Powwow: Celebrations

Illustration of girl looking at powwow dancers

These books celebrate the joy, excitement, and rituals of Native powwows that bring many dancers and communities together. This booklist includes picture books, photo essays, and a short story anthology.

Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids

Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids
Age Level: Middle Grade (9-14)

Native families from Nations across the continent gather at the Dance for Mother Earth Powwow in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Edited by award-winning and bestselling author Cynthia Leitich Smith, this collection of intersecting stories by both new and veteran Native writers bursts with hope, joy, resilience, the strength of community, and Native pride. Created in partnership with We Need Diverse Books.

Bowwow Powwow

Illustration of dog in a pickup truck
Illustrated by: Jonathan Thunder
Age Level: 3-6

Windy Girl is blessed with a vivid imagination. From Uncle she gathers stories of long-ago traditions, about dances and sharing and gratitude. Windy can tell such stories herself–about her dog, Itchy Boy, and the way he dances to request a treat and how he wriggles with joy in response to, well, just about everything.

Jingle Dancer

Illustration of a young girl jingle dancing
Age Level: 6-9
Language: English

Jenna wants to dance in the powwow as her grandmother and other women in her family have. But she wonders: will she have enough jingles to make her dress sing? As Jenna finds a way to collect the jingles she needs, she learns more about her family and the traditions they have upheld across generations. Traditional and contemporary activities come together in this appealing, clearly illustrated story of a modern girl and her background, based on the author's Muscogee (Creek) heritage.

Related VideoCynthia Leitich Smith talks about "Jingle Dancer"

Powwow

Age Level: Middle Grade (9-14)

What do the colors, sights, and spectacle of a powwow mean to a present-day boy? A contemporary powwow transforms Anthony Standing Rock from a modern kid in a t-shirt to a powerful dancer at this Crow gathering in Montana.

Powwow Day

Illustration of young girl watching a powwow
Illustrated by: Madelyn Goodnight
Age Level: 6-9

River wants so badly to dance at powwow day as she does every year. In this uplifting and contemporary picture book perfect for beginning readers, follow River's journey from feeling isolated after an illness to learning the healing power of community. Additional information explains the history and functions of powwows, which are commonplace across the United States and Canada and are open to both Native Americans and non-Native visitors. Author Traci Sorell is a member of the Cherokee Nation, and illustrator Madelyn Goodnight is a member of the Chickasaw Nation.

Powwow Summer: A Family Celebrates the Circle of Life

Powwow Summer: A Family Celebrates the Circle of Life
Illustrated by: Cheryl Walsh Bellville
Age Level: Middle Grade (9-14)

Product Description: Marcie Rendon follows Sharyl and Windy Downwind and their children as they travel from their home on the Red Lake Reservation in Minnesota to powwows all around the region. At ceremonies and in daily life, Windy and Sharyl celebrate Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) culture by teaching their children traditional skills, dance steps, and lifeways, all part of the circle of community and the seasons and life.