Books to Read For Native American Heritage Month

As an English major, I will find any excuse to read. Since it is Native American Heritage Month, I decided to dedicate my reading to Native authors and literature. Here are some of the books I've read (and loved) so far:

 

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

From Amazon

Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior who leaves his school on the Spokane Reservation to attend a predominantly white, rural high school. This specific book of Alexie’s kind of reminds me of the works of Augusten Burroughs (“Running with Scissors”) because of its sad yet humorous dichotomy. 

 

#Notyourprincess: Voices of Native American Women edited by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale

From Amazon

This compilation of poems, essays, and art that speaks to the experience of Native American women. The whole collection is enlightening and inspirational. If I had to recommend one book from this list, it would be “#Notyourprincess.” 

 

The Round House by Louise Erdrich

From Amazon

“The Round House” is based in the late-1980s in a North Dakota reservation. The novel surrounds 13-year-old Joe and his journey to rebuild his mother after her attack. It is hard to explain this book because whatever I say will not give it justice. Erdrich is a powerful writer and “The Round House” is moving beyond words.

 

There There by Tommy Orange

From Amazon

Orange’s “There There” has a lot going on. In a nutshell, a group of characters meets at the Big Oakland Powwow. They each have their own backgrounds and challenges which interconnect throughout the book. I love “There There” because it shows a side of life in the U.S. that I’ve never seen before. 

 

Crazy Brave by Joy Harjo

From Amazon

“Crazy Brave” is a memoir of Joy Harjo’s life and her road to becoming a poet. She is such an inspiration and this book should be on every girl boss’s to-read list. If you are not a memoir lover, at least check out some of Harjo’s poems like “Don’t Bother the Earth Spirit” or “Grace.”

While I am scouring for some new Native American Literature, these 5 books are among my favorites and I highly recommend all of them.