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  • Animal Dreams

    By: Barbara Kingsolver
    Recommended for grade(s): 10, 11, 12, College Plus

    At the end of her rope, Codi Noline returns to her Arizona home to face her ailing father, with whom she has a difficult, distant relationship. There she meets handsome Apache trainman Loyd Peregrina, who tells her, “If you want sweet dreams, you’ve got to live a sweet life.” Filled with lyrical writing, Native American legends, a tender love story, and Codi’s quest for identity, Animal Dreams is literary fiction at it’s very best. –From the website at HarperCollins

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  • Cut Off

    By: Adrianne Finlay
    Recommended for grade(s): 8, 9, 10

    Each contestant has their own reasons—and their own secrets—for joining the new virtual reality show CUT/OFF that places a group of teenagers alone in the wilderness. It’s a simple premise: whoever lasts the longest without “tapping out” wins a cash prize. Not only that, new software creates a totally unprecedented television experience, allowing viewers to touch, see, and live everything along with the contestants. But what happens when “tapping out” doesn’t work and no one comes to save you? What happens when the whole world seemingly disappears while you’re stranded in the wild? Four teenagers must confront their greatest fears, their deepest secrets, and one another when they discover they are truly cut off from reality. Sci-fi, mystery, and romance converge in this high-stakes, fast-paced read that will leave you guessing to the very last moment.  –From Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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  • Far as the Eye Can See

    By: Robert Bausch
    Recommended for grade(s): 11, 12

    Bobby Hale is a Union veteran several times over. After the war, he sets his sights on California, but only makes it to Montana. As he stumbles around the West, from the Wyoming Territory to the Black Hills of the Dakotas, he finds meaning in the people he meets—settlers and native people—and the violent history he both participates in and witnesses. Far as the Eye Can See is the story of life in a place where every minute is an engagement in a kind of war of survival, and how two people—a white man and a mixed-race woman—in the midst of such majesty and violence can manage to find a pathway to their own humanity. Robert Bausch is the distinguished author of a body of work that is lively and varied, but linked by a thoughtfully complicated masculinity and an uncommon empathy. The unique voice of Bobby Hale manages to evoke both Cormac McCarthy and Mark Twain, guiding readers into Indian country and the Plains Wars in a manner both historically true and contemporarily relevant, as thoughts of race and war occupy the national psyche. —Bloomsbury

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  • Fire Song

    By: Adam Garnet Jones
    Recommended for grade(s): 9, 10

    How can Shane reconcile his feelings for David with his desire for a better life? Shane is still reeling from the suicide of his kid sister, Destiny. How could he have missed the fact that she was so sad? He tries to share his grief with his girlfriend, Tara, but she’s too concerned with her own needs to offer him much comfort. What he really wants is to be able to turn to the one person on the rez whom he loves–his friend, David. Things go from bad to worse as Shane’s dream of going to university is shattered and his grieving mother withdraws from the world. Worst of all, he and David have to hide their relationship from everyone. Shane feels that his only chance of a better life is moving to Toronto, but David refuses to join him. When yet another tragedy strikes, the two boys have to make difficult choices about their future together.With deep insight into the life of Indigenous people on the reserve, this book masterfully portrays how a community looks to the past for guidance and comfort while fearing a future of poverty and shame. Shane’s rocky road to finding himself takes many twists and turns, but ultimately ends with him on a path that doesn’t always offer easy answers, but one that leaves the reader optimistic about his fate. –from Annick Press.

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  • Give Me Some Truth

    By: Eric Gansworth
    Recommended for grade(s): 9

    Carson Mastick is entering his senior year of high school and desperate to make his mark, on the reservation and off. A rock band — and winning the local Battle of the Bands, with its first prize of a trip to New York City — is his best shot. But things keep getting in the way. Small matters like the lack of an actual band, or the fact that his brother just got shot confronting the racist owner of a local restaurant. Maggi Bokoni has just moved back to the reservation from the city with her family. She’s dying to stop making the same traditional artwork her family sells to tourists (conceptual stuff is cooler), stop feeling out of place in her new (old) home, and stop being treated like a child. She might like to fall in love for the first time too. Carson and Maggi — along with their friend Lewis — will navigate loud protests, even louder music, and first love in this stirring novel about coming together in a world defined by difference. — From Scholastic Inc.

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  • Recommended for grade(s): 7, 8, 9

    Shares stories about growing up in diverse homes or communities, from an Asian youth who gains temporary popularity by making up a false background, to a biracial girl whose father clears subway seats by calmly sitting between two prejudiced women.  –From Candlewick Press

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  • Reservation Blues

    By: Sherman Alexie
    Recommended for grade(s): 10, 11, 12, College Plus

    One day legendary bluesman Robert Johnson appears on the Spokane Indian reservation, in flight from the devil and presumed long dead. When he passes his enchanted instrument to Thomas-Builds-the-Fire—storyteller, misfit, and musician—a magical odyssey begins that will take them from reservation bars to small-town taverns, from the cement trails of Seattle to the concrete canyons of Manhattan. This is a fresh, luxuriantly comic tale of power, tragedy, and redemption among contemporary Native Americans. —Grove/Atlantic

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  • Recommended for grade(s): 8, 9

    Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author’s own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character’s art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live. Winner of the National Book Award.  Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist. —from the website at Hachette

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  • The Beet Queen

    By: Louise Erdrich
    Recommended for grade(s): College Plus

    On a spring morning in 1932, young Karl and Mary Adare arrive by boxcar in Argus, North Dakota. After being orphaned in a most peculiar way, they seek refuge in the butcher shop of their aunt Fritzie and her husband, Pete; ordinary Mary, who will cause a miracle, and seductive Karl, who lacks his sister’s gift for survival, embark upon an exhilarating life-journey crowded with colorful, unforgettable characters and marked by the extraordinary magic of natural events. The bestselling, award-winning author of The Painted Drum, Louise Erdrich dazzles in this vibrant and heartfelt tale of abandonment and sexual obsession, jealousy and unstinting love that explores with empathy, humor, and power the eternal mystery of the human condition. —from the HarperCollins website

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  • The Bone People

    By: Keri Hulme
    Recommended for grade(s): 10, 11, 12

    At once a mystery, a love story, and an ambitious exploration of the zone where Maori and European New Zealand meet, Booker Prize-winning novel The Bone People is a powerful and unsettling tale saturated with violence and Maori spirituality. —from the website at Penguin Random House

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  • Recommended for grade(s): 6, 7

    Zane Obispo’s new life on a beautiful secluded tropical island, complete with his family and closest friends, should be perfect. But he can’t control his newfound fire skills yet (inherited from his father, the Maya god Hurakan); there’s a painful rift between him and his dog ever since she became a hell hound; and he doesn’t know what to do with his feelings for Brooks. One day he discovers that by writing the book about his misadventures with the Maya gods, he unintentionally put other godborn children at risk. Unless Zane can find the godborns before the gods do, they will be killed. To make matters worse, Zane learns that Hurakan is scheduled to be executed. Zane knows he must rescue him, no matter the cost. Can he accomplish both tasks without the gods detecting him, or will he end up a permanent resident of the underworld?   –From Rick Riordan Presents

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  • Recommended for grade(s): 6, 7

    Rebecca Galloway is a busy pioneer girl in the Ohio Territory. Over the years, her friendship with Tecumseh, the respected Shawnee chief, grows into love. Rebecca must choose a future on her family homestead, or with the man she loves. —from the Scholastic website

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  • Recommended for grade(s): 10, 11, 12, College Plus

    In these stories, we meet the kind of American Indians we rarely see in literature—the kind who pay their bills, hold down jobs, fall in and out of love. A Spokane Indian journalist transplanted from the reservation to the city picks up a hitchhiker, a Lummi boxer looking to take on the toughest Indian in the world. A Spokane son waits for his diabetic father to come home from the hospital, tossing out the Hershey Kisses the father has hidden all over the house. An estranged interracial couple, separated in the midst of a traffic accident, rediscover their love for each other. A white drifter holds up an International House of Pancakes, demanding a dollar per customer and someone to love, and emerges with $42 and an overweight Indian he dubs Salmon Boy. Sherman Alexie’s voice is one of remarkable passion, and these stories are love stories—between parents and children, white people and Indians, movie stars and ordinary people. Witty, tender, and fierce, The Toughest Indian in the World is a virtuoso performance by one of the country’s finest writers. —Grove/Atlantic

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  • Thirteen Moons

    By: Charles Frazier
    Recommended for grade(s): College Plus

    At the age of twelve, an orphan named Will Cooper is given a horse, a key, and a map and is sent on a journey through the uncharted wilderness of the Cherokee Nation. Will is a bound boy, obliged to run a remote Indian trading post. As he fulfills his lonesome duty, Will finds a father in Bear, a Cherokee chief, and is adopted by him and his people, developing relationships that ultimately forge Will’s character. All the while, his love of Claire, the enigmatic and captivating charge of volatile and powerful Featherstone, will forever rule Will’s heart. In a voice filled with both humor and yearning, Will tells of a lifelong search for home, the hunger for fortune and adventure, the rebuilding of a trampled culture, and above all an enduring pursuit of passion. —from the website at Penguin Random House

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  • Where the Dead Sit Talking

    By: Brandon Hobson
    Recommended for grade(s): 12, College Plus

    Set in rural Oklahoma during the late 1980s, Where the Dead Sit Talking is a startling, authentically voiced and lyrically written Native American coming-of-age story. With his single mother in jail, Sequoyah, a fifteen-year-old Cherokee boy, is placed in foster care with the Troutt family. Literally and figuratively scarred by his mother’s years of substance abuse, Sequoyah keeps mostly to himself, living with his emotions pressed deep below the surface. At least until he meets seventeen-year-old Rosemary, another youth staying with the Troutts. Sequoyah and Rosemary bond over their shared Native American background and tumultuous paths through the foster care system, but as Sequoyah’s feelings toward Rosemary deepen, the precariousness of their lives and the scars of their pasts threaten to undo them both.  –From Soho Press

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