Classical Childrens Books

Native American Short Stories

Early American Indian Stories for Children

Baby Rattlesnake

By Te Ata

Native American Legend: Pawnee

Newer Version: Children's Picture Book

Baby Rattlesnake recounts a Pawnee legend of a young rattlesnake who is anxious to grow up and get his rattle before he is wise enough to know how to use it. Te Ata was a well-known Native American speaker and story teller. In this latest version, Lynn Moroney re-tells the classic tale of Baby Rattlesnake.

The Underneath

Kathi Appelt

A lonely hound dog, a mother cat, a bitter snake, and an ancient Indian legend are woven together to create this beautiful picture book. The story can be read to younger children, though your teens and pre-teens will also enjoy the fable.

North American Indian Tales

By W.T. Larned

Read Aloud 5-6 years
Easy Reader 3-4th Grade

Paperback reprint from 1921

Iagoo the Storyteller recounts seven Native American legends to the children who have come to hear his tales. These include: The tales were originally collected by an ethnologist in 1839 and published again in 1921.

Native American Tales and Legenda

Editor: Allan A. Macfarlan

Collection of Native American legends from different tribes of North America
5th-8th Grade

This original book has more than 30 American Indian short stories. One of the things that makes this book unique is that it lists the tribes from which each story is derived.

Native American Creation Stories include: It also includes other Native American short stories of adventure and discovery. The last three stories include tales with sorcery.

Native American Stories

The Sign of the Beaver

By Elizabeth G. Speare

A story about the special friendship between Attean, an American Indian boy, and Matt, a white settler. This book was published in the early 1980s and has won numerous awards for this historical fiction book based on a true event.

Julie of the Wolves

By Jean Craighead George

This story makes a great contrast to the book above, The Sign of the Beaver. A thirteen year old Eskimo gets lost in the infinite wild of the tundra and needs to rely soley on her wits to survive. She approaches a pack of solves and becomes accepted by the pack. Will she choose her wolf family or to return to human civilization?

Island of the Blue Dolphin

By Scott O'Dell

The author has taken a mysterious snippet of history and woven an intriguing tale of a native girl who was left alone on an island off the coast of California. It is a story of survival, harmony and conflict. Of particular note is how she befriended her natural enemy; a vicious wild dog who became her true companion.

Call It Courage

By Armstrong Perry

Fifteen year old Mafatu is the son of the chieftain, but his fear of the water has made him a disappointment and embrassment to his father. Now is his chance to face his fears and find his courage as he heads out to see with only his dog for a companion.

Famous Native Americans

Streams to the River, River to the Sea

By Scott O'Dell

Northern United States
6th grade and above
This historical fiction account of Sacagawea is told in first person as she journeys with Lewis and Clark on the Corps of Discovery. The author relied on the Journals of Lewis and Clark and on oral legends to recount the story of Sacagawea's capture by another Indian tribe, her marriage to a Frenchman, and her adventures in the wilderness through unknown territory with over thirty men and her newborn son. The romanticized relationship between Clark and Sacagawea may be offensive to some. (Other tales have concluded that there was an emotional bond between the two in spite of the presence of her polygamous husband through the journey. There is no historical evidence for it, other than the fact that Clark adopted her two children after her death.)


Stories about Pocohontas are recorded in our list of childrens books on the Jamestown Settlement of 1607. Sacagawea and Pocohontas are two of the most famous women in history and two of the most famous Native Americans.


Squanto, Friend of Pilgrims

By Clyde Robert Bulla

early 1600
Plymouth, MA
2nd-5h grade
Many children are familiar with Squanto, the Native American who helped the pilgrims of Plymouth survive.. This book tells the true and amazing story of how this man - the only Indian on the continent who could speak English - happened to be right there when the pilgrims needed him.

Native American History


Soft Rain: A Story of the Cherokee Trail of Tears

By Cornelia Cornelissen

A fictitious story about a real event, this tells the story of nine-year old Soft Rain, who is forced to leave the home she knows to endure the hardship of a long journey to a new land she has never seen.

Native Stories from South America

Secret of the Andes

By Ann Nolan Clark

Cusi was raised in the native ways high in the mountains of the Andes. Searching for the truth about his birth and people, he takes a life-changing journey to the modern city. He discovers much, including that the true treasures of his Inca heritage are in the Andes and he has been appointed to a special task. A Newbery Award book.

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