If you’re a teacher, librarian, or parent looking for own voices books to share with teens and young adults, explore these two new releases!
I receive free electronic advanced reader copies of these books through an arrangement between the publishers and NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion on NetGalley’s website. I only review books on my blog that I really love.
Explore Other Cultures
If you can’t travel, you can still explore. What you discover might inspire and awe you just as much as the Taj Mahal or the Canadian Rockies. Taking a peak inside other ways of seeing, doing, and being helps us broaden our horizons without security checks, travel expenses, and restaurant food. Due to the global pandemic, who wants any of those things anyway? I choose to explore through books, movies, and documentaries. That’s all my budget allows anyway.
Redbone: The True Story of a Native American Rock Band
By Christian Staebler and Sonia Paoloni. Illustrated by Thibault Balahy. IDW Publishing, October 2020, 160 pages. Graphic novel for grades 7-12.
If you’re a fan of Guardians of the Galaxy, you may have heard the hit song Come and Get Your Love. But you might not know the history of the song or the artists—Redbone, the first Native American rock band.
Before I read the book, I’d never heard of the band, the song, or the movie. But I do teach Native American high school students, and I’m always on the lookout for good books that highlight Native Americans.
The authors, who worked closely with Pat Vegas and his family, use comics within a graphic novel to flash back to important events in the band’s history as well as other historical events that shaped the band Redbone.
Native American students will take pride in how the Vegas brothers stood up for their heritage in a time when most people hid their Native roots. Pat’s experience at a Catholic boarding school mirrors the experience of many Native children who were forced into the residential school system up until the late 70s .
Teachers, parents, and librarians need to read this important book to help them understand systemic racism against Native Americans. They’ll also have books to recommend to Native American youth looking for role models within their own culture.
Redbone understood epigenetics and cultural trauma long before scientists coined the terms. The lyrics to ‘We Were All Wounded at Wounded Knee’ reminds listeners that trauma lingers and hurts for generations.Teachers, librarians, and mentors will want to grab a copy of #Redbone, a graphic novel of the first Native American rock band. #bookreview #YA #GraphicNovel #amreading @NetGalley Click To Tweet
Black Women Who Dared
By Naomi M. Moyer, Second Story Press, 2018, 24 pages, 6th-9th graders.
Black Women Who Dared features short biographies or individuals or groups of women who have made life better for others in Canada. Some of the featured women were born into slavery in the United States and escaped to Canada, where they helped and advocated for other runaways.
The author tells the story of two social clubs formed by Black women that have lasted for decades and fought to change laws, improve the lives of other Blacks, and started scholarship programs for Black youths.
An uplifting book that brings to the reader’s attention the need for inclusivity and diversity in all areas of life.
Due to mature content (some of the featured women are transgender), I would caution parents to read the book first and then read along with their younger children. The publisher suggests that students in 4th-7th grade would enjoy the book, but as an educator, I would suggest that younger readers may need an adult to help them understand some of the topics.