Charleyboy, Lisa and Mary Beth Leatherdale (editors). #NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Women. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Annick Press, 2017.
#NotYourPrincess is an award winning title with rave reviews but, when I opened this title, I was not expecting to be so moved by the poetry, essays, art and all the other works collected here. This anthology of unflinching, personal, and sophisticated contributions from North American Indigenous women and teenage girls, when taken together, provide a glimpse of the world as experienced by Indigenous women. Weeks after my first reading, I find myself thinking about the collection and the women who contributed. If ever I meet Charleyboy or Leatherdale, I will thank them, for if there is an exemplar of a windows-and-mirrors sort of book, this is it.
#NotYourPrincess deals with some heavy topics and is most appropriate for a high school library, but possibly a junior high library. It isn’t that there is anything overly graphic, but it would be most appreciated and understood by an older set. If #NotYourPrincess is not in your high school collection yet, consider purchasing it.
For an in-depth review of #NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Women, and recommendations on many other titles featuring American Indians, visit American Indians in Children’s Literature (AICL) from Dr. Debbie Reese and Dr. Jean Mendoza at https://americanindiansinchildrensliterature.blogspot.com/. Along with critical analysis on books, the AICL website provides a wealth of information for those of us who could use a little guidance in this area.
Dewey: 971.004 Interest Level: YA
Awards and Reviews: American Indian Youth Literature Award, 2018; Booklist, Kirkus Reviews starred; Publishers Weekly; Resource Links; School Library Journal starred; Voices of Youth Advocates (YOYA) starred; YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults – Nominees, 2018.
Younger students might like: Ancestor Approved Intertribal Stories for Kids by Cynthia Leitich Smith
Middle school students might like: I Will See You Again by Lisa Boivin
Fiction pairing: Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley