IndigAThon TBR 2021

I said a few days back I was participating in IndigAThon so I thought I’d post my TBR for challenge

1) Group Book “Apple in the Middle”

This is the group book for IdigAThon the year I’m glad it’s YA, The group book last year from what I remember was an adult piece which I don’t read, so I’m glad this is in my wheelhouse.


Apple Starkington turned her back on her Native American heritage the moment she was called a racial slur for someone of white and Indian descent, not that she really even knew how to be an Indian in the first place. Too bad the white world doesnt accept her either. And so begins her quirky habits to gain acceptance.

Apple’s name, chosen by her Indian mother on her deathbed, has a double meaning: treasured apple of my eye, but also the negative connotation a person who is red, or Indian, on the outside, but white on the inside.

After her wealthy father gives her the boot one summer, Apple reluctantly agrees to visit her Native American relatives on the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation in northern North Dakota for the first time. Apple learns to deal with the culture shock of Indian customs and the Native Michif language, while she tries to find a connection to her dead mother. She also has to deal with a vengeful Indian man who loved her mother in high school but now hates Apple because her mom married a white man.

Bouncing in the middle of two cultures, Apple meets her Indian relatives, shatters Indian stereotypes, and learns what it means to find her place in a world divided by color. This book has been honored many times including

2020 American Indian Youth Literature Young Adult Book Honors Award

2019 WILLA (Women Writing the West) Finalist

2019 Independent Publisher Award, Gold Medal, Multicultural Young Adult

2019 Independent Press Award for Young Adult Fiction

2018 Winner of the Moonbeam Children’s Book Award for Young Adult Fiction General

So it’s a perfect fit for the IndigAThon group book.

Amazon: Apple in the Middle

2) Read a book with a Indignous Joy “Healer of the Water Monster”

Maybe not what everyone thinks to when they go to joy but I also find a good adventure book to be joyous.

When Nathan goes to visit his grandma, Nali, at her mobile summer home on the Navajo reservation, he knows he’s in for a pretty uneventful summer, with no electricity or cell service. Still, he loves spending time with Nali and with his uncle Jet, though it’s clear when Jet arrives that he brings his problems with him.

One night, while lost in the nearby desert, Nathan finds someone extraordinary: a Holy Being from the Navajo Creation Story—a Water Monster—in need of help.

Now Nathan must summon all his courage to save his new friend. With the help of other Navajo Holy Beings, Nathan is determined to save the Water Monster, and to support Uncle Jet in healing from his own pain.

Amazon: Healer of the Water Monster

3) Host Recommendations “In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse”

This book could have fit the IndigAThon Elder prompt but I decided to use it for this one since I’d read all the other host kidlit host recommendations.

Jimmy McClean is a Lakota boy, though you wouldn’t guess it by his name. His mother is Lakota, and his father is half white and half Lakota. Over summer break, Jimmy embarks on a journey with his grandfather, Nyles High Eagle. While on the road, his grandfather tells him the story of Crazy Horse, one of the most important figures in Lakota, and American, history.

Expertly intertwining fiction and nonfiction, celebrated Brulé Lakota author Joseph Marshall III chronicles the many heroic deeds of Crazy Horse, especially his taking up arms against the U.S. government. He fiercely fought against encroachments on the territories and way of life of the Lakota people, including leading a war party to victory at the Battle of the Greasy Grass (the Battle of the Little Bighorn) and playing a major and dangerous role as decoy at the Battle of the Hundred in the Hands (the Fetterman Battle). With Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse was the last of the Lakota to surrender his people to the U.S. Army. Through his grandfather’s tales about the famous warrior, Jimmy learns about his Lakota heritage and, ultimately, himself.

Drawing references and inspiration from the oral stories of the Lakota tradition, Marshall gives readers an insider’s perspective on the life of Tasunke Witko, better known as Crazy Horse.

Amazon: In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse

4) Non Fiction”The Sea Ringed World”

I’ve been meaning to read this book since last year but this prompt for IndigAThon gave me the perfect reason. I’m looking forward to reading more about the stories that make up the origin stories of the tribes of North and South American

Fifteen thousand years before Europeans stepped foot in the Americas, people had already spread from tip to tip and coast to coast. Like all humans, these Native Americans sought to understand their place in the universe, the nature of their relationship with the divine, and the origin of the world into which their ancestors had emerged. The answers lay in their sacred stories.

Amazon: The Sea Ringed World

5) Land Acknowledgement “Long Ago Stories of the Eastern Cherokee”

I loved this new category of Land Acknowledgement, and was glad there was a book on Kindle Unlimted that fit this prompt for IndigAThon. I’m looking forward to learning a lot of native stories this year.

In this priceless and engaging collection, native Cherokee and professional storyteller Lloyd Arneach recounts tales such as how the bear lost his long bushy tail and how the first strawberry came to be.

Amazon: Long Ago Stories of the Eastern Cherokee

6) Favorite Color on the Cover “Jo Jo Makoons”

Jo Jo Makoons: The Used-to-Be Best Friend by [Dawn Quigley, Tara Audibert]

Hello/Boozhoo—meet Jo Jo Makoons! Full of pride, joy, and plenty of humor, this first book in an all-new chapter book series by Dawn Quigley celebrates a spunky young Ojibwe girl who loves who she is.

Jo Jo Makoons Azure is a spirited seven-year-old who moves through the world a little differently than anyone else on her Ojibwe reservation. It always seems like her mom, her kokum (grandma), and her teacher have a lot to learn—about how good Jo Jo is at cleaning up, what makes a good rhyme, and what it means to be friendly.

Even though Jo Jo loves her #1 best friend Mimi (who is a cat), she’s worried that she needs to figure out how to make more friends. Because Fern, her best friend at school, may not want to be friends anymore…

Amazon: Jojo Makoons

7) Book of Poetry “Fry Bread: “A Native American Family Story”

I’ve thought this book was cute for ages, plus I really want to try fry bread some day, because after reading about it, sound yummy. So when this prompt for Indigathon came up I knew I had to read this book.

Told in lively and powerful verse by debut author Kevin Noble Maillard, Fry Bread is an evocative depiction of a modern Native American family, vibrantly illustrated by Pura Belpre Award winner and Caldecott Honoree Juana Martinez-Neal.

Fry bread is food
It is warm and delicious, piled high on a plate.

Fry bread is time.
It brings families together for meals and new memories.

Fry bread is nation.
It is shared by many, from coast to coast and beyond.

Fry bread is us.
It is a celebration of old and new, traditional and modern, similarity and difference.

Amazon: Fry Bread

8) A book with an Elder protagonist “Indian Shoes”

I love anything Cynthia Leitch Smith puts her hands on but I hadn’t read this classic. So for IndigAThon this fit the prompt and I decided to pick it up.

Indian Shoes by [Cynthia Leitich Smith, MaryBeth Timothy]

The beloved chapter book by New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Leitich Smith about the love and adventures shared by a Cherokee-Seminole boy and his Grampa now has brand-new illustrations! A perfect pick for new readers.

What do Indian shoes look like, anyway? Like beautiful beaded moccasins… or hightops with bright orange shoelaces?

Ray Halfmoon prefers hightops, but he gladly trades them for a nice pair of moccasins for his grampa. After all, it’s Grampa Halfmoon who’s always there to help Ray get in and out of scrapes—like the time they teamed up to pet sit for the whole block during a holiday blizzard!

Award-winning author Cynthia Leitich Smith writes with wit and candor about a boy and his grandfather, sharing all their love, joy, and humor.

Amazon: Indian Shoes

Check out some Indigenous literature this November even if you aren’t taking part in the challenge! There is a whole lot to offer in all genres. And think about joining IndigAThon, these prompts are flexible enough to fit any reading style/ age range.

Leave a Reply