Teen Books for Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Indigenous Peoples’ Day is a holiday observed across the United States on the second Monday in October to celebrate and honor the native people of North America, both past and present. Every year, more and more states and cities add it to their official holidays. Some have even used it as a replacement for Columbus Day. To celebrate, I want to share with you some great teen books written by and about Indigenous people! 

Hearts Unbroken - Louise, a member of the Muscogee Nation and an aspiring journalist, lives in a small, mostly white, Kansas town where the inclusive casting of her school’s Wizard of Oz production sets off dissent across the community. Lou’s little brother landed one of the leading roles, and Lou teams up with student photographer Joey to cover the story. These tensions reveal lingering prejudices and growing hostility, all while Lou finds herself growing closer to Joey despite fears he'll break her heart.  

Hunting By Stars (a Marrow Thieves Novel) - In a future dystopia where most of the world has stopped dreaming, North American Indigenous people are the only known dreamers left, making them a target and a commodity. Seventeen-year-old French has lost his family, but is trying to start again with a group of other dreamers. When suddenly French wakes up alone in the dark, he will have to fight for survival as his found family risks their own safety to find him.

Girl Called Echo - Echo is struggling with the separation from her mother after being placed in a group home. On her first day of school she finds herself slipping into history, literally transported to a bison hunt of her Métis ancestors. Every day she experiences this strange time displacement, and a growing curiosity about her heritage pushes her to reach out to her mother in rehab. (Check out Volume 2 and Volume 3, too!)

Firekeeper's Daughter - Daunis Fontaine’s plans to go away to college are derailed when her uncle overdoses and she has to stay and care for her fragile mother. While she prepares for community college and navigates the complex divide between her mother’s white family and her father’s on the Ojibwe reservation, she witnesses the shocking murder of her best friend. She is suddenly embroiled in an undercover FBI investigation and begins using her own scientific know-how to uncover the forces threatening to destroy her community. 

How are you celebrating Indigenous Peoples' day?