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A collection of intersecting stories set at a powwow that bursts with hope, joy, resilience, the strength of community, and Native pride. In a high school gym full of color and song, Native families from Nations within the borders of the U.S. and Canada dance, sell beadwork and books, and celebrate friendship and heritage. They are the heroes of their own stories. Featured c A collection of intersecting stories set at a powwow that bursts with hope, joy, resilience, the strength of community, and Native pride. In a high school gym full of color and song, Native families from Nations within the borders of the U.S. and Canada dance, sell beadwork and books, and celebrate friendship and heritage. They are the heroes of their own stories. Featured contributors: Joseph Bruchac, Art Coulson, Christine Day, Eric Gansworth, Dawn Quigley, Carole Lindstrom, Rebecca Roanhorse, David A. Robertson, Andrea L. Rogers, Kim Rogers, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Monique Gray Smith, Traci Sorell, Tim Tingle, Erika T. Wurth, and Brian Young.


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A collection of intersecting stories set at a powwow that bursts with hope, joy, resilience, the strength of community, and Native pride. In a high school gym full of color and song, Native families from Nations within the borders of the U.S. and Canada dance, sell beadwork and books, and celebrate friendship and heritage. They are the heroes of their own stories. Featured c A collection of intersecting stories set at a powwow that bursts with hope, joy, resilience, the strength of community, and Native pride. In a high school gym full of color and song, Native families from Nations within the borders of the U.S. and Canada dance, sell beadwork and books, and celebrate friendship and heritage. They are the heroes of their own stories. Featured contributors: Joseph Bruchac, Art Coulson, Christine Day, Eric Gansworth, Dawn Quigley, Carole Lindstrom, Rebecca Roanhorse, David A. Robertson, Andrea L. Rogers, Kim Rogers, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Monique Gray Smith, Traci Sorell, Tim Tingle, Erika T. Wurth, and Brian Young.

30 review for Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids

  1. 5 out of 5

    sol

    this sounds perfect and that cover ARE YOU KIDDING ME? wow.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    This is SUCH a cool book. Leitich Smith brings together a wealth of Native talent to write short stories from the perspectives of a variety of Native tweens who are all attending a major powwow in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It's intertribal, both in the writing and in the story, and everyone's voice brings this powwow to life. There is joy and sadness as much as there is mystery, humor, and even maybe a little love. Each of the pieces works seamlessly, but I can't stop thinking about how much I loved R This is SUCH a cool book. Leitich Smith brings together a wealth of Native talent to write short stories from the perspectives of a variety of Native tweens who are all attending a major powwow in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It's intertribal, both in the writing and in the story, and everyone's voice brings this powwow to life. There is joy and sadness as much as there is mystery, humor, and even maybe a little love. Each of the pieces works seamlessly, but I can't stop thinking about how much I loved Roanhorse's decision to write from the perspective of an attending dog (who happens to be a huge hit and appears in nearly every story). I also loved Wurth's middle grade sleuth, and I found the connecting stories of two boys in the same community, one struggling with losing his dad and the other with deciding which tribal enrollment he wishes to take, powerful and memorable.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Huber

    tw: racism, talks of residential schools, exploration of inter-generational trauma, theft, mild danger I absolutely loved this book. This is the kind of powwow gathering I would love to go to. I really appreciated the way serious subjects of inter-generational trauma or racism were brought to light, but in a digestible and explainable way for young adults. I have to admit, I wish Roanhorse's story had been toward the end, considering everyone saw the "Ancestor's Approved" shirt at some point in th tw: racism, talks of residential schools, exploration of inter-generational trauma, theft, mild danger I absolutely loved this book. This is the kind of powwow gathering I would love to go to. I really appreciated the way serious subjects of inter-generational trauma or racism were brought to light, but in a digestible and explainable way for young adults. I have to admit, I wish Roanhorse's story had been toward the end, considering everyone saw the "Ancestor's Approved" shirt at some point in their stories, but that's a small complaint. "Fancy Dancer" -something I really love about this story is the continuation of culture in secret when someone tries to take it away. It brought up the effects of domestic abuse and the small ways people reclaim themselves. "Flying Together"-I found this so heart-wrenching, we hold Native military members to such a high esteem that seeing a child deal with their parent having to leave was refreshing. I remember the loneliness and trying to make time pass quickly. I loved the grandpa, and the way they connected throughout their journey. "Rez Dog Rules" I feel this story could've been the connection story and held until the end, reuniting all of the stories. But regardless, I highly enjoyed it. "Joey Reads the Sky" This story deserves its own book, I love the ways Dawn Quigley incorporates the mystical feelings/intuition some natives have been gifted with into regular stories. I deeply appreciatd this. I'm extremely grateful for Cynthia Smith, she got this fast-tracked approved, and I deeply appreciate her for letting me read this.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Michele Knott

    So grateful for this collection of short stories that centers a Native American tradition and the way it connects tribes. I loved how some stories intertwined and I really enjoyed hearing about the many colors in the regalia characters wore.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sonja

    A wonderful book with so great short stories. I love that each story is set in the same place and a dog makes a cameo (or more) in each one. Yet, each story is all on its own.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Autumn Byrd

    I loved this so much! Truly, I'm so thankful I was sent an arc of this book! It was so healing, so validating, and there were even Apache characters in this book that filled my heart with so much warmth, made me feel so seen. I'm so, so thankful I was able to read this for NAHM! ARC was provided by Epic Reads in exchange for an honest review. FULL REVIEW COMING SOON! Blog|Instagram|YouTube|Ko-fi I loved this so much! Truly, I'm so thankful I was sent an arc of this book! It was so healing, so validating, and there were even Apache characters in this book that filled my heart with so much warmth, made me feel so seen. I'm so, so thankful I was able to read this for NAHM! ARC was provided by Epic Reads in exchange for an honest review. FULL REVIEW COMING SOON! Blog|Instagram|YouTube|Ko-fi

  7. 5 out of 5

    Yapha

    I loved this book of interrelated short stories! It was brilliant the way the authors worked together to have characters from each other's stories make cameos. It really made it feel like they were all at the powwow together. Each story individually is great, but the sum of the whole is so much greater than the parts. It shows both the interconnectedness and the diversity in the Native American communities throughout the United States and Canada. It is also a great taste of a wide variety of Nat I loved this book of interrelated short stories! It was brilliant the way the authors worked together to have characters from each other's stories make cameos. It really made it feel like they were all at the powwow together. Each story individually is great, but the sum of the whole is so much greater than the parts. It shows both the interconnectedness and the diversity in the Native American communities throughout the United States and Canada. It is also a great taste of a wide variety of Native authors. It does help to have some background on the modern powwow. I am glad that I read Son Who Returns over the summer, it explains a great deal about the current role of powwows in Native American society and how they work. Highly recommended for grades 4 & up. eARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss

  8. 4 out of 5

    Shaye Miller

    This wonderful collection of short stories is a must for schools, children’s libraries, and young adult libraries! Each story centers on Native American traditions and they are interconnected through themes, locations, and the same stories were sometimes even shared from two different perspectives on the same scene. I enjoyed this book as an audiobook and was quite pleased with the content and variety of narrators. Happy to recommend!! NOTE: I am grateful to Libro.fm for making this available as This wonderful collection of short stories is a must for schools, children’s libraries, and young adult libraries! Each story centers on Native American traditions and they are interconnected through themes, locations, and the same stories were sometimes even shared from two different perspectives on the same scene. I enjoyed this book as an audiobook and was quite pleased with the content and variety of narrators. Happy to recommend!! NOTE: I am grateful to Libro.fm for making this available as an ALC for me as an educator. For more children's literature, middle grade literature, and YA literature reviews, feel free to visit my personal blog at The Miller Memo!

  9. 4 out of 5

    fanna

    June 08, 2020: This is said to "celebrate(s) friendship and family, culture and tradition, intergenerational relationships, and the wide-ranging diversity within today’s Native and First Nations communities." and I'm SO ready to diversify my reading lists AHH. Also, the cover has just been revealed and WHAT BEAUTY. June 08, 2020: This is said to "celebrate(s) friendship and family, culture and tradition, intergenerational relationships, and the wide-ranging diversity within today’s Native and First Nations communities." and I'm SO ready to diversify my reading lists AHH. Also, the cover has just been revealed and WHAT BEAUTY.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids is an absolute must have book for school and classroom libraries. I loved these short stories and how each was interconnected to the collection as a whole through the Intertribal Pow Wow setting. Outstanding storytelling throughout!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tasha

    Through a series of linked short stories and poems, readers get to join young Native people from across the United States and Canada as they converge in Michigan for an intertribal powwow. Written by new and familiar Native authors, these stories speak to the various ways that Native families and youth stay connected or find new connection with their cultural heritage. From the World’s Best Fry Bread to dancing in regalia to solving powwow mysteries to selling items from booths, this book invite Through a series of linked short stories and poems, readers get to join young Native people from across the United States and Canada as they converge in Michigan for an intertribal powwow. Written by new and familiar Native authors, these stories speak to the various ways that Native families and youth stay connected or find new connection with their cultural heritage. From the World’s Best Fry Bread to dancing in regalia to solving powwow mysteries to selling items from booths, this book invites readers to experience the powwow at different levels while also connecting to nature, ancestors and shared humor and tales. The most impressive part of this collection of short stories and poems is that they are all so impressive. Each story has its own voice and point of view, featured characters and tribal connections, yet they come together in a remarkable way where they lift one another up. The stories have shared characters, including a dog who sells t-shirts, a girl selling raffle tickets and a young detective. These elements help tie the tales together, but it is the strength of the writing of each story that really makes the book work. The final poem of the book takes the drum beat that has been happening throughout the book and shows the power of the powwow and the importance of the experience for all who attend. It’s the ideal way to wrap up a book that offers so much joy, connectivity and community. One of the best short story collections for children ever, this belongs in every library. Appropriate for ages 9-12.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    On a cold spring morning in Michigan, hundreds of people from all around the United States and Canada gather in a high school gym to dance, to celebrate, to connect and reconnect, to represent their nations. This is the stories of a single weekend at the Dance for Mother Earth Powwow. In a series of interconnected stories, Native authors write to celebrate their cultures, heritage, and the magic that comes from gathering at a powwow. There are dancers, fry-bread cooks, t-shirt sellers, jewelry ma On a cold spring morning in Michigan, hundreds of people from all around the United States and Canada gather in a high school gym to dance, to celebrate, to connect and reconnect, to represent their nations. This is the stories of a single weekend at the Dance for Mother Earth Powwow. In a series of interconnected stories, Native authors write to celebrate their cultures, heritage, and the magic that comes from gathering at a powwow. There are dancers, fry-bread cooks, t-shirt sellers, jewelry makers, and so many that are there just to see their family and friends. There's kids who have spent their whole lives going to powwows, and kids who are going for the first time. Readers will meet: a bus full of Choctaw elders for an epic road trip (which seriously needs to become a movie); a Rez Dog who lives life unleashed; a young detective (who needs her own series); kids who are confident and secure in their Native identity; kids who are struggling to find and understand what it means to be Native; families that come in all shapes and sizes; and, most importantly, love and acceptance and encouragement. Ancestor Approved is more than just a slogan on the t-shirt the dog is wearing. It means that you have found a way to connect the past, the present, and the future.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    This is a very sweet collection of stories about Native kids. I loved the way all the stories felt connected despite being written by different authors; it's clear how much work went into making this a cohesive, interconnected collection of short stories. While I preferred some stories to others, every story here has its place, and something would be missing if any of them were removed. Different stories are likely to resonate with different readers; the ones that seemed somewhat unrealistic to This is a very sweet collection of stories about Native kids. I loved the way all the stories felt connected despite being written by different authors; it's clear how much work went into making this a cohesive, interconnected collection of short stories. While I preferred some stories to others, every story here has its place, and something would be missing if any of them were removed. Different stories are likely to resonate with different readers; the ones that seemed somewhat unrealistic to me (ie kids who hate each other becoming friends after a brief shared encounter, as happens in a couple of the stories here) may be the favorites of some children, as they all had heart and characters that pull the reader in. 4.5 stars, rounded up. Thanks to Netgalley and HarperCollins/Heartdrum for the eARC.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    While Ancestor Approved is a short story collection, these stories interconnect, with each one being about a different kid at the Dance for Mother Earth Intertribal Powwow in Michigan. Some of them are jingle dress and fancy dancer pros, others are attending for the very first time, but all of them have an individual story to tell about friends, family, and what being Indigenous means to them. These heartwarming stories range from humorous to mysterious and so much more! So many incredible and a While Ancestor Approved is a short story collection, these stories interconnect, with each one being about a different kid at the Dance for Mother Earth Intertribal Powwow in Michigan. Some of them are jingle dress and fancy dancer pros, others are attending for the very first time, but all of them have an individual story to tell about friends, family, and what being Indigenous means to them. These heartwarming stories range from humorous to mysterious and so much more! So many incredible and acclaimed authors have contributed, including but not limited to Rebecca Roanhorse, Christine Day, and Tim Tingle. Ancestor Approved is a must-have for classrooms and libraries!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Katrina

    This was a lot of fun to read! Each of the authors gave their own clear voice to a vignette that together wove the tapestry of a powwow. Some authors, if you've read one or two of their works (like Tim Tingle), you'll recognize their unmistakable writing style. Prose sandwiched between two poems, there is something here for every reader - a mystery, tradition, windigos, family tensions, spirituality, and a dog in some catchy t-shirts. An OwnVoices intertribal book about an intertribal experience This was a lot of fun to read! Each of the authors gave their own clear voice to a vignette that together wove the tapestry of a powwow. Some authors, if you've read one or two of their works (like Tim Tingle), you'll recognize their unmistakable writing style. Prose sandwiched between two poems, there is something here for every reader - a mystery, tradition, windigos, family tensions, spirituality, and a dog in some catchy t-shirts. An OwnVoices intertribal book about an intertribal experience, representing the lived experiences of many Indigenous people today - this is one you'll definitely want on your shelves.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jess Witkins

    Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids is a groundbreaking anthology collection. Each chapter could be read as a standalone story, but the richness in understanding and breadth of experience are what make the collection as a whole a standout. The chapters get better as you go because the stories become more entwined with one another, furthering the beautiful message of the closing poem "Circles." Some of my favorite chapters included "Secrets and Surprises" by Traci Sorell, "Wendigos Do Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids is a groundbreaking anthology collection. Each chapter could be read as a standalone story, but the richness in understanding and breadth of experience are what make the collection as a whole a standout. The chapters get better as you go because the stories become more entwined with one another, furthering the beautiful message of the closing poem "Circles." Some of my favorite chapters included "Secrets and Surprises" by Traci Sorell, "Wendigos Don't Dance" by Art Coulson, and "Indian Price" by Eric Gansworth, but the entire anthology offers so much in terms of reflection for indigenous readers, and education and insight for white readers. The book is packed with social-emotional learning moments, and like a powwow - where everyone is welcome - the reader may engage with multiple and multi-faceted tribal traditions including dress style in regalia, food, legends, music style, and my favorite, a variety of native languages now found in one book. Additional resources are provided with a glossary and pronunciation guide in the back, translating each word or phrase into english. Thank you to NetGalley for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Samantha (WLABB)

    This was one of the most cohesive anthologies I have read. Not only did all roads lead to the Pow-Wow, but the authors would give nods to characters from other stories as well. The authors wove in many relevant issues, such as bullying, grief, economic issues, loneliness, forgiveness, among others, while highlighting community, culture, and connection. A really wonderful collection of stories. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS This was one of the most cohesive anthologies I have read. Not only did all roads lead to the Pow-Wow, but the authors would give nods to characters from other stories as well. The authors wove in many relevant issues, such as bullying, grief, economic issues, loneliness, forgiveness, among others, while highlighting community, culture, and connection. A really wonderful collection of stories. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS

  18. 5 out of 5

    Karissa

    As with all short story collections, some are stronger or more engaging than others, but there were many wonderful stories for a young reader audience (middle grade or so, probably). It was beautiful to have characters representing so many First Nations, and breaking the monolithic mold that is often used to represent them.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Miriam

    I loved this collection of short stories about kids who went to a powwow at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The stories are interconnected sharing joy, celebration, and pride of heritage. My favorite character was the dog who kept reappearing, wearing interestingly captioned t-shirts. Learn about Native and First Nation dances, crafts, and heritage as they dance, sing, and celebrate at the intertribal powwow. Each tale will pull at your emotions that swell with pride along with delight i I loved this collection of short stories about kids who went to a powwow at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The stories are interconnected sharing joy, celebration, and pride of heritage. My favorite character was the dog who kept reappearing, wearing interestingly captioned t-shirts. Learn about Native and First Nation dances, crafts, and heritage as they dance, sing, and celebrate at the intertribal powwow. Each tale will pull at your emotions that swell with pride along with delight in the characters and celebrations. Written for children, adults will also enjoy the stories and the poems that book-end this anthology. Kudos to Cynthia Leitich Smith, author and editor for Heartdrum, a Native-focused imprint for HarperCollins Children's Books http://HarperCollinsChildrens.com Thanks to the BookLoft of German Village (Columbus, OH) http://www.bookloft.com for an ARC to read and review

  20. 4 out of 5

    Briayna Cuffie

    *Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair review.* This anthology is so wholesome. The first few pieces gave me chills, and then I finally settled into it. The interconnectedness of the characters attending the same powwow unfolded seamlessly. There’s so much to learn and take away from each piece, even if reading it without prior context about the significance of powwows and gatherings. While I’m not sure exactly what age group I would re *Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair review.* This anthology is so wholesome. The first few pieces gave me chills, and then I finally settled into it. The interconnectedness of the characters attending the same powwow unfolded seamlessly. There’s so much to learn and take away from each piece, even if reading it without prior context about the significance of powwows and gatherings. While I’m not sure exactly what age group I would recommend this for (maybe ages 9-11?), each story can be vividly imagined/pictured by readers of all ages.

  21. 4 out of 5

    colin

    As with any short story collection, there are a few titles which I did not wholly enjoy; some felt as though they read younger than the intended audience or ended too quickly. The usual anthology hinderance stuff. But that's not what matters. Representation for Indigenous artists has been slow to catch up to our changing pro-diversity culture shift. It's definitely the shelf most lacking at my library. And here's a well written book filled to the brim with Native voices celebrating themselves? T As with any short story collection, there are a few titles which I did not wholly enjoy; some felt as though they read younger than the intended audience or ended too quickly. The usual anthology hinderance stuff. But that's not what matters. Representation for Indigenous artists has been slow to catch up to our changing pro-diversity culture shift. It's definitely the shelf most lacking at my library. And here's a well written book filled to the brim with Native voices celebrating themselves? This book is so needed.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alex Baugh

    First, I was attracted to the cover illustration, which I think is great. Then, I was attracted to the title, thinking it was going to be a collection of family history stories (because of the word Ancestor in the title). What it is, however, is a collection of 16 contemporary short stories and two poems that are centered around the University of Michigan powwow that is held each year at Skyline High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan (except 2020 and 2021 because of COVID-19). The stories begin with First, I was attracted to the cover illustration, which I think is great. Then, I was attracted to the title, thinking it was going to be a collection of family history stories (because of the word Ancestor in the title). What it is, however, is a collection of 16 contemporary short stories and two poems that are centered around the University of Michigan powwow that is held each year at Skyline High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan (except 2020 and 2021 because of COVID-19). The stories begin with a poem called "What is a Powwow?" by Kim Rogers who writes that it is about family, friends, and remembering those who have passed on, it is also dancing in regalia made with love, and eating fry bread and corn soup, and healing and soul-soothing. And these are just some aspects of what you will find in the stories that follow. One of the things I really loved about this collection is the way they connect to each other. Characters show up in different stories. For example, there is a story called "Joey Reads the Sky" by Dawn Quigley. Joey's mom sells the World Best Fry Bread and this fry bread stand also briefly appears in "Bad Dog" by Joseph Bruchac and "Between the Lines" by Cynthia Leitich Smith. One of my favorite stories is called "Rez Dog Rules" by Rebecca Roanhorse, about a dog named Ozzie with no master who travels to the Powwow with Marino. Marino is hoping to sell his silk screen T-shirts celebrating Native identity and culture to help out his grandma. At one point, Ozzie wiggles into a T-shirt that says Ancestor Approved on it and becomes a walking advertisement. The story is told from Ozzie's point of view, and he briefly appears in "Flying Together" by Kim Rogers, "Brothers" by David A. Robertson, "Wendigos Don't Dance" by Art Coulson, "Senecavajo: Alan's Story" by Brian Young, "What We Know About Glaciers" by Christine Day, and "Between the Line"s by Cynthis Leitich Smith. Connecting the stories to each other like this gives the reader a sense of continuity and the sense like they are also there, to the point where I could feel the beat of the drums as the dancers danced. And I could most definitely taste the fry bread, one of my favorite things about having lived in Arizona for a while. The stories are varied, ranging from lighthearted to very serious. There are a number of different nations represented, including Ojibwa, Choctaw, Cree, Cherokee, Navajo, Haudenosaunee, and Abenaki, and there is a smattering of words in the various Native languages throughout. I was also stunned by the impressive descriptions of the regalia that is made and worn by the dancers. By the end of the book, I had developed a much deeper appreciation for the importance of Powwow than I had had before, mainly because these stories were so informative about them. And yes, anyone can go to a powwow, just learn what the etiquette is if you are not Native. Back matter includes Notes and Acknowledgements for each story and the poems, and a Glossary of all the Native words used in the stories and the Nation they belong to. This is followed by short biographies of the different writers. Ancestor Approved is a wonderful collection that introduces young readers, as Cynthia Leitich Smith writes, to "the diversity of the intertribal Native and First Nations community, of each Indigenous Nation within it, and of young Native heroes." I was so happy to read this and discover they are perfect for middle grade readers because so often anthologies like this are geared toward young adult readers and, believe me, these are stories not to be missed. This book is recommended for readers age 9+ This book was an eARC gratefully received from Edelweiss+

  23. 4 out of 5

    Magaly C.

    E-ARC provided by NetGalley. This is a collection of short stories that take place at a powwow in Ann Arbor, MI. Each story is written by a different Native American author and highlights the diversity of the different Nations. I absolutely love the idea of intersecting stories told from different perspectives and highlighting different characters so it was fun to spot some of the common threads throughout each story. This is a great intro to Native authors, cultures, and customs for young reade E-ARC provided by NetGalley. This is a collection of short stories that take place at a powwow in Ann Arbor, MI. Each story is written by a different Native American author and highlights the diversity of the different Nations. I absolutely love the idea of intersecting stories told from different perspectives and highlighting different characters so it was fun to spot some of the common threads throughout each story. This is a great intro to Native authors, cultures, and customs for young readers and folks interested in learning more. Please note, I have included each author’s affiliated Nation/tribe as found in the “About the Contributors” section. - What is a Powwow by Kim Rogers (Wichita and Affiliated Tribes) - Poem - 5 - Fancy Dancer by Monique Gray Smith (Cree and Lakota Nations) - 5 - Flying Together by Kim Rogers (Wichita and Affiliated Tribes) - 5 - Warriors of Forgiveness by Tim Tingle (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma) - 4.5 - Brothers by David A. Robertson (Norway House Cree Nation) - 5 - Rez Dog Rules by Rebecca Roanhorse (Ohkay Owingeh) - 5 - Secrets and Surprised by Traci Sorell (Cherokee Nation) - 5 - Wendigos Don’t Dance by Art Coulson (Cherokee Nation) - 4 - Indian Price by Eric Gansworth (Onondaga Nation) - 4 - Senecavajo: Alan’s Story by Brian Young (Navajo Nation) - 4 - Squash Blossom Bracelet: Kevin’s Story by Brian Young (Navajo Nation) - 4 - Joey Reads the Sky by Dawn Quigley (Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibwe) - 4 - What We Know About Glaciers by Christine Day (Upper Skagit Tribe) - 5 - Little Fox and the Case of the Missing Regalia by Erika Wurth (Apache/Chickasaw/Cherokee Nations) - 3 - The Ballad of Maggie Wilson by Andrea L. Rogers (Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma) - 5 - Bad Dog by Joseph Bruchac ( Nulhegan Abenaki citizen) - 4 - Between the Lines by Cynthia Leitich Smith (Muscogee Creek Nation.) - 4 - Circles by Carole Lindstrom (Anishinaabe/Metis, enrolled member of Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibwe) - Poem - 5 Cover illustration by Nicole Neidhart (Dine, Navajo Nation) Overall rating: 4.25

  24. 5 out of 5

    Maureen

    This short story collection was written by an amazing group of authors who tell the stories of Native Americans in their #ownvoices. The common thread running through all these stories is a powwow that takes places near the University of Michigan, but the similarities end there. The voices, stories, and lives are as varied as any other cultural group. From the military fighter pilot mom to the younger sister who misses her older college student sister; from the reservation dog to the girl who's This short story collection was written by an amazing group of authors who tell the stories of Native Americans in their #ownvoices. The common thread running through all these stories is a powwow that takes places near the University of Michigan, but the similarities end there. The voices, stories, and lives are as varied as any other cultural group. From the military fighter pilot mom to the younger sister who misses her older college student sister; from the reservation dog to the girl who's good at solving mysteries; and from Choctaw to Squamish, Navajo to Ojibwe, these stories show the geographical, educational, and socioeconomic diversity that exists amongst the native tribes of North America. Despite this diversity, common bonds shone through - respect for tradition, respect for elders, service to others, service to the country are ideas that were woven into more than a few stories. And despite the unique aspects of the Native American powwow, there were many things that middle grade readers from any background can relate to - shyness, the feeling of not fitting in, trying to figure out your true identity, making friends, sadness and grief. I highly recommend this book for readers of all ages. The audiobook was especially well done, with native narrators who did an amazing job with pronunciations. This would make an excellent pairing with Karen Pheasant-Neganigwane's nonfiction book Powwow: A Celebration through Song and Dance.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus It is so helpful to have publishing imprints run by people who share the cultural background of the authors they publish! Native American books have been particularly hard to find and it's even harder to know if they accurately reflect the background, since there are many different tribal enrollments. Levine Querido, Tu Books from Lee and Low, Rick Riordan Presents, Kokila, Salaam Reads, and Versify all provide books by #OwnVoices writers. It's great to see Heartd E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus It is so helpful to have publishing imprints run by people who share the cultural background of the authors they publish! Native American books have been particularly hard to find and it's even harder to know if they accurately reflect the background, since there are many different tribal enrollments. Levine Querido, Tu Books from Lee and Low, Rick Riordan Presents, Kokila, Salaam Reads, and Versify all provide books by #OwnVoices writers. It's great to see Heartdrum join this growing list. This reminded me a bit of Once Upon an Eid, because while it deals with one event (a PowWow at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor), it has story about attendees from many different tribal backgrounds and places. This is a great way for readers to find themselves in the pages of the book, but also points out that Native Americans are not all part of a monolithic culture. There are stories by a variety of authors, and the list of authors is itself a great resource. Smith, Tim Tingle, Rebecca Roanhorse and Joseph Bruchac, Christine Day, Eric Gansworth, and Traci Sorell were authors whom I have read, but Dawn Quigley, Carole Lindstrom, David A. Robertson, Andrea L. Rogers, Kim Rogers, Monique Gray Smith, and Art Coulson were all new to me. Reviewing short stories collections is not something I do well, but Ancestor Approved was a great collection that should be on the radar of every middle school and high school librarian. My only complaint is that I wish the subtitle hadn't been Intertribal Stories for KIDS (emphasis mine) because I think these stories would work well for older teens as well.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Destiny Henderson

    Stories rated by enjoyment. While this anthology wasn’t for me, I’m always glad for more diverse stories. What Is a Pow Wow (3 stars)A cute, healthy portrayal of a mom’s boyfriend and a kid bonding. Fancy Dancer (2 stars)Grandad finds his love for dance again. Warriors of Forgiveness (2 stars)Feels way too good to be true. Not the part about some older people’s too-trusting nature. That was accurate. Brothers (3 stars)Rez Dogs (2 stars)Strong endingSecrets and Surprises (2 stars) Wendigos Don’t Dan Stories rated by enjoyment. While this anthology wasn’t for me, I’m always glad for more diverse stories. What Is a Pow Wow (3 stars)A cute, healthy portrayal of a mom’s boyfriend and a kid bonding. Fancy Dancer (2 stars)Grandad finds his love for dance again. Warriors of Forgiveness (2 stars)Feels way too good to be true. Not the part about some older people’s too-trusting nature. That was accurate. Brothers (3 stars)Rez Dogs (2 stars)Strong endingSecrets and Surprises (2 stars) Wendigos Don’t Dance (3 stars) Indian Price (3.5 stars or 4ish) Senecavajo (2.5 stars)Unlikely friendship with the school bully? I guess. Still, I liked this one. Squash Blossom Bracelet: Kevin’s Story (3 stars)Ohhh, a dual POV. Somehow, I liked Kevin’s narrative the slightest bit more than Alan’s.Joey Reads the Sky (3 stars) What We Know About Glaciers (3.5 stars)If you’re not taking care of yourself, you’re no good to anyone else. Little Fox and the Case of the Missing Regalia (2 stars) The Ballad of Maggie (3 stars) Bad Dog (3 stars) Between the Lines (3 stars) Circles (3.5 stars)

  27. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    This collection of 18 short stories and poems from Native writers is a 3.5 for me. While I am pleased to see more materials written from an Own Voices perspective and would certainly want this collection in a school or classroom library, some of the stories were stronger than others, which is often the case with such a collection. The stories feature experienced, oft-published authors such as Eric Gansworth and Joseph Bruchac, and novice writers, which accounts for the unevenness of the collecti This collection of 18 short stories and poems from Native writers is a 3.5 for me. While I am pleased to see more materials written from an Own Voices perspective and would certainly want this collection in a school or classroom library, some of the stories were stronger than others, which is often the case with such a collection. The stories feature experienced, oft-published authors such as Eric Gansworth and Joseph Bruchac, and novice writers, which accounts for the unevenness of the collection. Because the stories intersect in sometimes surprising ways, readers will want to read them from beginning to end to make note of the connections. Each story concerns in some way the gathering in Ann Arbor, Michigan, of Natives from various towns. What draws them together is the annual Dance for Mother Earth Powwow and a chance to celebrate their heritage and spend time with others. There, they will dance, devour frybread, sell t-shirts and belt buckles, and reclaim their heritage. Probably my favorite two stories were "Indian Price" by Eric Gansworth because it deals so well with identity, heritage, and family, and "Rez Dog Rules" by Rebecca Roanhorse because I fell in love with that wily Rez Dog. The book's cover is beautiful with its colors and positioning of a dancer, and yes, the title hints of the cultural authenticity of the stories inside. It's a sure bet that many Native middle graders and teens will find themselves on these pages, which makes it worth the read. For cultural outsiders, those stories provide insight into powwows and Native identity.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Calvin Read

    As with most short story collections, the quality of writing varied wildly between authors. My favorite stories were the ones by Tim Tingle ("Warriors of Forgiveness"), Joseph Bruchac ("Bad Dog"), and Christine Day ("What We Know About Glaciers"). Despite my judgement of the writing quality of these stories (just because it's for children doesn't mean they don't deserve well-written stories) the content was outstanding, and I learned a ton about different native languages, perspectives, stories, As with most short story collections, the quality of writing varied wildly between authors. My favorite stories were the ones by Tim Tingle ("Warriors of Forgiveness"), Joseph Bruchac ("Bad Dog"), and Christine Day ("What We Know About Glaciers"). Despite my judgement of the writing quality of these stories (just because it's for children doesn't mean they don't deserve well-written stories) the content was outstanding, and I learned a ton about different native languages, perspectives, stories, and more. The effect of this book was exquisite - powwows are a place where people of all different native nations gather, and their stories, cultures, languages, temperaments, and understandings are all unique, and at the same time, they all share a common thread of humanity (as summed up by the final poem "Circle"). The authors also imparted valuable wisdom from different native cultures that people in power really should listen to . One stark example of this is in the short story "Joey Reads the Sky." Even though he's not very good at reading, Joey has very valuable skills that would be entirely overlooked if he were judged only by standardized tests and the colonial school system. The theme of restorative/transformative justice also comes up more than once, and is a model that everyone should adopt in order to create true healing and restoration.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nannette Demmler

    ARC provided by HarperCollins Children’s Books via NetGalley for an honest review. The story anthologies that I like the best are the ones where the stories not only share a theme, but also have some sort of common element running through it. For this book it is the Intertribal PowWow that takes place every year in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Because of the stories all basically having the same setting, you really get a sense of what it is like to be at a powwow, and how important they are to all of the ARC provided by HarperCollins Children’s Books via NetGalley for an honest review. The story anthologies that I like the best are the ones where the stories not only share a theme, but also have some sort of common element running through it. For this book it is the Intertribal PowWow that takes place every year in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Because of the stories all basically having the same setting, you really get a sense of what it is like to be at a powwow, and how important they are to all of the characters in these stories. While all of these stories and two poems, were captivating and wonderfully done, there were a few that really stood out to me. Rez Dog Rules by Rebecca Roanhorse stands out because it is narrated by a rez dog named Ozzie. I really liked Ozzie and his desire to be totally free, yet understands that the humans around him are important too, and that they always help him as well. I really liked how Ozzie is seen in other stories too by other characters as they roam the powwow. Wendigos don’t Dance by Art Coulson was also quite fun. Which is the story of Jace and his two uncles experience at the powwow. One of the uncles goes off looking for a wendigo and gets more than he bargained for. Joey Reads the Sky by Dawn Quigley was perhaps my favorite as it had a bit of magical realism in it. Joey was a lovely character who struggles in school, but knows that perhaps his strengths lie in his ability to read the sky, which can be more important than school smarts. All of the stories were well done and had distinctive characters that all had a love for their families and their communities. The modern setting of all of the stories was also a nice way of introducing non-natives to some of the traditions and customs of the various tribes. This is an anthology that I highly recommend to all schools and libraries. https://elnadesbookchat.com

  30. 4 out of 5

    Amy Nicole

    I love the purpose behind this! There needs to be more Native American voices in literature, especially for middle grade and children's lit. This collection is a series of short stories and one poem that are all set at the same powwow in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The stories all stand alone, but they do give nods to other story's characters. For example, the spunky dog who wanders the powwow with a Rez Dogs shirt on gets several mentions throughout the book. I really enjoyed that this gave representa I love the purpose behind this! There needs to be more Native American voices in literature, especially for middle grade and children's lit. This collection is a series of short stories and one poem that are all set at the same powwow in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The stories all stand alone, but they do give nods to other story's characters. For example, the spunky dog who wanders the powwow with a Rez Dogs shirt on gets several mentions throughout the book. I really enjoyed that this gave representation to many different native tribes and groups and showed what a celebration of native culture looks like. The stories themselves did not fully engage me. I appreciated what they were, but the writing itself was not why I liked this. I was also confused in a few areas by the Indigenous writers using terms like "Indian", "Native", and "Indigenous" interchangeably. I did not think that "Indian" was an appropriate term, so I'm not sure if it's being reclaimed or if it's really an interchangeable term. That was the only thing that was a bit confusing as an adult reader. As a child reader, I'm sure they will love learning more.

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