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Showing posts from June, 2019

Native, Black & Rock & Roll: Histories by Jonah Winter & Robbie Robertson, by Charlie, Age 16

In March 2017, Dr. Debbie Reese first wrote about THE SECRET PROJECT, a nonfiction book for kids written by Jonah Winter and illustrated by Jeanette Winter. This is how she found out about the book and her personal interest:

I was going into my "Debbie--Have you seen series" but when I looked it up, I got a copy right away. Why? Because it has several starred reviews, and because its setting is so close to Nambe Pueblo (my tribal nation and where I grew up is about 30 miles away.)
In her long, excellent thread, Dr. Reese critiques the book for erasing Native people: a "desert mountain landscape" where "nobody knows they are there." They are the scientists of the Manhattan Project. Winter writes about "the faraway nearby," which doesn't sound like nonfiction to me. Using this, he can pull into his story people at a great distance. Like this one:

Dr. Reese writes: "Hopi? That's over three hundred miles away in Arizona."  Where ar…

Children of the First People: a discussion between Michael, 17 and Eduardo, 20

Eduardo: You saw this book in the library last week.

Michael: Yah, I was excited because it was on the new kid's books cart near the front desk. The library has been buying a bunch of Native books for all ages with the *Friends of Indigo* donations. I think they're trying to get good books and it's so much better in the past year or two.

Eduardo: Were you excited about the book?

Michael: I was! Because it said Fresh Voices of Alaska's Native Kids. I flipped through it and saw photos of diverse Alaska Native kids who enjoy all kinds of things.

Eduardo: Did you look to see who edited the book?

Michael: Nah, not right away. I know we're like the Debbie Reese Clue Crew, but I was kind of pulled in by the shiny photos of Indigenous kids.

Eduardo: The "profiles" are by Tricia Brown. The back matter states "her writing is inspired by Alaska, reflected in nearly thirty titles on Native cultures, dog mushing, Last Frontier living, reference and travel."…

Echoes and Wolves: The Imagination of Katherena Vermette, by Alexis, 19

I have been going through a bad time, and looking for (any)things I can connect with. I have piles of library books next to my bed, and I picked up two this afternoon that I had looked at when I first checked them out, but didn't really get into. Something told me to hold on to them rather than quickly returning them. I'm glad I did.

I became aware of Katherena Vermette, a Metis writer from Treaty One territory, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, when Debbie Reese first wrote about her graphic novel series, A Girl Called Echo. I totally related to the first volume, Pemmican Wars, which my library purchased with *Friends of Indigo* funds. I am a Florida Seminole citizen, so this isn't my Indigenous history. Unlike Echo, I have a really close relationship with my mom, Gail. But Echo's story drew me in. Vermette's imagination sparked my imagination. Here's my review of Volume 1. I couldn't wait for Volume 2 to be released.

A Girl Called Echo, Volume 2: Red River Resi…