Book cover of Josie Dances

Josie Dances



Publisher & Publication Year

Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2021

Publisher's Book Page


Denise Lajimodiere (Turtle Mountain Ojibwe)

Author's Website 


Angela Erdrich (Turtle Mountain Chippewa)



Josie dreams of dancing at next summer’s powwow. But first she needs many special things: a dress, a shawl, a cape, leggings, moccasins, and, perhaps most important of all, her spirit name. To gather all these essential pieces, she calls on her mom, her aunty, her kookum, and Grandma Greatwalker, who have the skills to prepare Josie for her powwow debut. As the months go by, she is nervous about her performance and about all the pieces falling into place, but she knows her family is there to support her. At her first dance, Josie finds the powwow circle to be a welcoming space, and when she receives her name, she knows it’s just right. Wrapped in the love of her community, Josie dances to honor her ancestors.

Notable Achievements


Publishers Weekly: "This resonant modern-day Native narrative highlights the warmth of one girl’s family, the pride of traditions, and the beauty of finding a place in the world, themes as contemporary as they are ancient."

Kirkus Reviews: "Sweetly demonstrates how this traditional dance links the generations."

Educator Guide

Link to Guide

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