Books with Native American Characters

From picture books to historical fiction to contemporary coming-of-age novels, this list offers a variety of options for books about and in most cases by Native Americans. Check out our selection of books for kids, tweens, and teens celebrating the many experiences of Indigenous characters. Some are classics, often assigned in school as powerful and provocative teaching tools. Others are recent looks at the modern experience of Indigenous kids and teens. But all of them are captivating and compelling stories. For more great reads, check out our Historical Fiction and Books About Families lists.

Fry Bread Poster Image
BOOK

Fry Bread

age 3+

Lyrical tale shows role of special food in family, culture.

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We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga Poster Image
BOOK

We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga

age 3+

Warm celebration of Cherokee families' year-round gratitude.

By: Traci Sorell (2018)
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We Are Water Protectors Poster Image
BOOK

We Are Water Protectors

age 3+

Powerful words, vibrant images inspire care for the earth.

By: Carole Lindstrom (2020)
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I Sang You Down from the Stars Poster Image
BOOK

I Sang You Down from the Stars

age 4+

Beautiful tale of Indigenous mother preparing for new baby.

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Powwow Day Poster Image
BOOK

Powwow Day

age 4+

Warm, supportive story of a powwow is full of information.

By: Traci Sorell (2022)
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Thunder Boy Jr. Poster Image
BOOK

Thunder Boy Jr.

age 4+

Native American boy wants his own name in big-hearted story.

By: Sherman Alexie (2016)
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Hiawatha and the Peacemaker Poster Image
BOOK

Hiawatha and the Peacemaker

age 6+

Gorgeous picture book brings timely peace message.

By: Robbie Robertson (2015)
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We Are Still Here!: Native American Truths Everyone Should Know Poster Image
BOOK

We Are Still Here!: Native American Truths Everyone Should Know

age 7+

Powerful book about survival, strength of Native Nations.

By: Traci Sorell (2021)
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I Can Make This Promise Poster Image
BOOK

I Can Make This Promise

age 8+

Native American girl learns family secrets in touching tale.

By: Christine Day (2019)
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The Game of Silence Poster Image
BOOK

The Game of Silence

age 9+

White settlers force Indian family to leave land.

By: Louise Erdrich (2005)
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Indian No More Poster Image
BOOK

Indian No More

age 9+

Moving story of Umpqua family relocated to L.A. in '50s.

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book cover The Barren Grounds, with children and animal beings in winter landscape
BOOK

The Barren Grounds: The Misewa Saga, Book 1

age 10+

Exciting, emotional quest of foster kids in fantasy world.

By: David A. Robertson (2020)
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Ghost Hawk Poster Image
BOOK

Ghost Hawk

age 10+

Gorgeous tale of Native American and colonist friendship.

By: Susan Cooper (2013)
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Race to the Sun Poster Image
BOOK

Race to the Sun

age 10+

Fun girl hero drives fast-paced, modern take on Navajo myth.

By: Rebecca Roanhorse (2020)
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If I Ever Get Out of Here Poster Image
BOOK

If I Ever Get Out of Here

age 12+

Relatable tale of music-loving Native Tuscarora boy in '70s.

By: Eric Gansworth (2013)
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My Name Is Not Easy Poster Image
BOOK

My Name Is Not Easy

age 12+

Fascinating story of Alaskan kids growing up in the 1960s.

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A Snake Falls to Earth Poster Image
BOOK

A Snake Falls to Earth

age 12+

Myth, magic, science in imaginative, lively eco-tale.

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The Reluctant Assassin: W.A.R.P., Book 1 Poster Image
BOOK

The Reluctant Assassin: W.A.R.P., Book 1

age 13+

Exhilarating but bloody tale starts off time travel series.

By: Eoin Colfer (2013)
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The Smell of Other People's Houses Poster Image
BOOK

The Smell of Other People's Houses

age 13+

Poignant coming-of-age tale about four 1970 Alaskan teens.

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Apple: (Skin to the Core) Poster Image
BOOK

Apple: (Skin to the Core)

age 14+

Extraordinary must-read memoir of coming of age on the Rez.

By: Eric Gansworth (2020)
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