West Bloomfield Township Public Library
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Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month. Explore this proud culture by reading titles featuring Native American themes.

Native American son : the life and sporting legend of Jim Thorpe by Buford, Kate

The first comprehensive biography of the legendary figure who defined excellence in American sports: Jim Thorpe, arguably the greatest all-around athlete the United States has ever seen

The girl in the photograph : the true story of a Native American child, lost and found in America by Dorgan, Byron L

"Through the story of Tamara, an abused Native American girl, North Dakota Senator Byron Dorgan tells the story of the many children living on Indian reservations. On a winter morning in 1990, Senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota picked up the Bismarck Tribune. On the front page, a small girl gazed into the distance, shedding a tear. The headline: "Foster home children beaten--and nobody's helping". Dorgan, who had been working with American Indian tribes to secure resources, was distressed. He flew to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation to meet with five-year-old Tamara and her grandfather. They became friends. Then she disappeared. And he would search for her for decades until they finally found each other again. This book is her story, from childhood to the present, but it's also the story of a people and a nation. More than one in three American Indian/Alaskan Native children live in poverty. AI/AN children are disproportionately in foster care and awaiting adoption. Suicide among AI/AN youth ages 15 to 24 is 2.5 times the national rate. How have we allowed this to happen? As distressing a situation as it is, this is also a story of hope and resilience. Dorgan, who founded the Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute, has worked tirelessly to bring Native youth voices to the forefront of policy discussions, engage Native youth in leadership and advocacy, and secure and share resources for Native youth. Readers will fall in love with this heartbreaking story, but end the book knowing what can be done and what they can do"--

Talking leaves : contemporary Native American short stories

The ancient traditions and contemporary experiences of Native Americans are reflected in a collection of stories which includes contributions by established authors as well as new writers

Spirit run : a 6,000-mile marathon through North America's stolen land by Álvarez, Noé

Growing up in Yakima, Washington, Noé Álvarez worked 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. At nineteen, he learned about a Native American/First Nations movement called the Peace and Dignity Journeys, epic marathons meant to renew cultural connections across North America. He dropped out of school and joined a group of Dené, Secwépemc, Gitxsan, Dakelh, Apache, Tohono O'odham, Seri, Purépecha, and Maya runners, all fleeing difficult beginnings. Telling their stories alongside his own, Álvarez writes about a four-month-long journey from Canada to Guatemala that pushed him to his limits. He writes not only of overcoming hunger, thirst, and fear--dangers included stone-throwing motorists and a mountain lion--but also of asserting Indigenous and working-class humanity in a capitalist society where oil extraction, deforestation, and substance abuse wreck communities. Running through mountains, deserts, and cities, and through the Mexican territory his parents left behind, Álvarez forges a new relationship with the land, and with the act of running, carrying with him the knowledge of his parents' migration, and--against all odds in a society that exploits his body and rejects his spirit--the dream of a liberated future

Winter counts : a novel by Weiden, David Heska Wanbli

"An addictive and groundbreaking debut thriller set on a Native American reservation"--

Where the dead sit talking by Hobson, Brandon

"A spare, lyrical Native American coming of age story set in rural Oklahoma in the late 1980s. 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 scarredby his unstable upbringing, Sequoyah has spent years mostly keeping to himself, living with his emotions pressed deep below the surface--that is, until he meets the seventeen-year-old Rosemary, another youth staying with the Troutts. Sequoyah and Rosemary bond over their shared Native American backgrounds 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"--

Abandon me : memoirs by Febos, Melissa

"In her critically acclaimed memoir, Whip Smart, Melissa Febos laid bare the intimate world of the professional dominatrix, turning an honest examination of her life into a lyrical study of power, desire, and fulfillment. In her dazzling Abandon Me, Febos captures the intense bonds of love and the need for connection -- with family, lovers, and oneself. First, her birth father, who left her with only an inheritance of addiction and Native American blood, its meaning a mystery. As Febos tentatively reconnects, she sees how both these lineages manifest in her own life, marked by compulsion and an instinct for self-erasure. Meanwhile, she remains closely tied to the sea captain who raised her, his parenting ardent but intermittent as his work took him awayfor months at a time. Woven throughout is the hypnotic story of an all-consuming, long-distance love affair with a woman, marked equally by worship and withdrawal. In visceral, erotic prose, Febos captures their mutual abandonment to passion and obsession-- and the terror and exhilaration of losing herself in another. At once a fearlessly vulnerable memoir and an incisive investigation of art, love, and identity, Abandon Me draws on childhood stories, religion, psychology, mythology, popular culture, and the intimacies of one writer's life to reveal intellectual and emotional truths that feel startlingly universal. "--

Quiet until the thaw : a novel by Fuller, Alexandra

"From bestselling memoirist Alexandra Fuller, a debut novel. Lakota Oglala Sioux Nation, South Dakota. Two Native American cousins, Rick Overlooking Horse and You Choose Watson, though bound by blood and by land, find themselves at odds as they grapple with the implications of their shared heritage. When escalating anger towards the injustices, historical and current, inflicted upon the Lakota people by the federal government leads to tribal divisions and infighting, the cousins go in separate directions: Rick chooses the path of peace; You Choose, violence. Years pass, and as You Choose serves time in prison, Rick finds himself raising twin baby boys, orphaned at birth, in his meadow. As the twins mature from infants to young men, Rick immerses the boys within their ancestry, telling wonderful and terrible tales of how the whole world came to be, and affirming their place in the universe as the result of all who have come before and will come behind. But when You Choose returns to the reservation afterthree decades behind bars, his anger manifests, forever disrupting the lives of Rick and the boys. A complex tale that spans generations and geography, Quiet Until the Thaw conjures with the implications of an oppressed history, how we are bound not just to immediate family but to all who have come before and will come after us, and, most of all, to the notion that everything was always, and is always, connected. As Fuller writes, "The belief that we can be done with our past is a myth. The past is nudging at us constantly.""--

In the clearing by Dugoni, Robert

Detective Tracy Crosswhite has a skill, and a soft spot, for tackling unsolved crimes. Having lost her own sister to murder at a young age, Tracy has dedicated her career to bringing justice and closure to the families and friends of victims of crime. So when Jenny, a former police academy classmate and protégé, asks Tracy to help solve a cold case that involves the suspicious suicide of a Native American high school girl forty years earlier, Tracy agrees. Following up on evidence Jenny's detective father collected when he was the investigating deputy, Tracy probes one small town's memory and finds dark, well-concealed secrets hidden within the community's fabric. Can Tracy uphold the promise she's made to the dead girl's family and deliver the truth of what happened to their daughter? Or will she become the next victim?

Driven West : Andrew Jackson's trail of tears to the Civil War by Langguth, A

A narrative history of four turbulent decades of growth in America traces the contributions of Presidents Monroe, Jackson, Van Buren and Polk while covering such topics as the debates over Native American rights, Manifest Destiny expansion, and the events that led up to the Civil War

The killing of Crazy Horse by Powers, Thomas

Investigates the enigmatic Native American figure, assessing critical battles attributed to his leadership within the context of the Great Sioux Wars, exploring the relationships between the Lakota Sioux and other tribes, and analyzing the subjugation ofNorth Plains Native Americans

Future home of the living god : a novel by Erdrich, Louise

The world as people know it is ending. Evolution has reversed itself, affecting every living creature on earth. Science cannot stop the world from running backwards, as woman after woman gives birth to infants that appear to be primitive species of humans. Thirty-two-year-old Cedar Hawk Songmaker, adopted daughter of a pair of big-hearted, open-minded Minneapolis liberals, is as disturbed and uncertain as the rest of America around her. But for Cedar, this change is profound and deeply personal. She is four months pregnant.Though she wants to tell the adoptive parents who raised her from infancy, Cedar first feels compelled to find her birth mother, Mary Potts, an Ojibwe living on the reservation, to understand both her and her baby's origins. As Cedar goes back to her own biological beginnings, society around her begins to disintegrate, fueled by a swelling panic about the end of humanity

Killing Crazy Horse: the merciless Indian wars in America by O'Reilly, Bill

Documents the fraught history of America's founding on previously occupied lands, covering events ranging from the presidential ordered destruction of Tecumseh's alliance of tribes to the Trail of Tears.

The tale teller by Hillerman, Anne

Legendary Navajo policeman Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn takes center stage in this riveting atmospheric mystery from New York Times bestselling author Anne Hillerman that combines crime, superstition, and tradition and brings the desert Southwest vividly alive. Joe Leaphorn may have retired from the Tribal Police, but he finds himself knee-deep in a perplexing case involving a priceless artifact--a reminder of a dark time in Navajo history. Joe's been hired to find a missing biil, a traditional dress that had been donated to the Navajo Nation. His investigation takes a sinister turn when the leading suspect dies under mysterious circumstances and Leaphorn himself receives anonymous warnings to beware--witchcraft is afoot. While the veteran detective is busy working to untangle his strange case, his former colleague Jim Chee and Officer Bernie Manuelito are collecting evidence they hope will lead to a cunning criminal behind a rash of burglaries. Their case takes a complicated turn when Bernie finds a body near a popular running trail. The situation grows more complicated when the death is ruled a homicide, and the Tribal cops are thrust into a turf battle because the murder involves the FBI. As Leaphorn, Chee, and Bernie draw closer to solving these crimes, their parallel investigations begin to merge . . . and offer an unexpected opportunity that opens a new chapter in Bernie's life

Native American son : the life and sporting legend of Jim Thorpe by Buford, Kate

The first comprehensive biography of the legendary figure who defined excellence in American sports: Jim Thorpe, arguably the greatest all-around athlete the United States has ever seen

The absolutely true diary of a part-time Indian by Alexie, Sherman

Budding cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white farm town school where the only other Indian is the school mascot

The plague of doves by Erdrich, Louise

The unsolved murder of a farm family haunts the small, white, off-reservation town of Pluto, North Dakota. The vengeance exacted for this crime and the subsequent distortions of truth transform the lives of Ojibwe living on the nearby reservation and shape the passions of both communities for the next generation

Skeleton man by Hillerman, Tony

Former Navajo Tribal Police Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn comes out of retirement to investigate a simple robbery. But soon the trail leads back 50 years, to a plane crash in the Grand Canyon that killed a man protecting a fortune in diamonds

The round house : a novel by Erdrich, Louise

When his mother, a tribal enrollment specialist living on a reservation in North Dakota, slips into an abyss of depression after being brutally attacked, 14-year-old Joe Coutz sets out with his three friends to find the person that destroyed his family

Bury my heart at Wounded Knee : an Indian history of the American West by Brown, Dee

Documents and personal narratives record the experiences of Native Americans during the nineteenth century

You don't have to say you love me : a memoir by Alexie, Sherman

A searing, deeply moving memoir about family, love, and loss from the critically acclaimed, bestselling National Book Award winner. When his mother passed away at the age of 78, Sherman Alexie responded the only way he knew how: he wrote. The result is this stunning memoir. Featuring 78 poems, 78 essays and intimate family photographs, Alexie shares raw, angry, funny, profane, tender memories of a childhood few can imagine--growing up dirt-poor on an Indian reservation, one of four children raised by alcoholic parents

There there : a novel by Orange, Tommy

A multi-generational, relentlessly paced story about violence and recovery, hope and loss, identity and power, dislocation and communion, and the beauty and despair woven into the history of a nation and its people.

The night watchman : a novel by Erdrich, Louise

Thomas Wazhushk is the night watchman at the jewel bearing plant, the first factory located near the Turtle Mountain Reservation in rural North Dakota. He is also a Chippewa Council member who is trying to understand the consequences of a new 'emancipation' bill on its way to the floor of the United States Congress. It is 1953 and he and the other council members know the bill isn't about freedom; Congress is fed up with Indians. The bill is a 'termination' that threatens the rights of Native Americans to their land and their very identity. How can the government abandon treaties made in good faith with Native Americans 'for as long as the grasses shall grow, and the rivers run'?
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