Young Adult: Historical Events

Historical events have profoundly shaped Native identity and resilience. These events, marked by colonization and cultural suppression, highlight the ongoing struggle for self-determination and the preservation of our heritage. Additionally, our history serves as inspiration to reclaim our rights, safeguard sacred lands, and revitalize indigenous traditions. Through embracing history, we forge a future that honors cultural richness and empowers communities.

Book cover of Apple Skin to the Core

Apple: Skin to the Core


Eric Gansworth (Onondaga Nation)


In Apple: Skin to the Core, Eric Gansworth tells his story, the story of his family—of Onondaga among Tuscaroras—of Native folks everywhere. From the horrible legacy of the government boarding schools, to a boy watching his siblings leave and return and leave again, to a young man fighting to be an artist who balances multiple worlds. Eric shatters that slur and reclaims it in verse and prose and imagery that truly lives up to the word heartbreaking.

This powerful memoir speaks to the effects of trauma brought on by colonialism that shaped Gansworth’s life. It also speaks to his resilience and the power of his community.

Book cover of Notable Native People

Notable Native People: 50 Indigenous Leaders, Dreamers, and Changemakers from Past and Present


Adrienne Keene (Cherokee Nation)


From luminaries of the past, like nineteenth-century sculptor Edmonia Lewis—the first Black and Native American female artist to achieve international fame—to contemporary figures like Jessie Little Doe Baird, the linguist who revived the Wampanoag language, Notable Native People celebrates the lives, stories, and achievements of various Indigenous leaders. It also provides accessible primers on important issues, from the legacy of colonialism to land and water rights. An indispensable read for anyone seeking to learn more about Native American histories and cultures, this powerful collection will educate and inspire readers of all ages.

In an American culture that often overlooks Native people, this beautiful book shines a spotlight on 50 remarkable Indigenous leaders, visionaries, and trailblazers spanning generations. We are still here, and these stories tell our collective stories.

Book cover of Anumpa Warrior

Anumpa Warrior


Sarah Elizabeth Sawyer (Choctaw Nation)


When Bertram Robert (B.B.) Dunn joins his fellow Choctaw friends to enlist in the U.S. army during the Great War, he is met in the trenches of France with a duty only his native Choctaw tongue can fulfill. Meanwhile, war correspondent Matthew Teller—B.B.’s uncle—seeks to tell the untold stories of American Indian infantrymen, aiming to spread truth in the face of entrenched stereotypes and prejudices. As the Allies build toward the greatest offensive drive of the war, the American forces find themselves thwarted by an enemy who intercepts their messages and knows their every move, and they must answer a difficult question: can the solution come from a people who their own government stripped of their lands, culture, and language?

At a time when Native people weren’t U.S. citizens, they still went to war for the United States. This fictional narrative is based on real events overlooked in US history: the Choctaw Code Talkers of World War I, who played an important role in the war efforts.

Book cover of Native Women Changing Their Worlds

Native Women Changing Their Worlds


Patricia Cutright (Cheyenne River Sioux)


Native women have filled their communities with strength and leadership, both historically and as modern-day warriors. The twelve Native American and First Nations women featured in this book overcame unimaginable hardships—racial and gender discrimination, abuse, and extreme poverty—only to rise to great heights in the fields of politics, science, education, and community activism. The impressive accomplishments of these dynamic women provide inspiration for all. Their determination and courage reflect the essence of the traditional Cheyenne saying: “A nation is not conquered until the hearts of its women are on the ground.”

This look at contemporary Native women honoring their culture and heritage is a powerful reminder of Native resilience and determination to become leaders in their respective fields.

Book cover of Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask (Young Readers Edition)

Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask (Young Readers Edition)


Anton Treuer (White Earth Nation)


An essential book of questions and answers for Native and non-Native young readers alike. Ranging from “Why is there such a fuss about nonnative people wearing Indian costumes for Halloween?” to “Why is it called a ‘traditional Indian fry bread taco’?“ to “What’s it like for natives who don’t look native?” to “Why are Indians so often imagined rather than understood?”, and beyond, Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask does exactly what its title says for young readers. Tough, difficult, and nuanced questions are addressed with a gentle hand.


These titles provide a range of avenues for exploring the impacts of colonization on Native communities and people, for both old and young Native readers and beyond. But they also pave the way for a future crafted by our own hands—one that not only pays homage to our abundant cultural heritage but also strengthens and uplifts our communities.

Headshot of author Stacy Wells

About the Author

Stacy Wells

Stacy Wells, an enrolled member of Choctaw Nation, is a youth librarian serving families and their children from birth to teens. She is the Executive Assistant for the American Indian Library Association, on the steering committee for the North Texas Teen Book Festival, and is a community advocate for kids with dyslexia. Stacy’s debut picture book, STRONGER THAN co-written by Nikki Grimes and illustrated by E.B. Lewis, is forthcoming in 2025 (HarperCollins/Heartdrum). She lives in Texas with her family.