October 18, 2017

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Urban Tribes: Native Americans in the City by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale | SLJ Review

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redstarCharleyboy, Lisa & Mary Beth Leatherdale, eds. Urban Tribes: Native Americans in the City. 136p. bibliog. filmog. further reading. illus. photos. Annick. 2015. Tr $21.95. ISBN 9781554517510; pap. $14.95. ISBN 9781554517503.UrbanTribes

Gr 7 Up –This sequel, of sorts, to Dreaming in Indian (Firefly, 2014) dispels stereotypes of what it means to be Indigenous in a postmillennial world. This compact book explodes with text and graphics that echo the lives of 40-plus Indigenous contributors, all of whom live in cities such as New York, Toronto, Los Angles, and Calgary and tell stories that are realistic, raw, and unique yet have a common theme: the undeniable connection to Indigenous ways of knowing, learning, and being. A variety of formats are presented, from prose, poetry, hashtags, and song lyrics to murals, mixed-media collages, and color and black-and-white photographs. The contributors are artists, actors, designers, innovators, scientists, researchers, writers, web surfers, hip-hop performers, teachers, parents, and middle, high school, and university students. All are activists who tell their amazing stories. Though the collection addresses difficult subjects, such as racism, stereotype, and suicide, a tone of hope runs through it. VERDICT A refreshingly authentic, edgy, and captivating work that will appeal to young people.–Naomi Caldwell, Alabama State University, Montgomery, AL

This review was published in the School Library Journal December 2015 issue.

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