Native American Heritage Month

A Minuteman Reads Book List

November is Native American Heritage Month

This list highlights books that are available at the Minuteman High School Library Media Center or on Sora. Find these books, and more, in the Library Media Center or on Sora,.

Everything You Wanted to Know about Indians but Were Afraid to Ask by Anton Treuer (also on Sora)


From the acclaimed Ojibwe author and professor Anton Treuer comes an essential book of questions and answers for Native and non-Native young readers alike. Ranging from "Why is there such a fuss about nonnative people wearing Indian costumes for Halloween?" to "Why is it called a 'traditional Indian fry bread taco'?" to "What's it like for natives who don't look native?" to "Why are Indians so often imagined rather than understood?", and beyond, Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask (Young Readers Edition) does exactly what its title says for young readers, in a style consistently thoughtful, personal, and engaging.

Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger (Sora)


Elatsoe—Ellie for short—lives in an alternate contemporary America shaped by the ancestral magics and knowledge of its Indigenous and immigrant groups. She can raise the spirits of dead animals—most importantly, her ghost dog Kirby. When her beloved cousin dies, all signs point to a car crash, but his ghost tells her otherwise: He was murdered.

Who killed him and how did he die? With the help of her family, her best friend Jay, and the memory great, great, great, great, great, great grandmother, Elatsoe, must track down the killer and unravel the mystery of this creepy town and its dark past. But will the nefarious townsfolk and a mysterious Doctor stop her before she gets started?

Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley (also on Sora)


Daunis, who is part Ojibwe, defers attending the University of Michigan to care for her mother and reluctantly becomes involved in the investigation of a series of drug-related deaths.


With four starred reviews, Angeline Boulley's debut novel, Firekeeper's Daughter, is a groundbreaking YA thriller about a Native teen who must root out the corruption in her community.

Redbone: The True Story of a Native American Rock Band by Christian Staebler & Sonia Paoloni, illustrated by Thibault Balahy


You've heard the hit song "Come and Get Your Love" in the movie Guardians of the Galaxy, but the story of the band behind it is one of cultural, political, and social importance. Experience the riveting, powerful story of the Native American civil rights movement and the resulting struggle for identity told through the high-flying career of West Coast rock 'n' roll pioneers Redbone.

The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline (also on Sora)


Just when you think you have nothing left to lose, they come for your dreams.


Humanity has nearly destroyed its world through global warming, but now an even greater evil lurks. The Indigenous people of North America are being hunted and harvested for their bone marrow, which carries the key to recovering something the rest of the population has lost: the ability to dream. In this dark world, Frenchie and his companions struggle to survive as they make their way up north to the old lands. For now, survival means staying hidden - but what they don't know is that one of them holds the secret to defeating the marrow thieves.

An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States for Young People by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (also on Sora)


Spanning more than 400 years, this classic bottom-up history examines the legacy of Indigenous peoples' resistance, resilience, and steadfast fight against imperialism.


Going beyond the story of America as a country “discovered” by a few brave men in the “New World,” Indigenous human rights advocate Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz reveals the roles that settler colonialism and policies of American Indian genocide played in forming national identity.

Apple (Skin to the Core) by Eric Gansworth (also on Sora)


The term "Apple" is a slur in Native communities across the country. It's for someone supposedly "red on the outside, white on the inside."

In APPLE (SKIN TO THE CORE), Eric Gansworth tells his story, the story of his family—of Onondaga among Tuscaroras—of Native folks everywhere. From the legacy of the government boarding schools, to a boy watching his siblings leave and return and leave again, to a young man fighting to be an artist who balances multiple worlds.

Eric shatters that slur and reclaims it in verse and prose and imagery.

Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two by Joseph Bruchac (also on Sora)


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.

Hearts Unbroken by Cynthia Leitich Smith (also on Sora)


When Louise Wolfe's boyfriend mocks and disrespects Native people in front of her, she breaks things off and dumps him over e-mail. She'd rather spend her senior year with her family and friends and working on the school newspaper. The editors pair her up with Joey Kairouz, an ambitious new photojournalist, and in no time the paper's staff find themselves with a major story to cover: the school musical director's inclusive approach to casting The Wizard of Oz has been provoking backlash in their mostly white, middle-class Kansas town. As tensions mount at school, so does a romance between Lou and Joey. But 'dating while Native' can be difficult. In trying to protect her own heart, will Lou break Joey's?

Found by Joseph Bruchac (also on Sora)


A teenage survival expert finds all his skills tested as he’s pursued through the Canadian wilderness by men determined to silence him. On his way to teach at Camp Seven Generations, a Native outdoor school, Nick witnesses a murder and then is thrown off a train. Remembering and using the teachings of his Abenaki Elders will prove to be the difference between life and death for him. Although his pursuers have modern technology to help them, Nick has something even more useful. In addition to the skills he’s learned, he has an ally in the natural world around him. Found, like the famous story “The Most Dangerous Game,” is a tale that focuses on being hunted until a way can be found to become the hunter.

Living Nations, Living Words: An Anthology of First Peoples Poetry edited by Joy Harjo


Joy Harjo, the first Native poet to serve as U.S. Poet Laureate, has championed the voices of Native peoples past and present. Her signature laureate project gathers the work of contemporary Native poets into a national, fully digital map of story, sound, and space, celebrating their vital and unequivocal contributions to American poetry.

There, There by Tommy Orange (also on Sora)


A wondrous and shattering novel that follows twelve characters from Native communities: all traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow, all connected to one another in ways they may not yet realize.

Among them is Jacquie Red Feather, newly sober and trying to make it back to the family she left behind. Dene Oxendene, pulling his life together after his uncle’s death and working at the powwow to honor his memory. Fourteen-year-old Orvil, coming to perform traditional dance for the very first time. Together, this chorus of voices tells of the plight of the urban Native American—grappling with a complex and painful history, with an inheritance of beauty and spirituality, with communion and sacrifice and heroism.

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