Book cover of Braiding Sweetgrass: Young Readers Edition

Braiding Sweetgrass: Young Readers Edition



Publisher & Publication Year

Zest Books, 2022

Publisher's Book Page


Monique Gray Smith (Cree, Lakota, and Scottish)

Author's Website 


Nicole Neidhardt (Diné)



In her best-selling book Braiding Sweetgrass, Indigenous botanist Robin Wall Kimmerer demonstrated how all living things—from strawberries and witch hazel to water lilies and lichen—provide us with gifts and lessons every day. Adapted for young adults by Monique Gray Smith, this new edition reinforces how wider ecological understanding stems from listening to the earth’s oldest teachers: the plants around us. Includes sidebars, reflection questions, and illustrations from Nicole Neidhardt.

Notable Achievements

Riverby Award, Winner, 2023; Nautilus Book Award Winner, Winner, 2023; Notable Award Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year, Winner, 2023; Notable Award NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12, Winner, 2023; The Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Books for Kids and Teens, Winner, 2023; Green Earth Book Award Recommended Reading, Commended, 2023; Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award Winner, Winner, 2022; Parents Magazine Best Children's Book Awards, Short-listed, 2022; Notable Award Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year for Young Adults, Winner, 2022; Notable Award Kirkus Best Teen Books of the Year, Winner, 2022


Publishers Weekly: "Smith smartly streamlines language while staying true to the narrative’s root concepts by adding brief sidebars that explain featured terminology, pose reflection questions, and highlight important passages, inviting collaborative discussion and acting as a call to action."

Kirkus Reviews: "Both an urgent, essential call to action and an uplifting love letter."

School Library Journal: "A book that is entirely in a class of its own, this belongs in every collection for teens."

Educator Guide

This guide, created by Métis educator Odia Wood-Krueger, includes a comparison between the original text and Monique Gray Smith's adapted version, key themes, discussion questions, and a list of further resources.

Link to Guide

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