Celebrate Native American Heritage Month – Nonfiction for Children

Native American Heritage Month was established in 1990 as a time to celebrate and recognize Native Americans’ numerous contributions to the United States of America.  Over the last few years, we’ve seen a large number of books being published that are written and illustrated by Indigenous people, and we’d love to see these #OwnVoices titles get a bit more love. Here are a few nonfiction for children titles to check out!

Trickster: Native American Tales, A Graphic Collection edited by Matt Bembicki

Native storytellers were paired with comic artists to tell their traditional stories in a graphic novel format. It is a great resource on traditional stories.  


Powwow: A Celebration through Song and Dance by Karen Pheasant-Neganigwane


Travel through the history of powwow and better understand each part, including the cultural and historical significance. Interspersed with stories from the author paired with an extensive resource section makes this a book worth picking up.

What the Eagle Sees: Indigenous Stories of Rebellion and Renewal by Eldon Yellowhorse and Kathy Lowinger

Learn the history of what Indigenous people did when invaders arrived in their homelands, highlighting key events. Included is a resources page to explore more.  

Go Show the World: A Celebration of Indigenous Heroes by Wab Kinew and  Illustrated by Joe Morse

Wab Kinew created this rap that celebrates several Indigenous heroes from the United States and Canada. It introduces you to so many different people, and opens the possibilities for children (or adults) to do more research about them. Included are short biographies for each person mentioned in the rap.

Unstoppable: How Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team Defeated Army by Art Coulson and Illustrated by Nick Hardcastle

Jim Thorpe is a recognizable name, but most may not know much about his life. This book talks about his childhood and his involvement in sports while he attended the Carlisle Indian School. At the end of the book, more information is provided about Jim Thorpe, the other members of the football team, the coach, and the school. It is a great book for those interested in history or sports.

We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorell and Illustrated by Frane Lessac

The picture book focuses on the Cherokee Nation’s word to express gratitude: otsaliheliga. As it follows through each season, different celebrations, sports, and other things that are significant to the Cherokee Nation are introduced. This book is perfect for any season, and can be used as a way to open up conversations with children about gratitude. 

Continue celebrating Native American Heritage Month with the following:

Board Books & Picture Books

Chapter Books for Children

Teen and Young Teen


For additional titles, ask your friendly neighborhood librarian, or check out this great resources page from the Greater Cincinnati Native American Coalition.


Written by Pamela Jayne
Youth Services Librarian

Celebrate Native American Heritage Month – Board Books & Picture Books

Native American Heritage Month was established in 1990 as a time to celebrate and recognize Native Americans’ numerous contributions to the United States of America. Over the last few years, we’ve seen a large number of books being published that are written and illustrated by Indigenous people, and we’d love to see these #OwnVoices titles get a bit more love. Here are a few board books & picture books to check out!

Board Books

My Heart Fills with Happiness by Monique Gray Smith & Julie Flett
A beautiful book about what makes one happy. At the end, you can discuss what fills your heart with happiness.

Kiss by Kiss by Richard Van Camp
A counting book in Plains Cree and English which features fantastic pictures of different families.

May We Have Enough to Share by Richard Van Camp
A great book about gratitude and hopes for the future, with photographs provided by a collective of Indigenous women photographers called Tea & Bannock

Hello Humpback by Roy Henry Vickers & Robert Budd
With high contrast illustrations that are bright and fun, this is a wonderful book to introduce babies and toddlers to the environment of the West Coast.

We Sang You Home by Richard Van Camp/Julie Flett
A cute book about welcoming a child into their family. With simple prose and beautiful illustrations, this is a must-read!

Picture Books

First Laugh Welcome, Baby! By Rose Tahe & Nancy Bo Flood; Illustrated by Jonathan Nelson
In this book, a Navajo or Diné family eagerly awaits their baby’s first laugh. While the story is all about the anticipation of that first laugh, the supplemental information in the back of the book about the First Laugh Ceremony, and the inclusion of other cultures’ ceremonies for their babies is very informative.

We are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom and Illustrated by Michaela Goade
Inspired by the Indigenous-led movements all over North America, this book emphasizes the importance of protecting our water and environment. This would be a great book to introduce/reintroduce children to the protests at Standing Rock and to learn about the other movements still in place to protect our environment. 

At the Mountain’s Base by Traci Sorell and Illustrated by Weshoyot Alvitre
This moving story focuses on the traditions that keep us together in times of worry, as a family waits for their family member to return home from the military. The touching author’s note at the end gives tribute to the Native women who served and are serving in wars.

Fry Bread by Kevin Noble Maillard and Illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal
If you haven’t read this book about this delicious treat, you are missing out! A staple of many Indigenous cultures in the United States, this book explores how it brings families together and even provides you with a recipe to try. The author’s note gives an expanded context for the story and the illustrations.

When We Were Alone by David A. Robertson and Illustrated by Julie Flett
As a young girl is asking her grandmother questions about her – why she has long hair, wears the clothes she wears, speaks the language she speaks – her grandmother reveals information about her time in the residential school where her culture and heritage were taken away. Indian boarding schools in the United States were run from 1860 to 1978 and were created to force assimilation onto the Native/Indigenous populations. These institutions existed in Canada as well and were operated between the 1870s and 1990sFamilies were forced apart, and many children were traumatized and abused at these institutions.

Another picture book that takes place in a Native boarding school is Fall in Line, Holden by Daniel W. Vandever. A Day with Yayah by Nicola I. Campbell and illustrated by Julie Flett showcases how many families are dealing with the aftermath of lost knowledge created by these schools. 

Birdsong by Julie Flett
As a young girl and her mother move far away from home, the girl feels sad and lonely. As the seasons change, she becomes closer to her elderly neighbor, Agnes, who helps her feel more like herself. However, as Agnes becomes bed-bound and unable to leave the house, what can the girl do to help Agnes feel loved? This is a beautiful story of an intergenerational friendship that also addresses the emotional weight of loss.

Continue celebrating Native American Heritage Month with the following:

Nonfiction for Children

Chapter Books for Children

Teen and Young Teen


For additional titles, ask your friendly neighborhood librarian, or check out this great resources page from the Greater Cincinnati Native American Coalition.


Written by Pamela Jayne
Youth Services Librarian

Celebrate Banned Books Week! September 27 – October 3

Banned Books Week is an annual event, usually held during the last week of September, that promotes the freedom to read without censorship. Since 1982, the event highlights the most challenged and banned books of the past year and focuses on the anti-suppression of the written word. This year’s theme for Banned Books Week is Censorship is a dead end. Find your freedom to read!”

Hundreds of books are challenged and banned every year and while both are acknowledged during Banned Books Week, there is a difference between the two. A challenge, according to the American Library Association, is the “attempt to remove or restrict materials or services based on content” while a ban is the “removal of materials or cancellation of services based on content.” Challenges are commonly initiated by patrons, parents, political/religious groups and typically occur in a public library or school library setting.  

Many of the well-known titles we know and love today such as the Harry Potter series or Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories, have at one time or another found themselves on a challenged/banned list. Below you’ll find the Top 10 Challenged Books of 2019, as well as links to lists of years prior. How many banned books have you read?

For the complete list with titles, author and reason for challenge for the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2019, click HERE.

For more information and complete lists of banned/challenged books, visit http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks or https://bannedbooksweek.org/.


Written by Emily Sexton
Public Relations Specialist

The Show Must Go On!

EEEEEKKKK!!!!  Have you heard Miss Ginger scream?  Well you will soon in one of the upcoming Virtual Storytimes!  New Virtual Storytimes are posted every Wednesday and Friday at 10:30 a.m. on our BCPL YouTube channel to enjoy any time, any place.  And you can even catch-up on past Virtual Storytimes!  With the goal of supporting early learning and early literacy, (building the foundations upon which later learning and reading will happen), Boone County Public Library has learned a few things about how to share Storytimes in the time of physical distancing.  Despite the pandemic, the show must go on so Storytime is now an on-demand experience! 

Watch our Virtual Storytime!

So, what can you expect from a Virtual Storytime? Our programmers put the same care, thought, and enthusiasm into planning a virtual storytime as they do a traditional one, selecting great books, songs, and rhymes to share, and then record it so that you can participate in all the learning and fun activities safely and at your convenience. Guided by Every Child Ready to Read @ Your Library and its evidence-based content, Storytimes incorporate The Five Practices that can help young children have later success in reading and learning. 

Watch our Virtual Storytime!

How can you make the most of our Virtual Storytimes? Sometimes it’s nice to be able to simply provide an educational distraction, but if you want to maximize the value of that screen time, get ready to join in. When you actively participate in Storytime, you can sing the songs and do the motions, find new favorite books, pause the recording to ask questions and talk about what is happening, and have a shared experience with your child.

Just as with our in-person Storytimes, we encourage you to enjoy learning with your children all the time. Parents and caregivers are, after all, a child’s first and best teachers. You will find suggestions for different ways to support early literacy skills not only during but also after Storytime is finished. Here are a few ideas you can use to extend learning with our Storytimes:

  • Read together! Use BCPL’s catalog to search for or place a hold on books by your favorite authors and illustrators and check them out at the library. Don’t know what you want? You can request a Book Bundle and someone will pull an assortment of books for you.
  • Talk about the books and songs shared in Storytime. This is a great way for children to learn new vocabulary. Ask questions: What happened? Why do you think that? How does that make you feel?
  • Write or draw your own story. Writing and drawing not only develops fine motor skills, but also helps children learn that letters and words have meaning. If you don’t have paper on hand, you can always use the inside of a box, chalk on a sidewalk, or an old envelope!
  • Play with toys and act out the stories you see in Storytime, or use your imagination to make up your own story.
  • Sing your favorite songs. You can sing the songs you learn in Storytime, but feel free to sing your own favorites as well. If you are looking for even more Storytime songs and rhymes, check out our Rhyme Time videos.

This digital age really does have its benefits, and especially when used in conjunction with your guidance and attention, technology can be a fantastic tool. We hope our recordings not only entertain you, but also inspire you to continue learning with your little ones!

Note: There will not be a new video posted on Friday, August 28.  Enjoy our past videos and check back for new videos beginning Wednesday, September 2.

Miss Candace is our Youth Services Associate – Outreach at BCPL.  Her energy and passion for Virtual Storytime shines through in every book she reads.

Cosmically Entertaining Books, Movies & More

Houston, we have suggestions. Though space is still a mystery in most ways, that hasn’t stopped humans from imagining a plethora of planets, creatures and adventures to occupy it. Cosmic interpretations of space-time stories have found their way into nearly every facet of our entertainment from books to movies to music and more. Below are a few quick lists for the everyday earthling looking to escape… at least for a little while.

Stunning panoramas of unknown worlds set against the dark abyss of outer space. Beautiful wonders juxtaposed with unsettling loneliness and isolation. The following list includes the often brilliant mixture of awe and apprehension invoked by the strangeness of space:

2001: Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke (film & book)
Interstellar (film)
Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino by Arctic Monkeys (music album)

Space isn’t all devastating black holes and dramatic sunscapes. Sometimes it’s dancing aliens and galactic adventure films gone awry. Here are a few hilarious, feel-good suggestions to lighten the cosmic-load of everyday life:

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (book & film)
Galaxy Quest (film)
Guardians of the Galaxy (film & soundtrack)

If we have learned anything through space-themed books and film, it’s that something will absolutely, without a doubt, go wrong when floating in the cosmic abyss. And when it does (because it will) it might be handy to know a thing or two about physics, biology, engineering, etc. Here are a few suggestions to show how space is all about the wonderful world of science:

Through the Wormhole (tv series)
The Martian by Andy Weir (book & film)
A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking (book)

With more stars in the universe than grains of sand on earth, it raises the age old question; are we alone? The list below are stories that imagines the answer is “no”:

Dune by Frank Herbert (book & soon-to-be film)
Doctor Who (tv series)
Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang (book & film renamed Arrival)


Written by Emily Sexton
Public Relations Specialist