Indigenous Voices: YA Books to Celebrate National Indigenous History Month

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Dreaming in color

Dreaming in color

Florence, Melanie, author
2020

"In this high-interest novel for teen readers, a young teen is thrilled when she gets into art school but shocked to learn that some students feel she doesn't belong there"-- Provided by publisher.

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Elatsoe

Elatsoe

Little Badger, Darcie, author
2020

Imagine an America very similar to our own. It's got homework, best friends, and pistachio ice cream. There are some differences. This America has been shaped dramatically by the magic, monsters, knowledge, and legends of its peoples, those Indigenous and those not. Some of these forces are charmingly everyday, like the ability to make an orb of light appear or travel across the world through rings of fungi. But other forces are less charming and should never see the light of day. Seventeen-year-old Elatsoe ("Ellie" for short) lives in this slightly stranger America. She can raise the ghosts of dead animals, a skill passed down through generations of her Lipan Apache family. Her beloved cousin has just been murdered, in a town that wants no prying eyes. But she is going to do more than pry. The picture-perfect facade of Willowbee masks gruesome secrets, and she will rely on her wits, skills, and friends to tear off the mask and protect her family.

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Firekeeper's daughter

Firekeeper's daughter

Boulley, Angeline, author
2021

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.

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A girl called Echo. Vol. 3., Northwest Resistance

A girl called Echo. Vol. 3., Northwest Resistance

Vermette, Katherena, 1977- author
2020

Echo travels to 1885, a period of turmoil. The bison are gone, settlers from the East are arriving daily, and the Métis and First Nations of the Northwest face hunger and uncertainty as their traditional way of life is threatened. The Canadian government has ignored their petitions, but hope rises when Louis Riel returns to help. However, battles between Canadian forces and the Métis and their allies lead to defeat at Batoche. Through it all, Echo gains new perspectives about where she came from and what the future may hold.

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I will see you again

I will see you again

Boivin, Lisa, 1970- author, illustrator.
2020

When the author learns of the death of her brother overseas, she embarks on a journey to bring him home. Through memories and dreams of all they shared together and through her Dene traditions, she finds comfort and strength. The lyrical art and story leave readers with a universal message of hope and love.

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Just Lucky

Just Lucky

Florence, Melanie, author
2019

Fifteen-year-old Lucky loves her grandparents, but when her grandma sets the kitchen on fire, Lucky can't hide what's happening any longer, and she is sent into foster care. She quickly learns that some families are okay, and some aren't. And some really, really aren't. None of them feel like home. And they're certainly not family.

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The marrow thieves

The marrow thieves

Dimaline, Cherie, 1975- author
2018

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.

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The reckoner rises. Volume 1, Breakdown

The reckoner rises. Volume 1, Breakdown

Robertson, David, 1977- author
2020

After the events in Wounded Sky, Cole and Eva arrive in Winnipeg, the headquarters of Mihko Laboratories. They are intent on destroying the company once and for all, but their plans are thwarted when a new threat surfaces. When Cole becomes mired in terrifying visions, Eva must harness her newly discovered powers to investigate Mihko without him. Are Cole's visions just troubled dreams or are they leading him to a horrible truth?

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Surviving the city. Volume 2, From the roots up

Surviving the city. Volume 2, From the roots up

Spillett-Sumner,Tasha, 1988- author
2020

Dez and Miikwan's stories continue in this sequel to Surviving the City. Dez's grandmother has passed away. Grieving, and with nowhere else to go, she's living in a group home. On top of everything else, Dez is navigating a new relationship and coming into her identity as a Two-Spirit person. Miikwan is crushing on the school's new kid Riel, but doesn't really understand what Dez is going through. Will she learn how to be a supportive ally to her best friend? Elder Linda is doing her best to be supportive, but she doesn't know how to respond when the gendered protocols she's grown up with are thrown into question. Will Dez be comfortable expressing her full identity? And will her community relearn the teachings and overcome prejudice to celebrate her for who she is?

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This place : 150 years retold

This place : 150 years retold

2019

Explore the past 150 years through the eyes of Indigenous creators in this groundbreaking graphic novel anthology. Beautifully illustrated, these stories are an emotional and enlightening journey through Indigenous wonderworks, psychic battles, and time travel. See how Indigenous peoples have survived a post-apocalyptic world since Contact.

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