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Educator Resources - Collections of Native American Stories and Poetry
from the Wabanaki and Beyond

Abbe : Education : Educator Resources : Books : Collections of Native American Stories & Poetry

The Arrow Over the Door

Joseph Bruchac, 2002

For grades 4-6. This is a good to use in place of Sign of the Beaver because the Native character is treated with respect and his perspcetive is given equal value. Based on a real event, this story takes place during the summer of 1777 and is told in alternating voices by two young men. Samuel Russell, a Quaker, wrestles with his faith's pacifism. Stands Straight is an Abenaki whose family was killed by colonists. As British troops move toward Saratoga, Samuel joins his uncle in a scouting party as the Abenaki try to decide which side to support. When the scouts reach the meeting house where the Quakers are worshipping, the two boys meet and each one grows as a result of the encounter. With a surprising amount of drama and even suspense, this tale of pacifism triumphant makes a good choice for historical fiction collections.



The Winter People

Joseph Bruchac, 2002

It is the year 1759, and war is raging between the British and the French, with the Abenaki people by their side. Saxso, an Abenaki, is fourteen when the British soldiers attack his Canadian village. Many people are killed and some are taken hostage, including Saxso's own mother and two younger sisters. It's up to Saxso, on his own, to track the raiders and bring his family back home. Riveting and poignant, this novel sheds new light on history, offering the fascinating untold story of the Abenaki perspective on the French and Indian War.



The Birchbark House

Louise Erdrich, 1999

From Editorial Reviews:

Use this book to teach about the impact of disease and epidemics on Native peoples.


Nineteenth-century American pioneer history is seen through the eyes of the spirited, 7-year-old Ojibwa girl Omakayas, or Little Frog, so named because her first step was a hop. The sole survivor of a smallpox epidemic on Spirit Island, Omakayas, then only a baby girl, was rescued by a fearless woman named Tallow and welcomed into an Ojibwa family on Lake Superior's Madeline Island, the Island of the Golden-Breasted Woodpecker. We follow Omakayas and her adopted family through a cycle of four seasons in 1847, including the winter, when a historically documented outbreak of smallpox overtook the island.


Readers will be riveted by the daily life of this Native American family, in which tanning moose hides, picking berries, and scaring crows from the cornfield are as commonplace as encounters with bear cubs and fireside ghost stories. Omakayas is an intense, strong, likable character to whom young readers will fully relate--from her mixed emotions about her siblings, to her discovery of her unique talents, to her devotion to her pet crow Andeg, to her budding understanding of death, life, and her role in the natural world.



Night Is Gone, Day Is Still Coming:

Stories and Poems by American Indian Teens and Young Adults Betsy Franco, 2003

An amazing collection of poems and prose by 57 American Indians between the ages of 11 and 22.



Rising Voices: Writings of Young Native Americans

Arlene Hirshcfelder and Beverly R. Singer, 1992

A collection of writings and poetry from young Native Americans across the country.



The Wind Eagle and Other Abenaki Stories

As told by Joseph Bruchac, 1985

These six stories feature Gluscabi, the trickster-hero of Northeastern Native American legends. The stories include "tales of animal tricksters and human heroes, ordinary people and wonderful events."



The Faithful Hunter: Abenaki Stories

As told by Joseph Bruchac, 1988

This collection includes twelve stories, seven of which are Gluscabi tales. The book includes a map of Wabanaki country as well as Bruchac's thoughts on "telling stories."



Native American Games and Stories

James Bruchac and Joseph Bruchac, 2000

This is a child-friendly resource to teach about traditional Native American games of skill, chance, awareness, ball games and teams sports. It includes Native American games across the U.S.


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