We are so excited to present our #ReadYourWorld Book Jam 2019 in conjunction with Children’s Book Council! This year we have 10 amazing authors with unique book lists to share. Each author is also doing a book giveaway!
Please welcome Cynthia Leitich Smith today to kick off our #ReadYourWorld Book Jam 2019 with the Children’s Book Council. We are giving away one copy of Cynthia Leitich Smith’s newest young adult book, Hearts Unbroken. Please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter.
Today’s Native YA writing community is dynamic and on the rise. So is the resulting body of compelling, quality teen literature. Big picture, we’re tackling daily life and fantastical stories of teens grounded in their Indigenous identities and communities. The emphasis skews to modern, contemporary settings and sensibilities, underscoring that we are peoples of living Nations and cultures with a past, present, and future.
Young Adult Novels About Native Teens
Hearts Unbroken by Cynthia Leitich Smith
Meet Louise Wolfe, a high-school journalist, covering the controversy around the diverse and inclusive casting of her high-school musical. Lou is a contemporary Muscogee girl, living in the middle-class suburbs, trying to navigate micro and macroaggressions, but still very much a work in progress herself. What I loved most about writing this story was crafting Lou’s supportive relationships with her family and community as well as, on the dating front, her choosing a healthier romantic connection. [young adult, ages 14 and up]
Rain Is Not My Indian Name by Cynthia Leitich Smith
Cassidy Rain Berghoff is Louise Wolfe’s cousin. A quieter, more poetic girl who scribbles in journals, hides behind her camera and mourns the sudden and unexpected loss of her best friend. Rain’s humor is gentle, wry, affectionate and rooted in small-town life. She’s living on the outskirts of an American Indian college community and is especially close to elders in her life. This is a tender story, my debut novel and a foundational work that, in part, helped inspired Hearts Unbroken. [middle grade, ages 10 and up]
Apple in the Middle by Dawn Quigley
Apple is quirky, honest, gloriously awkward and at first uncertain around her Ojibwe relatives after having been raised by her white dad and stepmom. She’s gradually more and more sure of herself, her place in her extended family and tribal community as she confronts painful loss and the secrets her deceased mother left behind. Quigley’s new voice is especially welcome, delightful in its honesty and authenticity. [middle grade, ages 10 and up]
Crazy Horse’s Girlfriend by Erika Wurth
Margaritte is Apache-Chickasaw-Cherokee and white. Her story is rooted in harsh reality and in pain, offering resonant insights into an imperiled adolescence. It’s centered on her own frustrations, longings, and an uncertain, rocky romance. Wurth is one of the strongest Native writers of her generation – an unabashed innovator and astute commentator on daily life. [young adult, ages 14 and up]
House of Purple Cedar by Tim Tingle
Tingle’s storyteller’s voice radiates throughout this historical novel that touches on tragedies ranging from boarding-school to domestic abuses. Yet for all the heartbreaks, hope never falters long. What’s most remarkable about this book is how spiritual it is, how wholly grounded in the Choctaw experience on every level and throughout time.[young adult, ages 12 and up]
If I Ever Get Out of Here by Eric Gansworth
Louis “Shoe” Blake is at home on the Tuscarora Indian rez in the mid-1970s, but can he be his whole self around his new white pal, George? This debut YA friendship story is fueled by rock-and-roll, a wry sensibility and a feet-on-the-ground understanding of how we all function – at our worst and best – on a human level. Gansworth is a rising star and spot-on choice for YA readers and book collections, absolutely required reading. [young adult, ages 12 and up]
Give Me Some Truth by Eric Gansworth
Carson dreams of winning the Battle of the Bands, and Maggi is eager to express her true artistic vision. Together, they sing to the music of first love and sound off against hate. I can’t wait to read whatever Gansworth publishes for teen readers next. Be sure to get both of Eric’s YA books from the start so you won’t have to wait to begin the second one. [young adult, ages 14 and up]
Wolf Mark by Joseph Bruchac
When Luke King’s dad goes missing, he learns a lot about his own identity as a shape-shifter and must figure out how to respond to rising dangers both at school and in the world of black ops. Readers also will find a bit of romance and insights into a Native perspective on wolves and the paranormal. As the author of Feral trilogy, I’ve written shifters myself, and it was fascinating to study how Joe approached the topic. He’s the most published elder in Native YA literature, and every YA voice from our intertribal community owes a great deal to his groundbreaking and ongoing writing.[young adult, ages 12 and up]
Hearts Unbroken GIVEAWAY!
We are giving away one copy of Cynthia Leitich Smith’s newest young adult book, Hearts Unbroken. Please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter. We can only mail to U.S. addresses.
Cynthia Leitich Smith is a New York Times best-selling author of fiction for children and young adults. A member of the Muscogee Creek Nation, she writes fiction for children centered on the lives of modern-day American Indians. She also hosts Cynsations, one of the most established and popular blogs in youth literature.