy new friends: Save the concert hall. But helping the dead has powerful consequences for the living…and soon it’s not just the concert hall that needs saving.

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Cassidy Blake’s parents are The Inspecters, a (somewhat inept) ghost-hunting team. But Cass herself can REALLY see ghosts. In fact, her best friend, Jacob, just happens to be one.

When The Inspecters head to ultra-haunted Edinburgh, Scotland, for their new TV show, Cass—and Jacob—come along. In Scotland, Cass is surrounded by ghosts, not all of them friendly. Then she meets Lara, a girl who can also see the dead. But Lara tells Cassidy that as an In-betweener, their job is to send ghosts permanently beyond the Veil. Cass isn’t sure about her new mission, but she does know the sinister Red Raven haunting the city doesn’t belong in her world. Cassidy’s powers will draw her into an epic fight that stretches through the worlds of the living and the dead, in order to save herself.

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Pram Bellamy is special — she can talk to ghosts. She doesn’t have too many friends amongst the living, but that’s all right. She has her books, she has her aunts, and she has her best friend, the ghostly Felix.

Then Pram meets Clarence, a boy from school who has also lost a parent and is looking for answers. Together they arrive at the door of the mysterious Lady Savant, who promises to help. But this spiritualist knows the true nature of Pram’s power, and what she has planned is more terrifying than any ghost.

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A ghost story about a malevolent spirit, an unlucky girl, and a haunting mystery that will tie the two together.

Claire has absolutely no interest in the paranormal. She’s a scientist, which is why she can’t think of anything worse than having to help out her dad on one of his ghost-themed Chicago bus tours. She thinks she’s made it through when she sees a boy with a sad face and dark eyes at the back of the bus. There’s something off about his presence, especially because when she checks at the end of the tour…he’s gone.

Claire tries to brush it off, she must be imagining things, letting her dad’s ghost stories get the best of her. But then the scratching starts. Voices whisper to her in the dark. The number 396 appears everywhere she turns. And the boy with the dark eyes starts following her.

Claire is being haunted. The boy from the bus wants something…and Claire needs to find out what before it’s too late.

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In a debut novel that’s perfect for fans of Jason Reynolds and Erin Entrada Kelly, award-winning author/illustrator and educator Pat Cummings tells a poignant story about grief, love, and the untold stories that echo across time.

Trace Carter doesn’t know how to feel at ease in his new life in New York. Even though his artsy Auntie Lea is cool, her brownstone still isn’t his home. Haunted by flashbacks of the accident that killed his parents, the best he can do is try to distract himself from memories of the past.

But the past isn’t done with him. When Trace takes a wrong turn in the New York Public Library, he finds someone else lost in the stacks with him: a crying little boy, wearing old, tattered clothes.

And though at first he can’t quite believe he’s seen a ghost, Trace soon discovers that the boy he saw has ties to Trace’s own history—and that he himself may be the key to setting the dead to rest.

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Happy First Day of Fall!

September 22nd is the first day of fall! It may not feel like fall yet, but get read these picture books to get in the fall mood!

One cool day Mouse and Minka venture out to play. From leaves of all colors red, yellow, orange, and brown to leaves of all shapes and sizes — from pointy to round — Mouse learns that fall is a season full of fun! And before the day is done he just might take the biggest “leap” of all. Hooray for fall!
What do you like
about autumn?
Flying kites?
Apple picking?
Trick or treat?
Frisbee flicking?What do you not like
about autumn?Back to school?
Winds that gust?
Bare trees?
Rains that rust?This collection of poems and paintings welcomes fall with all the crisp energy of a joyful tumbling run. A companion volume to the highly praised Winter Eyes and Summersaults, Autumnblings proves once again that Douglas Florian is a poet for all seasons.
Leaves on trees
are green and bright
Abracadabra!
What a Sight!Eleven gatefolds open to re-create the excitement and surprise of fall’s arrival, revealing what happens when the leaves turn. Fall is a season of transition: apples are picked, and animals prepare for winter. Summer days are coming to an end, and there’s a hint of winter in the air. Hocus Pocus, It’s Fall! celebrates the magic of that in-between time.
Explore the sounds, sights, smells, and textures of a new season—fall—in this picture book. In the middle of fall, the sky is nearly gray, the leaves have already turned, and all it takes is one gust of wind to turn the world yellow and red and orange.

 

When Penguin and Bootsy plan a field trip in search of Fall, Penguin’s little brother, Pumpkin, wants to come. Pumpkin is heartbroken to find out he’s too little to go, and when Penguin tries to say good-bye, his brother is nowhere to be found! At the farm, all the pumpkins Penguin sees remind him of his own special Pumpkin.So Penguin and Bootsy bring a special surprise home to share a little touch of Autumn with Pumpkin. Prolific author/illustrator Salina Yoon’s spare text and bright, energetic illustrations bring to life this endearing story celebrating Autumn and family in many forms!

 

Autumn is in the air: days grow shorter and nights are long. Birds leave, flowers, too. Apples and temperatures fall—then snow!Part poem, part silent stage, this luminous picture book puts autumn on display and captures the spirit of change that stays with us long after fall leaves. Unlock the secrets of this busy and beautiful time of year as the natural world makes way for winter.
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