Tribal-State Relations Training

Home | Resources

Young adults

We recommend these resources to share with adolescents and teens who want to learn more about Native American history, culture, and ways of life.

Apple in the Middle

Dawn Quigley, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians. "Apple Starkington turned her back on her Native American heritage the moment she was called a racial slur for someone of white and Indian descent, not that she really even knew how to be an Indian in the first place. Too bad the white world doesn't accept her either. And so begins her quirky habits to gain acceptance (2018)." (Native contributor)

Birchbark House series; The Birchbark House, The Game of Silence, The Porcupine Year, Chickadee, and Makoons

Louise Erdrich, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians. "The stories of a young Ojibwe girl, Omakayas, living on an island in Lake Superior in the mid-1800s (1999-2006)." (Native contributor)

Lana's Lakota Moons

Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve, Rosebud Sioux Tribe. "This charming and poignant contemporary story about two Lakota girls and their Laotian friend illuminates for children and adults the Lakota meaning of family, friendship, life, and death (2007)." (Native contributor)

Ojibwe Bird Stories: Benesi-Dibaajimowinan

Charles Grolla, Bois Forte Band of Ojibwe. "A collection of Ojibwe bird stories unique to Northern Minnesota. Each story focuses on a particular bird, with Ojibwe names, terms, and phrases featured throughout (2019)." (Native contributor and Minnesotan)

Sugar Falls: A Residential School Story

David Alexander Robertson, Swampy Cree. "A school assignment to interview a residential school survivor leads Daniel to Betsy Ross (Cross Lake First Nation), his friend's grandmother, who tells him her story. Inspired by true events, this story of strength, family, and culture shares the awe-inspiring resilience of Elder Betsy Ross (2012)." (Native contributor)

Super Indian

Arigon Starr, Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma. In this graphic novel, "Hubert Logan was an ordinary Reservation boy until he ate tainted commodity cheese infused with Rezium, a secret government food enrichment additive. Known as Super Indian, Hubert fights evil forces who would overtake the Reservation's resources and population. Assisted by his trusty sidekicks Mega Bear and Diogi, they fight crime the way they know how -- with strength, smarts and humor (2012)." (Native contributor)

Super Indian Volume 2

Arigon Starr, Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma. This graphic novel, "contains the further adventures of Hubert Logan, a reservation boy who ate tainted commodity cheese and gained super powers. Hubert becomes Super Indian and fights evil forces that bring danger to the Leaning Oak Reservation. Super Indian and his sidekicks Mega Bear and Diogi face the ruthless Blud KwanTum, a vampire who wants to become a full-blood Indian at any cost (2015)." (Native contributor)

#NotYourPrincess: Voices from Native American Women

Lisa Charleyboy, Tsilhqot'in, and Mary Beth Leatherdale. "Whether looking back to a troubled past or welcoming a hopeful future, the powerful voices of Indigenous women across North America resound in this book. #NotYourPrincess presents an eclectic collection of poems, essays, interviews, and art that combine to express the experience of being a Native woman. Stories of abuse, humiliation, and stereotyping are countered by the voices of passionate women making themselves heard and demanding change. Sometimes angry, often reflective, but always strong, the women in this book will give teen readers insight into the lives of women who, for so long, have been virtually invisible (2017)." (Native contributor)

Bead on and Anthill: a Lakota Childhood

Delphine Red Shirt, Oglala Lakota Nation. "The story of a Lakota girl’s experiences growing up in Nebraska and on the Pine Ridge Reservation in the 1960s and 1970s. Raised in a home without books, Delphine Red Shirt relied on family and friends as her "books" and wove their stories into her own (1999)." (Native contributor)

Dreaming in Indian: Contemporary Native American Voices

Lisa Charley boy, Tsilhqot'in and Mary Beth Leatherdale. "Truly universal in its themes, Dreaming In Indian will shatter commonly held stereotypes and challenge readers to rethink their own place in the world. Divided into four sections, 'Roots,' 'Battles,' 'Medicines,' and 'Dreamcatchers,' this book offers readers a unique insight into a community often misunderstood and misrepresented by the mainstream media (2014)." (Native contributor)

Indigenous Originated: Walking in Two Worlds

All Nations students from South High School in Minneapolis. "Indigenous Originated: Walking in Two Worlds is a collection of writing by ninth and tenth grade students from the All Nations program at South High School in Minneapolis. They spent six months crafting these original poems, essays, short stories, and illustrations with guidance from Mid-Continent Oceanographic Institute. This book also included three hours of lesson plans, allowing other classrooms to craft their own stories around identity and power (2018)." (Native contributor and Minnesotan)

An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States for Young People

Roxanne Dunbar-Oritz, adapted by Debbie Reese and Jean Mendoza. "The original academic text is fully adapted by renowned curriculum experts Debbie Reese and Jean Mendoza, for middle-grade and young adult readers to include discussion topics, archival images, original maps, recommendations for further reading, and other materials to encourage students, teachers, and general readers to think critically about their own place in history (2019)."

The Seventh Generation: Native Students Speak about Finding the Good Path

Amy Bergstrom; Linda Miller Cleary; Thomas D. Peacock, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. "This book is based on interviews with 120 Native youth from across North America. Written especially for today's Native middle and high school students, the authors share students' stories of life's challenges and their struggles to find and stay on the Good Path. They focus especially on how students developed strong Native identities; coped with troubles in their families, communities, and schools; reached their breaking points or responded resiliently to high-pressure situations; learned to appreciate their own intellectual gifts and abilities; and met the academic and social challenges they encountered in school. Interspersed throughout the book are short fictional "teaching stories" meant to illustrate common dilemmas faced by Native youth and how the characters responded (2003)." (Native contributor and Minnesotan)

Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indians Football Team

Steve Sheink. "Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team is an astonishing underdog sports story―and more. It’s an unflinching look at the U.S. government’s violent persecution of Native Americans and the school that was designed to erase Indian cultures. Expertly told by three-time National Book Award finalist Steve Sheinkin, it’s the story of a group of young men who came together at that school, the overwhelming obstacles they faced both on and off the field, and their absolute refusal to accept defeat (2017)."

UNeducation Vol 1 Uncut: A Residential School Graphic Novel

Jason Eaglespeaker, Blackfoot/Duwamish. "The chilling chronicles of a Native family's government-sanctioned exploitation in the North American residential/boarding school systems. What began as a handmade scrapbook, UNeducation, Vol 1: A Residential School Graphic Novel, is now used in school curriculum, university syllabuses, treatment/corrections center resources, healing initiatives, government agencies and educational trainings worldwide. Now available to the public. Gain a full and proper education about a dark episode in North American history (2014)." Also available in a PG version. (Native contributor)

UNeducation Vol 2, Book One: The Side of Society You Don't See on TV

Jason Eaglespeaker, Blackfoot/Duwamish. "Book One (of Two). The inter-generational impacts of residential schools, as seen through the author's own dysfunction (2019)." (Native contributor)

Young Water Protectors: A Story About Standing Rock

Aslan Tudor, Lipan Apache Tribe of Texas; Kelly Tudor, Lipan Apache Tribe of Texas; and Jason Eaglespeaker, Blackfoot and Duwamish. "At the not-so-tender age of 8, Aslan arrived in North Dakota to help stop a pipeline. A few months later he returned - and saw the whole world watching. Read about his inspiring experiences in the Oceti Sakowin Camp at Standing Rock. Learn about what exactly happened there, and why. Be inspired by Aslan's story of the daily life of Standing Rock's young water protectors. Mni Wiconi . . . Water is Life (2018)." (Native contributor)