Cover Image: Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids

Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids

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Member Reviews

Entirely wonderful stories featuring real-seeming kids with the bonus of finding new authors to watch for!
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I love the purpose behind this! There needs to be more Native American voices in literature, especially for middle grade and children's lit. This collection is a series of short stories and one poem that are all set at the same powwow in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The stories all stand alone, but they do give nods to other story's characters. For example, the spunky dog who wanders the powwow with a Rez Dogs shirt on gets several mentions throughout the book. I really enjoyed that this gave representation to many different native tribes and groups and showed what a celebration of native culture looks like. 

The stories themselves did not fully engage me. I appreciated what they were, but the writing itself was not why I liked this. I was also confused in a few areas by the Indigenous writers using terms like "Indian", "Native", and "Indigenous" interchangeably. I did not think that "Indian" was an appropriate term, so I'm not sure if it's being reclaimed or if it's really an interchangeable term. That was the only thing that was a bit confusing as an adult reader. As a child reader, I'm sure they will love learning more.
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On a cold spring morning in Michigan, hundreds of people from all around the United States and Canada gather in a high school gym to dance, to celebrate, to connect and reconnect, to represent their nations. This is the stories of a single weekend at the Dance for Mother Earth Powwow.

In a series of interconnected stories, Native authors write to celebrate their cultures, heritage, and the magic that comes from gathering at a powwow. There are dancers, fry-bread cooks, t-shirt sellers, jewelry makers, and so many that are there just to see their family and friends. There's kids who have spent their whole lives going to powwows, and kids who are going for the first time. Readers will meet: a bus full of Choctaw elders for an epic road trip (which seriously needs to become a movie); a Rez Dog who lives life unleashed; a young detective (who needs her own series); kids who are confident and secure in their Native identity; kids who are struggling to find and understand what it means to be Native; families that come in all shapes and sizes; and, most importantly, love and acceptance and encouragement.

Ancestor Approved is more than just a slogan on the t-shirt the dog is wearing. It means that you have found a way to connect the past, the present, and the future.
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This November I am making a point to include indigenous writers and stories in my reading. This book was a great introduction to the customs and voices of indigenous teens. I liked the interconnectedness of the stories and how each writer views the gathering and coming together of their nation.

The stories and experiences are varied which adds to the richness of the stories.
A great addition to the library collection when adding more authentic voices to the Indigenous Voices section.
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This book was a slow start for me but once I really committed to reading it, it was hard to put down. Recommended for middle-grade readers but also adults. Relatable Native American characters all center around a pow-wow in Michigan. Short stories.
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A series of short stories centered around a intertribal powwow at the University of Michigan.  Each story features a protagonist attending the powwow and there are continuity threads throughout each one that solidify the setting.  Each short story is composed by a different Native American author and showcases multiple tribal nations in the book.  The short stories are fast paced and self contained, but each allows the reader to learn more about the people at the powwow and why they are there.  The most memorable to my mind is the short story where a Rez Dawg accompanies a young man to the powwow to help sell t-shirts for a grandmother who needs help paying an electric bill.  The dog is mentioned in many of the short stories as he wanders the exhibits and powwow sporting a shirt that says, "Rez Dawg."  A must purchase for school libraries.  Grades 4-12.
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As with any short story collection, there are a few titles which I did not wholly enjoy; some felt as though they read younger than the intended audience or ended too quickly. The usual anthology hinderance stuff. But that's not what matters. Representation for Indigenous artists has been slow to catch up to our changing pro-diversity culture shift. It's definitely the shelf most lacking at my library. And here's a well written book filled to the brim with Native voices celebrating themselves? This book is so needed.
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This is a lovely collection of poetry and short stories that provide insight on the cultural significance of powwows to indigenous peoples. I really enjoyed the second entry, a short story that described fancy dance and the fancy dance competition.
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This book is a real gem!  A collection of stories told all around one powwow. Readers  unfamiliar with the tribes of America and their practices will see the rich details of this important event.  Characters and stories are all unique.  This book really highlights the voices of young people who stand in between their history and modern realities.  A much needed read for cultural appreciation and point of view too!
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This is a very sweet collection of stories about Native kids. I loved the way all the stories felt connected despite being written by different authors; it's clear how much work went into making this a cohesive, interconnected collection of short stories. While I preferred some stories to others, every story here has its place, and something would be missing if any of them were removed. Different stories are likely to resonate with different readers; the ones that seemed somewhat unrealistic to me (ie kids who hate each other becoming friends after a brief shared encounter, as happens in a couple of the stories here) may be the favorites of some children, as they all had heart and characters that pull the reader in.

4.5 stars
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A collection of stories all focusing on reclaiming identify as a member proudly of First Nations. Young people come together and also come of age as they share their love of culture and identity while dancing at the Pow Wow competition. Touching!
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