Bear and his friend Ben feel like they are living two lives: one, where native traditions—like long hair—are a crucial part of their identities, and the other where indigenous expressions are mocked and treated with ignorance. When the boys encounter bullying because of the braids they wear, these two worlds collide. Seamlessly blending discussions of modern indigeneity and universal experiences of bullying and resilience, Bear’s Braid is an essential and of-the-moment book that belongs on every bookshelf, and fits in easily with the classics of social justice children’s literature.
Author, Joelle Bearstail is Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara from the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, located along the Missouri River in North Dakota. She has worked in the education field for several years as a Teacher, Curriculum Specialist, and Education Liaison. She is also the founder of ImagiNative Inc., a nonprofit organization with the mission of empowering native youth by encouraging them to embrace their talent, creativity, and individuality. Being a first-time author, Joelle thinks it’s important to spread awareness of these issues that occur often and affect our youth.
Great read for 2nd grade +
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