Joseph Bruchac

Books by This Author

Raccoon's Last Race

Illustrated by: Ariane Dewey
Age Level: 3-6
Watching a raccoon's unwieldy movements, you'd think that it always walked that way. Not so, according to an Abenaki tale, vividly retold and illustrated by this father & son duo. Learn how Azban, a self-absorbed, conceited raccoon is responsible for the way all raccoons move as they do in this humorous and engaging tale.

Raccoon's Last Race

Product Description: Joseph and James Bruchac team up again in the retelling of this Abenkai fable. Azban the Raccoon loves to race on his long legs. He is the fastest of all the animals, but he's also the most conceited, mocking everyone with his speed. When the other animals grow tired of his attitude, Azban chooses Big Rock as his next opponent. Busy taunting instead of running, he trips, and Big Rock flattens him. Only the ants will help stretch him out again — as long as he promises to be their friend. But will a trickster like Azban keep his word?

Seasons of the Circle: A Native American Year

Illustrated by: Robert F. Goetzl
Age Level: 6-9

From Maliseet hunters following moose tracks in the snow in January to a Lakota elder's winter tales during a cold December evening, this lyrical tribute to American tribal nations cuts across the seasons…Bruchac's prefatory note introduces the traditions and cycles comprising many Native American lives, and an appended section explains each illustration. Also included are a map locating the various tribal nations and a chart listing the name of each month as it is known by each of three American tribal nations. — Booklist

Skeleton Man

Ever since the morning Molly woke up to find that her parents had vanished, her life has become filled with terrible questions. Where have her parents gone? Who is this spooky old man who's taken her to live with him, claiming to be her great-uncle? Why does he never eat, and why does he lock her in her room at night? What are her dreams of the Skeleton Man trying to tell her? There's one thing Molly does know: she needs to find some answers before it's too late.

The Arrow Over the Door

Illustrated by: James Watling
Age Level: 6-9

For young Samuel Russell, the summer of 1777 is a time of fear. The British Army is approaching, and the Indians in the area seem ready to attack. To Stands Straight, a young Abenaki Indian scouting for King George, Americans are dangerous enemies who threaten his family and home. When Stands Straight's party enters the Quaker Meetinghouse where Samuel worships, the two boys share an encounter that neither will ever forget. Told in alternating viewpoints, this chapter book is based on a true story.

The First Strawberries: A Cherokee Story

Illustrated by: Ann Vojtech
Age Level: 6-9

Seeing that man is sorry after arguing with his wife, Sun sends the first strawberries to the land. The sweet fruit slows the wife down, allowing her husband to catch up and apologize. To this day, strawberries remind people to be kind to each other. Rich illustrations add interesting details to this fluid telling of a traditional legend.

The Girl Who Married the Moon: Tales from Native North America

What sets this book apart from other collections of Native American tales is its focus on women. Of the 16 stories (4 from each corner of the U.S.), most are relatively unknown…Several selections involve abduction; there is a bit of cruelty and gore; and one romantic story ends tragically. Edging toward nonfiction, two pieces reflect actual coming-of-age ceremonies, and another celebrates the courage of a woman during the historical battle of Rosebud Creek. — School Library Journal

The Heart of a Chief

Chris's life is complicated. At school, he's been selected to lead a project on sports teams with Indian names. At home, where his father is battling alcoholism on the Penacook reservation, the Indians are divided about building a casino. It would destroy the beautiful island Chris thinks of as his own. What can one sixth-grade boy can do in the midst of so many challenges?

The Hunter's Promise

The Hunter's Promise
Illustrated by: Bill Farnsworth
Age Level: Middle Grade (9-14)

World-renowned storyteller Joseph Bruchac retells this traditional story of love, loyalty, trust, and magic, which can be found in various forms among many of the indigenous nations of the northeast, both Iroquoian and Algonquin. Join him and award-winning illustrator Bill Farnsworth, as they recount this ancient and unique Abenaki tale of keeping a promise to one's family and of the proper relationship of humans to the natural world.

The Milky Way: A Cherokee Tale

The Milky Way: A Cherokee Tale
Age Level: 6-9

Have you ever wondered how the Milky Way came to be? According to a Cherokee legend, it started when an old couple learned that their corn was being stolen by a Great Spirit dog. To get away, the spirit dog jumps into the sky, spilling the corn. And we can still see the results today in the night sky.