New and Upcoming Indigenous Books: Spring 2022 Edition
The seasons are starting to change, and the sun is staying up later and later every day. With warmer weather around the corner, it makes me think of roots growing deep and plants stretching their leaves up to the sun.
I'm once again thrilled to share new and soon to be released books by Indigenous authors for children, teens and adults.
Please note, where possible, if an author or illustrator is Indigenous, their nation will be in brackets next to their name. All book summaries are pulled in part from the TPL catalogue, unless otherwise indicated.
Amik by Sharon King (Potawatomi)
"This delightful children's picture book tells the story of amik, the beaver, who works on his dam throughout the day while nature and the activities of other animals carry on around him. At the end of a long day, amik returns to his den to be with his family. Along with its beautiful cut-paper illustrations, Amik offers the chance for children to learn words and phrases in the Ojibwe language, as the text appears in both English and Anishinaabemowin."
The Gift of the Little People by William Dumas (Rocky Cree), illustrated by Rhian Brynjolson
"At the time of the spring thaw, the Rocky Cree fill their canoes with furs, eager to trade with the new visitors in mistiwāsahak (Hudson Bay). But not all of the new visitors are welcome. When the canoes return home to the shores of the misinipī river, the Rocky Cree begin to collapse one by one, drenched in sweat and slowly slipping into delirium. Kākakiw struggles to help the sick as more and more people pass into the spirit world. Exhausted physically, emotionally, and spiritually, he seeks guidance through prayer. Hope finally comes with a visitor in the night: one of the Little People, small beings who are just like us. If Kākakiw can journey to their home, he will be given the medicine his people need. All he has to do is paddle through a cliff of solid bedrock to get there. To save his people from certain death, Kākakiw must overcome doubt to follow the traditional teachings of the Asiniskaw Īthiniwak and trust in the gift of the Little People."
Giju's Gift by Brandon Mitchell (Mi'kmaq), illustrated by Veronika Barinova and Britt Wilson
"When her hair clip disappears, Mali is devastated. It was special, made by her giju'. Her mom thinks she lost it, but Mali knows it was stolen by the pugulatmu'j. Soon after, Mali is surprised to meet Puug–and he's wearing her hair clip. If she helps him find what he needs, she has a chance of getting it back. As they hunt for the objects on Puug's list, Mali uncovers a lot of unanswered questions along the way. Why is there a giant chasing them? Will she really get her hair clip back? And why is Puug collecting these things anyway?"
Fevered Star by Rebecca Roanhorse (Tewa and San Juan Pueblo)
Note: this title will be available in April 2022.
The great city of Tova is shattered. The sun is held within the smothering grip of the Crow God's eclipse, but a comet that marks the death of a ruler and heralds the rise of a new order is imminent.The Meridian: a land where magic has been codified and the worship of gods suppressed. How do you live when legends come to life, and the faith you had is rewarded?...Welcome back to the fantasy series of the decade in Fevered Star – book two of Between Earth and Sky."
The first book is available in different formats on our website.
Hunting by Stars by Cherie Dimaline (Métis)
"A follow-up to Dimaline's award-winning YA novel The marrow thieves."
Sky Wolf’s Call: The Gift of Indigenous Knowledge by Eldon Yellowhorn (Blackfoot and Piikani) and Kathy Lowinger
Note: this title will be available in April 2022. The description below is from Annick Press.
"In Sky Wolf’s Call, award-winning author team of Eldon Yellowhorn and Kathy Lowinger reveal how Indigenous knowledge comes from centuries of practices, experiences, and ideas gathered by people who have a long history with the natural world. Indigenous knowledge is explored through the use of fire and water, the acquisition of food, the study of astronomy, and healing practices."
These Are the Stories : Memories of a 60s Scoop Survivor by Christine Miskonoodinkwe-Smith (Saulteaux)
These are the Stories is a memoir presented in short chapters, comprising the life of a survivor of the Sixties Scoop. Christine Miskonoodinkwe Smith reveals her experiences in the child welfare system and her journey towards healing in various stages of her life. As an adult, she was able to reconnect with her birth mother. Though her mother passed shortly afterwards, that reconnection allowed the author to finally feel "complete, whole, and home." The memoir details some of the author's travels across Canada as she eventually made a connection with the Peguis First Nation in Manitoba.
Deep House by Thomas King (Cherokee)
"For the first time since the pandemic, Thumps DreadfulWater has finally found some peace in small-town Chinook. Sure, his beloved cat is still missing and his relationship with Claire is more than uncertain, but at least he can relax in the comfort of his home. And now that local businesses are starting to open their doors again, everything can go back to normal. But when Thumps unintentionally discovers a body at the bottom of a treacherous canyon, he becomes entangled once again in an inexplicable mystery. As more puzzling details come to the surface, Thumps begins to question whom he can truly trust—especially when an unexpected visitor walks back into his life."
My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones (Blackfoot)
"Jade Daniels is an angry, half-Indian outcast with an abusive father, an absent mother, and an entire town that wants nothing to do with her. She lives in her own world, a world in which protection comes from an unusual source: horror movies…especially the ones where a masked killer seeks revenge on a world that wronged them. And Jade narrates the quirky history of Proofrock as if it is one of those movies. But when blood actually starts to spill into the waters of Indian Lake, she pulls us into her dizzying, encyclopedic mind of blood and masked murderers, and predicts exactly how the plot will unfold. Yet, even as Jade drags us into her dark fever dream, a surprising and intimate portrait emerges…a portrait of the scared and traumatized little girl beneath the Jason Voorhees mask: angry, yes, but also a girl who easily cries, fiercely loves, and desperately wants a home. A girl whose feelings are too big for her body. My Heart Is a Chainsaw is her story, her homage to horror and revenge and triumph."
You can also check out Stephen Graham Jones in this Crowdcast Program from December.