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"Community takes center stage in this joyful collection of stories set at a bustling intertribal powwow in Ann Arbor. In these interconnected vignettes penned by 17 Native writers, readers will meet characters earnest, funny, complicated, and sweet—from a Rez dog drumming up business for his friends’ booth to a boy performing his first Fancy Dance to an amateur sleuth on the case of missing regalia. The result is a satisfying tangle of friends, family, and total strangers from a diverse range of Native nations converging to celebrate their heritage, dance, and share space with each other over the course of one memorable event."— Meghan G.
“Reading Ancestor Approved is like being wrapped in a family hug. While telling stories of the many wonderful Native Nations, it demonstrates the important role family plays. Through each story runs the beauty, resilience, and kindness of Native culture. Each author shares a story that honors their background and gives a glimpse into the wonderful world of the powwow. This book is a fabulous way to introduce children to our Native Nations and the wonders of the powwow. A must-read for 2021.”
— Sally Sue Lavigne, The Storybook Shoppe, Bluffton, SC
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:
David A. Robertson
Andrea L. Rogers
Cynthia Leitich Smith
Monique Gray Smith
Erika T. Wurth
In partnership with We Need Diverse Books
Cynthia Leitich Smith is the bestselling, acclaimed author of books for all ages, including Rain Is Not My Indian Name, Indian Shoes, Jingle Dancer, and Hearts Unbroken, which won the American Indian Library Association’s Youth Literature Award; she is also the anthologist of Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids. Most recently, she was named the 2021 NSK Neustadt Laureate. Cynthia is the author-curator of Heartdrum, a Native-focused imprint at HarperCollins Children’s Books, and serves as the Katherine Paterson Inaugural Endowed Chair on the faculty of the MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is a citizen of the Muscogee Nation and lives in Austin, Texas. You can visit Cynthia online at www.cynthialeitichsmith.com.