Native American Phase V

Norton’s PHASE V: Contemporary Fiction, Biography, and Poetry

Studying the contemporary literature in Phase V unveils the close relationships between the traditional folklore and contemporary stories. At the conclusion of this phase, threads that emerged across the genres can can be traced and summarized. Studying multicultural literature is an excellent way to foster acceptance and appreciation for cultural differences.

   Arthur, C. (1984). Between sacred mountains. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press. GR:Young Adult
This book has history culture, stories, pictures, maps, and even a satellite photo of Dine’ Bike’yak, Navajo Country. The chapter headings include: Land, Plant Watchers, Hunters, Anasazi, Ancestors, Spaniards, War and Reservation, Peace and Livestock, Stock and People, Navahos and Hopis, Modern Times, Remember the Land, and The Future. Originally written for the young people of Rock Point Community School on the Navajo Reservation so that they would be made aware of their own unique history and to understand its relevance to problems and challenges today.

    Bierhorst, J. (1994). On the road of stars. New York: Macmillan.
A collection of Native American night poems, sleep charms, and other special night songs intended to soothe, heal, bring dreams, or make sleep irresistible.

    Bierhorst, J., Ed. (1983). The sacred path: Spells, prayers, and power songs of the American Indians. New York: William Morrow. GR:4-up.
A collection of traditional North and South American Indian poems, many in recent translations. The poems are arranged into thematic groups to underline connections among them.

    Bruchac, J. (1983). Songs from this earth on Turtle’s back: Contemporary American Indian poetry. Greenfield Center, NY: Greenfield Review Press. GR: 5-up
An anthology of twentieth century poetry by American Indian authors.

    Bruchac, J. (1992). Thirteen Moons on Turtle’s Back. New York: Philomel Books.
Celebrates the seasons of the year through poems from the legends of such Native American tribes as the Cherokee, Cree, Navajo, and Sioux.

    Cannon, A.E. (1992). The shadow brothers. New York: Dell Publishing. GR:Young Adult
High school junior Marcus feels his entire world changing around him as Henry, a Navajo foster brother who has lived with him since the age of seven, starts to change his personality and wonder is he should return to his family’s reservation in another state. It is a compelling characterization, realistic situations that pose difficult questions about prejudice and self-acceptance. This book may be a good one to compare the view of Indians in 1931 to now.

    Green, R., Ed. (1984). That’s what she said: Contemporary poetry and fiction by Native American women. Bloomington: University of Indiana Press. GR: 8-up
The collection contains an introduction, glossary of terms, and bibliography.

    Hirshfelder, A. B. (1986). Happily may I walk: American Indians and Alaskan Natives today. New York: Scribner’s. GR:4-7
Explores the everyday life, culture, and preservation of traditions of America’s native peoples, the Indians and Inuits.

    Hirshfelder, A. B., & Singer, B. R., Eds. (1992). Rising voices: Writings of young Native Americans. New York: Scribner’s. GR:4-up
A collection of poems and essays in which Native Americans speak of their identity, their families and communities, rituals, and the harsh realities of their lives.

    Hobbs, W. (1992). The big wander. New York: Maxwell Macmillan International. GR:7-10
Although his older brother decides to return home to Seattle, fourteen-year-old Clay continues his search for his uncle through the ruggedly beautiful Southwest canyon country. Describes life on the Navajo reservation.

    Katz, J., Ed. (1980). This song remembers: Self-portraits of Native Americans in the arts. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. GR:8-up
Includes biographical references.

    Lowenfels, W. (1973). From the belly of the shark: A new anthology of Native Americans. New York: Vintage Books. GR:8-up
Poems from Chicanos, Eskimos, Hawaiians, Indians, Puerto Ricans in the U.S.A., with related poems by others.

    New Mexico People & Energy Collective. (1981). Red ribbons for Emma. Berkeley, CA: New Seed Press. GR: all
This story describes the struggle of the rural Navajo and power companies. It is a story about the heroic efforts of Emma Yazzie as she fights the power companies to stop the mining of the Navajo land. The photographs depict Emma’s "life."

    Pitts, P. (1988). Racing the sun. New York: Avon Books. GR:5-8
Being an American Indian wasn’t something twelve-year-old Brandon Rogers liked to advertise. His father had left his Indian heritage behind when he went to college and Brandon had grown up in suburbia - just like a regular kid. But then Brandon’s Navajo grandfather moved off the reservation and into the lower bunk in Brandon’s room. It wasn’t easy having a roommate who chanted himself to sleep and got you out of bed before sunrise to race the sun. But now Brandon’s learning lessons he’ll never forget. Like how to take on the old ways without giving up the new. And how to grow up proud and strong...with a heritage as real as an old man’s love.

    Tapahonso, L. (1987). A breeze swept through.Albuquerque: West End Press. GR: 3-8
A collection of Navajo poems.