Kenny Ramos and DeLanna Studi narrate with warmth as they bring a memorable intertribal powwow to life for listeners. Sixteen Indigenous authors weave together diverse stories in celebration of coming together as a community while also highlighting the young protagonists' many different personalities and experiences. Ramos narrates the boys' stories in a lively and youthful... Read More
Poetic, intense, and defiant, Native American author and artist Eric Gansworth delivers his own coming-of-age story. The youngest child of seven, he grew up on a reservation outside Buffalo, New York, amid abject poverty and systemic racism. Like many children of the 1960s and '70s, he adopted pop culture icons like the Beatles, Batman, and Star Wars as his own and watched his... Read More
In narrating this audiobook original, Isabella Star LaBlanc may have felt herself trapped in a horror trope. But she’s made the most of finding this unexpectedly haunted house. LaBlanc expertly captures the deterioration of a babysitter named Charlotte, whose plans for a quiet night of preparing for the SATs go up in smoke. Charlotte is accustomed to being the smartest person... Read More
This compelling audiobook introduces Piatote's debut collection of stories in prose and verse. It's sprinkled with the Nez Perce language and concludes with a reimagining of Antigone as Antikone. Piatote has a fine conversational style. Hers is a storyteller's voice, and her delivery has striking transparency. When her narrator is an 11-year-old, she sounds 11. In "Beading... Read More
Aaliya Warbus and Jordan Waunch team up to deliver this twisty story about identity, family, and long-held secrets. In Maine, the summer begins like any other. Seasonal workers, including Indigenous families from Canada, are harvesting fruit in the fields. When four-year-old Ruthie disappears, the consequences are lasting, especially for her siblings. Warbus and Waunch trade... Read More
The voice of Native narrator Tai Amy Grauman is as clear and cool as the waters of Canada's St. James Bay, where this novel of a Cree woman's vision quest takes place. Victoria is a Cree poet and shaman who travels through the coniferous forests of northern Quebec to find the bones of her great-uncle and set his spirit free. Many tales and legends of these Indigenous people... Read More
Author Oscar Hokeah and narrator Rainy Fields both give vivid, emotional performances in this intergenerational drama. The story features a young Indigenous man of Kiowa and Cherokee heritage, Ever Geimausaddle, who is trying to find his way through life's joys, heartbreaks, violence, and triumphs. Hokeah voices all the sections told from the points of view of male characters,... Read More
Joy Harjo, former U.S. poet laureate, narrates 50 vignettes that offer a glimpse of the wellsprings that have sustained her writing passion for decades. She is strongly influenced by her Native American heritage and the counterculture movement of the 1960s. A musician as well, Harjo often equates poetry with music, and her voice has the same resonant quality that she admires in... Read More
DeLanna Studi’s Oklahoma Cherokee heritage brings authenticity to her narration of this biography of engineer Mary Golda Ross. Born in Oklahoma in 1908, Ross drew from her Cherokee values and her talent in math to become the first female engineer at Lockheed Aircraft Company, where she worked on top-secret projects. Music provides an inspiring backdrop to Mary’s education and... Read More
One of the original 29 Navajo code talkers discusses his experiences in WWII and his early life in the "checkerboard" area of tribal lands in the Southwest. The book is written in the first person, a choice that provides a preponderance of simple sentences. David Colacci captures the flavor of the Navajo speakers with an even tone, free of strong emotion. That’s not to say his... Read More
Most poets mine their own experiences and their histories, and Joy Harjo is no exception. In this audiobook she brings to life many of the stories, songs, and traditions of her Muscogee and Cherokee ancestors. Her poetry can fairly be called polemical in its intention, but it is also deeply human, working in ranges of experience that many listeners may have been fortunate... Read More
At a slow pace that reflects the author's introspective tone, Charley Flyte narrates this melancholy memoir. The author is a Navajo woman who had few connections to her Native family until the death of her alcoholic mother took her on a journey--both literal and metaphoric--to her roots. In a languid voice, Flyte recounts Geller's rejection of her abusive parents and her... Read More
A talented cast of narrators performs a horror story involving the survivor of a small-town massacre. Four years after Proofrock, Idaho, was devastated by the horrific murders, Jade attempts to put her traumatic past behind her. When a serial killer escapes during a prison transfer in a blinding storm, another massacre may be on the horizon--unless Jade and her friends can stop... Read More
Narrator Irene Bedard--who is of Iñupiaq, Yu'pik, Cree, and French Canadian heritage--brings vocal authenticity to Iñupiaq author/illustrator Nasugraq Rainey Hopson's debut novel. When a boy is kidnapped by a golden eagle who turns into a man, he is challenged to live, rather than die like his two older brothers. Adopting the sonorous delivery of an oral storyteller, Bedard... Read More
Ojibwe professor and author Anton Treuer narrates this new edition, revised and updated for a young adult audience. Structured as a collection of questions and answers, this audiobook sheds light on the long history of genocide that colonizers have perpetuated against Native peoples and explains their effects on the lives of Indians in the U.S. and Canada today. Treuer does not... Read More
Narrator Kaipo Schwab becomes the author, Grand Chief Ronald M. Derrickson, as he describes his life and accomplishments as the leader of the Westbank First Nation and the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs. As a businessman and chief, Derrickson has increased his tribes' wealth and position more than 3,500% since the 1970s through leasing and logging rights and through... Read More
Isabella Star LaBlanc brings an authentic-sounding narration to this powerful audiobook. Set amid state and tribal lands in Michigan, the story of Daunis, who is caught between these two cultures, is told with heartfelt compassion. LaBlanc masterfully amplifies Daunis’s apprehension when she becomes involved in helping the FBI investigate a new, deadly street drug. Thriller,... Read More
An exceptionally moving memoir voiced with great steadiness by its author, this audiobook is brimming with details of a life that truly does seem to rise from the ashes. A Métis-Cree man who, for various harrowing reasons, was abandoned by his parents as a child, Thistle tells the entirely engrossing story of his life from a young age to the present day. From his fraught and... Read More
Kevin Noble Maillard, a member of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, narrates his own audiobook about the beauty and complexity of the Native American staple, fry bread. His personality bursts through as he speaks with passion about its historical significance and about his personal connection to it. Moments of playfulness will hook young listeners into learning about the... Read More
Louise Erdrich narrates her novel in a quiet voice that belies its power to convey her devastating and heart-wrenching story. Cedar, an adopted Ojibwe woman, slowly reveals the horrors of the novel's dystopian setting as she writes a diary addressed to her future baby. Evolution is going haywire, and society disintegrates as pregnant women are captured to birth their babies in... Read More
Shaun Taylor-Corbett seamlessly narrates the majority of this novel with a masterful assist by Charley Flyte. Hughie Wolfe, an avid actor, is asked to help at a Halloween haunted house near the crossroads of his small Kansas town. Hughie and a group of friends working around this area have begun to learn of odd happenings that are linked to a missing young Indigenous woman... Read More
Tanis Parenteau delivers an efficient narration of Treuer's audiobook. Listeners, especially those familiar with the massacre at Wounded Knee, should make time for this history. Treuer's work is deeply researched, positioning the listener within the histories and first-person accounts of indigenous people of North America and making their experiences and views central to the... Read More
Kyla Garcia brings this award-winning 2018 novel to life for listeners. Louise Wolfe is a smart and curious high school senior who lives in Kansas and is a citizen of the Muscogee Creek Nation. Garcia's bright narration suits the teen who finds her voice in the school paper, navigates crushes, and thinks about the future. Lou and her family face discrimination and harassment... Read More
With his commanding voice and calm demeanor, actor Lorne Cardinal adds gravity and urgency to this plea for global change. Cardinal is not a flashy narrator; he rarely modulates or changes tempo. But his resonant delivery and his Cree heritage enable him to convincingly convey the author's spirit of Indigenous activism. According to Krenek, our survival depends on whether we... Read More
Eric Gansworth's narration of his first young adult novel shines with authenticity. His bright hero, Lewis Blake, finds a lot of differences between his Tuscarora "rez" and his predominantly white public school. Gansworth exposes harsh realities but tempers these with Lewis's eloquently ironic tones and friendship with George, an Air Force kid newly arrived from Guam.... Read More
Narrator Shaun Taylor-Corbett brings youth and enthusiasm to this reissued collection of Ray Halfmoon's adventures with his grampa. Ray and Grampa's close bond takes them through pet sitting during a blizzard, night fishing, attending a wedding without pants, and many other sweet antics in their Chicago hometown. Taylor-Corbett's voice is filled with tender emotion that folds... Read More
Indigenous Canadian narrator Darrell Dennis delivers this unvarnished account of Native American history for middle-grade students. The audiobook, part of the True History series, does not shy away from uncomfortable truths about the European colonization of the Americas. Dennis speaks without rancor or sensationalism, delivering facts about the American Indians' roles in... Read More
Narrator Kaipo Schwab brings a bright, naturalistic delivery to this collection of decidedly academic essays that re-examine the first and continued contact between Native peoples and the Europeans who arrived to "conquer" the Americas. The eye-opening contention is that after 1492, one group did not simply replace the other; instead Indigenous peoples used politics, labor... Read More
Erin Tripp chronicles the scientific advancements of the Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island, or North America, in a matter-of-fact voice that complements the narrative. An introduction includes a note on pronunciations and word usage. Throughout each section, extra facts and information are shared, offering more context for the listener. As Tripp covers topics that range from... Read More
First Nations theater artist Jennifer Bobiwash captures the enthusiastic voice of Jo Jo Makoons in her lively narration of this hilarious audiobook for young listeners. Seven-year-old Jo Jo is proudly Ojibwe. She's growing up with her mother and grandmother on a fictional reservation and happily shares words in Ojibwe and Michif with listeners. She also knows how to get into... Read More
DeLanna Studi narrates two scary stories in this middle-grade collection: “Skeleton Man” and its sequel, “The Return of Skeleton Man.” Molly, a modern-day Mohawk girl, is sent to live with her creepy great-uncle after her parents’ mysterious disappearance. But she knows something is not right. The spooky traditional Mohawk tales her father used to tell her about the Skeleton... Read More
Heid E. Erdrich is of German and Ojibwe heritage. Both parts of her background get voices--along with the connections and conflicts between them--in this audio collection of her poetry. She also writes about being a woman, about being in love, and about a range of other issues, delivering her own work in a calm tone, even when some rage might be justified. She varies her... Read More
Tom Stechschulte's skill in voicing the cadence of Native American characters makes him the perfect narrator for this breathtaking novel about a teen and his alcoholic father, both of Canada's First Nations. Sixteen-year-old Franklin Starlight has been raised by an old man who has taught him to respect the abundance of nature. When Frank is summoned for a visit with his real... Read More
Shaun Taylor-Corbett's narration is calm and friendly, and he handles this 1928 classic's occasional humor in a charming understated manner. This is a strength, given the book's didactic intent. However, at times this even-toned approach may become dull for some listeners. Despite this drawback, Taylor-Corbett brings the story to life, and his narration embodies its theme that... Read More
This initially heartbreaking but ultimately joyful audiobook is about the interconnected lives of a group of family and friends in a small Cree community in Northern Canada. The story moves through the points of view of several Indigenous women (and a few men), most of whom are dealing with intense trauma. Carol Rose GoldenEagle's narration is powerful and steady. Her voice is... Read More
In an understated, melodious narration, Kaitlin Curtice unfolds her story of reclaiming the Potowatomi culture of her father, which was put aside after her parents divorced and Curtice was being raised by her mother and stepfather in a white, evangelical Christian household. Narrating unhurriedly, in a steady cadence, Curtice spools out her riveting journey through the telling... Read More
Darrell Dennis narrates these 12 interconnected short stories with calculated restraint, empathy, and a sure sense of the author's voice. His gift for timing gives the Native American protagonist a powerful self-consciousness and convincing sense of his people (Maine's Penobscot tribe) and their place. The central character, David, tells the first-person stories in a... Read More
Beverly Little Thunder's transfixing memoir is a melodic collaboration involving three Native women. Wanting to tell her life story as a two-spirit Lakota Elder, the author recounts her memories to two-spirit Métis writer Sharron Proulx-Turner. The resulting published text has become an oral memoir once again through the sensitively attuned narration of filmmaker/writer/actress... Read More
This story of young Blackfeet Indian men who believe they are being tormented by the spirit of a pregnant elk they killed is destined to be a classic in the miniscule genre of Native American horror fiction. The frightening tone of the audiobook is enhanced by the narration of Shaun Taylor-Corbett, who, like the author, is Native American. His flat, unemotional recitation of... Read More
Shaun Taylor-Corbett narrates this historical novel featuring a 12-year-old Iroquois boy. Okwaho overcomes his anger at his best friend's kidnapping when he hears stories of the Peacemaker, told by a visitor to his village. By listening to these tales, he learns about the formation of the peaceful Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) Confederacy. Taylor-Corbett, who is himself of Native... Read More
Joy Harjo, the first Native American U.S. poet laureate, provides a stunning memoir filled with wisdom and compassion. In her strong, deep voice, Harjo delivers a dreamy, lyrical narration. In calm, appealing tones she shares tales of her Muscogee/Creek ancestors, personal anecdotes and remembrances, her early love of words, the stories and poems told by her beloved mother, and... Read More
Former U.S. poet laureate Joy Harjo, a member of the Mvskoke Nation, embraces listeners with her warm earthy voice. Repetition of the titular word, "remember," drives this celebration of connections: to family, to the earth, to the elements, to the universe. The poet's "r"s do not roll, but they linger in repeated instances of the words "remember" and "earth," exhorting... Read More
Five outstanding narrators capture the beauty and despair of this haunting novel about a Cherokee family that is reckoning with the murder of their teenage son and brother. In the week before the anniversary of his death, Maria, portrayed by DeLanna Studi, tries to hold her family together. Her two adult children, Sonja (Katie Rich) and Edgar(Shaun Taylor-Corbett) wrestle with... Read More
Jesse Nobess establishes a determined voice for high school sophomore Tre Brun. After losing his older brother, a basketball star, he finds his own passion for the game. Nobess captures Tre's emotions as he pushes himself to reach his maximum potential on the court, first at tryouts and eventually at the Minnesota State Championship. Tre feels pressure to succeed not only for... Read More
Native American author Joseph Bruchac narrates his novel in verse, capturing all its storytelling qualities on audio. Malian is visiting her grandparents on a Wabanaki reservation when the COVID-19 pandemic shuts down travel. She misses her parents but understands that she, her grandparents, and Malsum, the rez dog, must look after each other. Bruchac speaks slowly and... Read More
Gary Farmer introduces the listener to the Coutts family, members of the Ojibwe tribe who reside on a reservation in North Dakota in the 1980s. Perfectly cast due to his own Native American background, Farmer compassionately tells the story of 13-year-old Joe, whose mother is attacked, raped, and hospitalized—and is never quite the same again. Joe is equally devastated;... Read More
Louise Erdrich never disappoints in this engrossing, beautifully written novel. Her narration is breathy, poignant, often funny, and always engrossing. Tookie works at Birchbark Books, an independent bookstore in Minneapolis owned by Erdrich--who sometimes enters the novel as herself. Tookie is being haunted by the ghost of her most annoying customer, Flora, who won't leave the... Read More
Oglala Lakota/Mohawk actor Charley Flyte performs this supernatural mystery novel with the perfect balance of intrigue and suspense. Rita Todacheene is one of the best forensic photographers in the Albuquerque Police Department in New Mexico. But she has a secret: She can see ghosts, an ability that helps her gain unique insights into her cases. Flyte's narration captures... Read More
Narrator DeLanna Studi accomplishes an impressive feat in narrating this novel, set in the 1950s. Her depiction of 9-year-old Kit Crockett resonates as she captures the tone and often breathless cadence of the bright child. Kit's Cherokee mother dies early on, and her white father commits a seemingly justified double murder, but he still spends much of the novel in jail. The... Read More
As Joseph Bruchac announces the cast of characters, his authentic pronunciations evoke the mood of an elder storyteller and the rhythms of Native American oral traditions. Bruchac weaves Cherokee legends and historical facts from the nineteenth century into a tale based on the life of Sequoyah, who brought the alphabet to the Cherokee. This makes for a dense story, but Bruchac... Read More
An ensemble cast is an effective vehicle for a novel about contemporary Native Americans living in Oakland, California. The subplots and changing points of view show their relationships to each other, the violence that is part of their daily lives in the city, and their eventual meeting at the first Oakland Powwow. Chapter headings that announce a shift in point of view become... Read More
Choctaw storyteller Tim Tingle tells stories that range from legends of the early Choctaw to the horrors of the Trail of Tears and more recent tales involving his own family. His is a storyteller’s presentation, with exaggerated voice changes and intense verbal emphasis. While the presentation is much like that used in telling stories to children, these stories are for adults... Read More
Staci Drouillard gives a solid performance of her account of the village of her ancestors, Chippewa City, Minnesota. This work, which grew out of her doctoral dissertation, uses oral history to tell the story of this place and its people from when it was called Nishkwakwansing to the present day. We see how the people interacted with each other and the European settlers, and... Read More
Isabella Star LaBlanc, a Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota narrator, accurately delivers Native intonations and rhythms while narrating a second book about an Indigenous heroine from Sugar Island, Michigan. Sixteen-year-old Perry Firekeeper-Birch is often compared unfavorably to her anxious, academically driven, compliant twin. LaBlanc portrays Perry’s growth after she's forced into a... Read More
The sounds of crickets, a crackling campfire, and music greet listeners as five narrators share the meaning of the term “otsaliheliga,” a Cherokee word meaning “We are grateful.” Each narrator lends a unique voice to the story, complementing the diverse contemporary Cherokee families who are depicted celebrating every season. Cherokee pronunciations are beautifully delivered to... Read More
A full cast of Cherokee, Navajo, Choctaw, and Chickasaw narrators deliver a moving audiobook companion to an informative picture book. Listeners hear an introductory history of Native Nations in North America, and then a bustling classroom preparing for their Indigenous Peoples' Day assembly. Twelve students recite brief presentations in youthful voices as sound effects and... Read More
Shaun Taylor-Corbett's decision to narrate these personal stories in a straightforward, thoughtful yet intimate manner enhances these testimonies, reflections, and sketches of Native American attitudes on the climate crisis. His intelligent style works well. As he performs in a calm, conversational tone, his voice is attuned to the nuanced calls for action that the many... Read More
Eric Summerer narrates Cherokee author Brandon Hobson's new novel. His deliberate pacing and almost dispassionate tone underscore 15-year-old Sequoyah's alienation and observations of his new foster family. While a coming-of-age story, this realistic account of some months in the 1980s from the later vantage point of full adulthood is not a young adult listen, although older... Read More
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