November is National Family Literacy Month, when families are encouraged to read together and foster a love of literacy and learning.
This month, consider adding books with Potawatomi ties to reading lists. Here are just a few.
Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer, adapted by Monique Gray Smith
CPN tribal member and botanist Robin Wall Kimmerer published Braiding Sweetgrass in 2013, hailing plants and animals as our oldest teachers and celebrating a reciprocal relationship between humans and the natural world. Last year, Kimmerer’s book was also adapted into an edition aimed at young adults, which includes illustrations, definitions and questions for readers to think about.
The book is available in multiple formats, including ebook, at cpn.news/sweetgrassforya.
Two-Moon Journey: The Potawatomi Trail of Death by Peggy King Anderson
Originally published in 2018, this young adult novel tells the story of Simu-quah, a young Potawatomi girl, as she and her family are removed from their village in 1838 and forced to march on what is now known as the Trail of Death.
The book is available at cpn.news/andersonbook.
Winter’s Gifts by Kaitlin B. Curtice
Written by Tribal member Kaitlin Curtice, Winter’s Gifts tells the story of a Potawatomi girl named Dani and the way she and her family celebrate the Winter Solstice. The book, which includes Potawatomi words as well as illustrations by Gloria Félix, just released at the end of October.
Winter’s Gifts can be ordered as an ebook or hardback from cpn.news/wintersgifts.
Eloy the Elk and His Desert Friends by Terry Clapp
Tribal member Terry Clapp wanted to teach children about nature and conservation, which prompted him to write a children’s book for the Arizona Elk Society in 2009. Eloy the Elk and His Desert Friends takes children on a journey where they can learn about desert ecosystems and the Sonoran Desert.
Find Clapp’s book, on Kindle or in paperback, here: cpn.news/eloy.
Books from the CPN Language Department
There are 12 books available through the CPN Language Department, all with QR codes to access an audio file of the book being read in Potawatomi. Books include Potawatomi retellings of stories such as Chicken Little and The Red Raincoat, as well as a book based on the language department’s puppet show, Mtek Wigwam (Tree House). For more information about the Language Department, or to contact them about the books, visit cpn.news/language.