Do you enjoy short stories? Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids is a collection of short stories (and some poetry) written by Native writers from the points of view of various children – and a dog – attending a powwow in Ann Arbor, Michigan. With humor and poignant emotion, these stories explore Native pride and themes like connecting with one’s elders.

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The summary, from Amazon:

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.

Native families from Nations across the continent gather at the Dance for Mother Earth Powwow in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

In a high school gym full of color and song, people dance, sell beadwork and books, and celebrate friendship and heritage. Young protagonists will meet relatives from faraway, mysterious strangers, and sometimes one another (plus one scrappy rez dog).

They are the heroes of their own stories.

Featuring stories and poems by:
Joseph Bruchac
Art Coulson
Christine Day
Eric Gansworth
Carole Lindstrom
Dawn Quigley
Rebecca Roanhorse
David A. Robertson
Andrea L. Rogers
Kim Rogers
Cynthia Leitich Smith
Monique Gray Smith
Traci Sorell,
Tim Tingle
Erika T. Wurth
Brian Young

In partnership with We Need Diverse Books

Buy Ancestor Approved here.

The various authors behind Ancestor Approved did a great job bringing together their voices to make one collective, smooth story out of various parts. I had so many favorite stories in this one. “Rez Dog Rules” is from the point of view of a dog and has excellent kid appeal. I loved the juxtaposition of respectful participation from Aidan’s foster parents in “Brothers” versus the in many ways disrespectful participation from Potter’s friends in “Indian Price”. I cracked up at Alan and Kevin’s very unflattering descriptions of one another in Brian Young’s companion stories, “Senecavajo: Alan’s Story” and “Squash Blossom Bracelet: Kevin’s Story”. I think my favorite of the whole bunch may have been “Bad Dog”.
The backmatter of this book contained a glossary which I loved. These stories often use languages other than English: Cree, Choctaw, Ojibwe, Cherokee, Tuscarora/Haudenonsaunee, Navajo, and Abenaki. While I didn’t feel I needed a glossary to understand the stories, it was helpful to refer to it once I was finished reading this one.
Ultimately, Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids was a 5 star read for me. This middle grade selection of short stories is full of emotion, humor, pride, and joy.

Find out more about how I rate books here.

Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for KidsAncestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids by Cynthia Leitich Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Short stories, poems, loved seeing characters make cameos throughout, great themes of respect, friendship, and connecting with elders

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Book Club Questions

1. Which was your favorite story in Ancestor Approved? Why?
2. What cameos did you notice throughout these stories? In other words, what characters did you see reappear from one story to the next?
3. What are some common themes you noticed throughout this book?

Interested? Buy Ancestor Approved.
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peacefully reading