List

Native American and Indigenous Voices in Fiction

By Skokie Staff Adult Services

Celebrate the rich and diverse cultures, traditions, histories, and life experiences of Native and Indigenous people.

  • Fire Keeper's Daughter

    2021 by Boulley, Angeline

    This is one of my recent favorites that I could not put down. The gripping central mystery offers much suspense and historical context as the main characters delve into tragic events to find answers and resolution. Plus, the strong female protagonist really hits the mark. I loved spending time with her. Recommended by Sharon.

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  • The Removed

    2021 by Hobson, Brandon

    National Book Award finalist Brandon Hobson has crafted a lyrical and moving story of a Cherokee family’s grief and resilience after losing their son Ray-Ray. Hobson masterfully combines the past and present and appeals to nature, animals, and mystical power to help the family make their way toward healing and renewal.

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  • Walking in Two Worlds

    2021 by Kinew, Wab

    If you loved Slay by Brittany Morris, you will enjoy this thrilling, high-tech page-turner centering on a powerful Anishinaabe teen Bagonegiizhigok “Bugz” Holiday, who is navigating between the real and the virtual, the colonized and the Indigenous worlds. This speculative thriller also touches upon important topics such as identity, toxic masculinity, complicated family and cultural dynamics, and the role technology plays in our lives.

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  • The Sentence

    2021 by Erdrich, Louise

    The traumatic events of 2020, including the global COVID-19 pandemic and the murder of George Floyd, are experienced by the employees of a haunted Minneapolis bookstore specializing in Indigenous literature. The New Yorker calls this novel Erdich's love letter to "the 'Indigerati'—her name for urban, intellectual Native Americans."

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  • The Marrow Thieves

    2017 by Dimaline, Cherie

    The Marrow Thieves is a heart-pounding dystopian, survival story that is all too real. I loved how the backstory of the characters and the events are told orally as stories and in pieces that are slowly put together. I am looking forward to to the sequel and seeing what happens next to the characters. Recommended by Rummanah.

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  • My Heart Is a Chainsaw

    2021 by Jones, Stephen Graham

    Do you love horror novels or films? Jones' latest novel mixes the hilarious with the horrifying while addressing real issues such as class, gentrification, and privilege. Publishers are marketing this book as Shirley Jackson meets Friday the 13th. Intrigued?

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  • Heartbeat Braves

    2016 by Sanderson, Pamela

    This romance novel includes all kinds of love—romantic, family, friendship, community, and culture. It’s sweet and light-hearted, but also does not shy away from the reality and struggles of an urban Indian center. The characters are complex and interesting, and the story compelling and informative. This is the first book in the Crooked Rock Urban Indian Center series, so don’t forget to pick up the sequels as well. Recommended by Penny.

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  • This Place: 150 Years Retold

    2019

    This is an eye opening graphic novel that highlights some of the atrocities that Indigenous people of Canada have endured and are enduring. I learned a lot reading this book. Recommended by Rummanah.

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  • Give Me Some Truth

    2018 by Gansworth, Eric L.

    Gansworth has crafted a compelling and thoughtful coming-of-age story in which his protagonists wrestle with identity and the daily struggles of living on and off the reservation. They find solace in the music of The Beatles. Sure to delight Beatles fans and fans of the television show Reservation Dogs.

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  • Trail of Lightning

    2018 by Roanhorse, Rebecca

    If you are looking for a compelling, fast-paced fantasy, and want to learn more about the Navajo culture, land, and legend, definitely check out this book. Booklist describes it as Neil Gaiman’s American Gods meets Mad Max: Fury Road.

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  • Elatsoe

    2020 by Little Badger, Darcie

    A fast-paced, contemporary fantasy that intertwines Lipan Apache mythology, folk tales, and urban legends with a spine-tingling mystery.

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  • Winter Counts

    2020 by Weiden, David Heska Wanbli

    Virgil Wounded Horse doles out rough justice on South Dakota's Rosebud Reservation, but when a tribal politician hires him to stop heroin sales, he and the few people he cares about are caught between dueling conspiracies. This series debut combines a classic noir detective plot with insights into everything from how the legal system continues to fail Native Americans to the Native foods movement.

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  • There There

    2018 by Orange, Tommy

    This engrossing read reminds us that the Native American identity is not a monolithic identity, but is varied and complex, as demonstrated by the large cast of characters who come together during the Big Oakland Powwow.

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  • This Town Sleeps

    2020 by Staples, Dennis E.

    In this novel that's more than just a mystery, Staples paints a portrait of Geshig, MN, an Ojibwe community of stunning natural beauty and grinding poverty where people like his main protagonist feel torn between a desperate desire to get out and the suspicion that they will never feel like they belong as much anywhere else.

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  • The Only Good Indians

    2020 by Jones, Stephen Graham

    A violation of the traditional rules regarding hunting--and, by extent, humanity's relationship with the natural world--leads to supernatural vengeance in this slow-burn horror novel that combines slasher-movie conventions and Blackfeet lore.

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  • Hearts Unbroken

    2018 by Smith, Cynthia Leitich

    Blending a sweet romance with complex questions of identity, equality, and censorship, this is an excellent choice for readers who love romances with heft and realistic fiction.

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  • Moon of the Crusted Snow

    2018 by Rice, Waubgeshig

    In this slow-burn thriller and powerful story of survival, Evan Whitesky must use the traditional knowledge he still imperfectly understands to save as many people as possible during an apocalypse.

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