Book cover of Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story



Publisher & Publication Year

Roaring Brook Press (2019)

Publisher's Book Page


Kevin Noble Maillard (Seminole Nation of Oklahoma)

Author's Website 


Juana Martinez-Neal



Fry bread is food. It is warm and delicious, piled high on a plate. Fry bread is nation. It is shared by many, from coast to coast and beyond. Fry bread is us. It is a celebration of old and new, traditional and modern, similarity and difference. In this book, Maillard introduces how different Native Americans cultures and many kinds of families are united through this traditional food.

Notable Achievements

2020 Charlotte Huck Recommended Book, Publishers Weekly Best Picture Book of 2019, Kirkus Reviews Best Picture Book of 2019, School Library Journal Best Picture Book of 2019, Booklist 2019 Editor's Choice, Shelf Awareness Best Children’s Book of 2019, Goodreads Choice Award 2019 Semifinalist, Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Book of 2019, National Public Radio (NPR) Best Book of 2019, NCTE Notable Poetry Book, 2020 NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People, 2020 ALA Notable Children’s Book, 2020 ILA Notable Book for a Global Society, 2020 Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Books of the Year List, One of NPR's 100 Favorite Books for Young Readers


Publishers Weekly: "Using brief statements that begin ‘fry bread is,’ Maillard, who is a member of the Mekusukey band of the Seminole Nation tribe, creates a powerful meditation on the food as ‘a cycle of heritage and fortune.'"

Kirkus Reviews: “With buoyant, heartfelt illustrations that show the diversity in Native America, the book tells the story of a post-colonial food, a shared tradition across the North American continent.”

School Library Journal: “This warm and charming book shows and affirms Native lives. The informational text and expressive drawings give it broad appeal, making it a first purchase for all libraries.”

Booklist: “Maillard and Martinez-Neal bring depth, detail, and whimsy to this Native American food story, with text and illustrations depicting the diversity of indigenous peoples, the role of continuity between generations, and the adaptation over time of people, place, and tradition.”

The Horn Book: “Readers learn that the food staple, although common to many Native American homes, is as varied as the people who make it and the places where it is made. This diversity, too, is reflected in Martinez-Neal’s warmhearted acrylic, colored-pencil, and graphite illustrations.”

Educator Guide

This guide, created by the National Education Association, includes teaching instructions, questions for discussion and reflective writing, and additional resources.

Link to Guide

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