Like the books I picked for Filipino American History Month, there are not many books on Indigenous musicians. There is one book that was featured for Women’s History Month called “Red Bird Sings: The Story of Zitkala-Ša, Native American Author, Musician, and Activist”. That book can be found in this post and would be a wonderful choice as well. However, these books are wonderful to tie culture and history to your lessons whether it be in November, or any other time of year. (Full disclosure: some affiliate links but it won’t change your price. No pressure!)

1. Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message 

Author: Chief Jake Swamp
Illustrator: Erwin Printup
ISBN: 978-1880000540
Buy the book on Amazon

This book is a children’s version of the Thanksgiving Address with words of thanks coming from the Haudenosaunee, also known as the Six Nations, Mohawk, Oneida, Cayuga, Onodaga, Seneca, and Tuscarora.

2. Jingle Dancer

Author: Cynthia L. Smith
Illustrator: Cornelius Van Wright, Ying-Hwa Hu
ISBN: 978-0063018112
Buy the book on Amazon

This book is about Jenna who wants to jingle dance like her Grandma. She needs jingles for her dress as she hopes to dance the next time. This is a wonderful book to introduce jingle dancing.

Information from the National Congress of American Indians
Information from (includes video)

3. Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story

Author: Kevin Noble Maillard
Illustrator: Juana Martinez-Neal
ISBN: 978-1626727465
Buy the book on Amazon

November is a month that many associate with food so this book is perfect to incorporate that concept as well. This book features Fry Bread and some of the things it can represent.

4. We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga 

Author: Traci Sorell
Illustrator: Frane Lessac
ISBN: 978-1580897723
Buy the book on Amazon

This book is a wonderful way to bring the concept of giving thanks all year round into a lesson. This book goes through the seasons of things we can be thankful for and includes those words in English and Cherokee with phonetic pronunciation guides.

5. We Are Water Protectors

Author: Carole Lindstrom
Illustrator: Michaela Grade
ISBN: 978-1250203557
Buy the book on Amazon

While it doesn’t spell it out, this beautiful book is about a “black snake” threatening water. This is a perfect pairing with an Algonquin Water Song. This song was specifically recorded and given so that we as teachers may teach this song to our students. It is important to note that many songs from different Indigenous cultures are not allowed to be performed by members outside of the tribe so this is a chance for those of us who are not a member of the Algonquin Tribe to perform this song. It can be found at

I hope this is helpful and has given you some ideas of books to include in November or any time of year.

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