American Indian Youth Book Awards

April 30, 2024

Excellent new literature written and illustrated by Native authors and artists is blooming. I am excited to share a few recently published books recognized this year with the prestigious American Indian Youth Literature Award.

A Letter for Bob Forever Cousins

A Letter for Bob

A new picture book written by Kim Rogers, Wichita & Affiliated Tribes, tells of one family’s journey in their first new car, Bob.  As readers we are the lucky ones as we hop inside Bob and ride along from place to place and year to year.

The youngest, newest family member, loves this car. It needs a name.  As soon as she learns to talk, she names the car Bob.

“It fit.  Strong. Fun. Trustworthy.”

and illustrated by Jonathan Nelson, Diné (Navajo)

Forever Cousins

also illustrated by Jonathan Nelson and written by Laura Goodluck. Selected by the Junior Library Guild Association and given a Gold Standard recognition.

Story of two cousins, best friends, separated because of the 1950 Indian Relocation Act. A story with heart and history.

Rez Ball Rez Dogs

Rez Ball

a middle grade, young adult novel by Byron Graves. When his older brother dies in an accident, his basketball team takes Tre under their wing. Tre sees this as his way to represent his Ojibwe rez to their first state championship. He has an ultimate goal of playing in the NBA, no matter how hard that will be. He wants this for his brother, his team, his rez, and himself. But he can’t mess up. Not only was this honored with an AIYLA award, but it also received the William C. Morris Debut Award.

Rez Dogs

Joseph Bruchac wrote this book, which was honored in the Fiction and Poetry category of the Boston Globe Horn Book Award. It’s a pandemic book, showing the care, love, and respect a young girl has for her grandparents. While on a visit that was suppose to be only a few days, she is “stuck” living with them when the pandemic shuts down any way for her to return home to her parents.

A few other delightful books — ask for them at your local library.

Berry Song Running with Changing Woman

Berry Song by Michaela Goade, a AIYLA winner and the recipient of a Caldecott Honor

Running with Changing Woman, a YA book from Lorinda Martinez, published by the Salina Bookshelf in Flagstaff

Nancy Bo Flood

As a fish-brain surgeon or a rodeo poem wrangler, I have loved stories. I strongly believe that words – in poetry or prose – help heal our hearts and give us new eyes to see the world. I was first a research psychologist studying brain development at the University of Minnesota and London University before following my passion – writing for children. Learn more...