Books by Joseph Bruchac

TALKING LEAVES by Joseph Bruchac
Released: Aug. 23, 2016

"A vivid retelling of a pivotal time for the Cherokee nation. (cast of characters, afterword, printed syllabary, glossary, further reading) (Historical fiction. 9-12)"
A boy grapples with the return of his father, Sequoyah, and the creation of a Cherokee syllabary. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Agenda trumps story in this loosely jointed account. (Historical fiction. 12-14)"
In a mix of history, fiction, letters, and folk tales from two continents, Bruchac chronicles a particularly ugly chapter in the Indian Wars. Read full book review >
TRAIL OF THE DEAD by Joseph Bruchac
Released: Oct. 1, 2015

"This second act offering deeper characterization and resonant themes enriches an already compelling tale. (Post-apocalyptic fantasy. 12-18)"
In Volume 2 of this post-apocalyptic series, Lozen leads survivors of the insurrection against Haven's technically augmented human rulers through gemod-infested wilderness to the hidden valley her Apache family once called home—it doesn't go as planned. Read full book review >
THE HUNTER'S PROMISE by Joseph Bruchac
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"Bruchac and Farnsworth honor the Indians of the Northeast, the written versions of the tale, and the elders and Wabanaki tellers who keep this story alive. (author's note) (Picture book/folk tale. 6-8)"
An Abenaki retelling of a traditional story of various indigenous nations of the Northeast that centers on loyalty and humans' relation to nature. Read full book review >
WALKING TWO WORLDS by Joseph Bruchac
Released: April 15, 2015

"Captivating and brief enough to be an easy sell for reluctant readers, this effort combines a snapshot of history with a skillful multicultural portrayal. (Historical fiction. 9-14)"
Ely, a Seneca Indian, has been sent to a boarding school to learn the ways of white people in hopes that he can become an effective representative for his people. Read full book review >
KILLER OF ENEMIES by Joseph Bruchac
Released: Oct. 1, 2013

"A good bet for fans of superhero fiction and graphic novels and readers in search of superpowered female warriors. (Fantasy. 12 & up)"
This near-future dystopia starring an Apache female superhero has the soul of a graphic novel, if not the art. Read full book review >
RABBIT'S SNOW DANCE by James Bruchac
Released: Nov. 8, 2012

"Kids who are looking forward to a snow day may give Rabbit's chant a try, but hopefully, they will know when to stop. (Picture book. 3-7)"
A long-tailed rabbit who wants a nibble of the highest, tastiest leaves uses his special snow song in the summertime, despite the protests of the other animals. Read full book review >
WOLF MARK by Joseph Bruchac
Released: Sept. 1, 2011

"A solid entry into the paranormal market, with an appealingly different hero. (Paranormal thriller. 12 & up)"
A loner teen finds himself caught up in a paranormal paramilitary threat—but he has both untapped personal resources and some unlikely allies to help him out. Read full book review >
DRAGON CASTLE by Joseph Bruchac
Released: June 9, 2011

"The story recalls Lloyd Alexander at his wry, humane best; readers will be happy for every moment they spend at castle Hladka Hvorka. (Fantasy. 10-14)"
Noted Native American storyteller and author Bruchac turns to the Slovakian side of his family heritage to produce an entirely fresh and funny fantasy. Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 2010

"Well-intentioned but nothing more. (Picture book. 3-5)"
Rhyming couplets describe the many different ways fathers and sons enjoy each other and express their love, but unfortunately with this effort the master storyteller demonstrates that verse simply is not his métier: "Mi Papá likes to hear me sing. / He's very good at listening. // Dad knows the times I like to hide / and when to call me back inside." Read full book review >
NIGHT WINGS by Joseph Bruchac
Released: July 1, 2009

"An off-kilter effort from the author of Bearwalker (2007), Skeleton Man (2001) and other more effective terror tales. (Fantasy. 11-13)"
Bruchac's not at his best in this weak, predictable tale. Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 2008

"But Louis is a likable character and readers will follow him with interest, learning much along the way. (Fiction. 10 & up)"
Fifteen-year-old Louis Nolette, an Abenaki Indian from Canada, enlists to fight with the Irish Brigade in the Civil War. Read full book review >
BUFFALO SONG by Joseph Bruchac
Released: March 30, 2008

"A first buy for public and school libraries. (Picture book. 6-10)"
The fictional story of one orphaned buffalo calf, Little Thunder Hoof, becomes the vehicle for Bruchac's tale of one extraordinary family and its commitment to saving the Buffalo People. Read full book review >
THE WAY by Joseph Bruchac
Released: Oct. 1, 2007

"Not one of Bruchac's better efforts. (Fiction. 10-12)"
Daydreaming Cody LeBeau from the Abenaki tribe naively imagines he needs ninja moves to be a hero, confident and popular. Read full book review >
BEARWALKER by Joseph Bruchac
Released: July 1, 2007

"Despite a plot that runs on slasher-film logic and an inconsistent use of the convention of the tale told in a journal, fans of Bruchac's short, Native American legend-inspired horror will enjoy this latest entry in the series. (Fiction. 9-12)"
Thirteen-year-old Baron Braun has enough to deal with: new school, bullies, being short, a missing father and a mother in Iraq. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 1, 2006

"The addition of Central-American mythology might add a little interest, but it's likely even fans of the first will be left wondering why Skeleton Man bothered to return. (Fiction. 9-14)"
It's been one year since seventh-grader Molly Brant rescued her parents and escaped from a tall, skeletal man posing as her great uncle. Read full book review >
JIM THORPE by Joseph Bruchac
Released: July 1, 2006

"Not just a sports-hero tale, this delves into such important issues as the line between amateur and professional sports, the effect of big-time money on sports, racism and the relationship of Native Americans to a dominant society. (Fiction. 10+)"
Jim Thorpe was a modern American Indian hero. Read full book review >
WABI by Joseph Bruchac
Released: April 1, 2006

"Parts of this, particularly the climax, will seem familiar to fans of Michelle Paver's Wolf Brother (2005), but Bruchac gives the story a distinctive Native American cast, and readers won't be able to turn the pages fast enough. (Fantasy. 11-13)"
Bruchac, in top form here, crafts an exhilarating journey tale that not only promotes the value of listening, asking questions and telling stories, but is laced with folkloric elements, heroic deeds, romance, toothy monsters and transformations. Read full book review >
GERONIMO by Joseph Bruchac
Released: March 1, 2006

"You will remember it all," Geronimo says to his grandson at Fort Sill, Okla., in 1908. Read full book review >
WHISPER IN THE DARK by Joseph Bruchac
Released: Aug. 1, 2005

"Final art not seen. (Fiction. 9-13)"
Fourteen year-old Maddy, who is half Narragansett Indian, is still dealing with the deaths of her parents in an accident that damaged her left arm when she begins to suspect she is being stalked by a monster from tribal folklore. Read full book review >
SPORTS SHORTS by Joseph Bruchac
Released: June 20, 2005

"Accessible to a wide range of sports enthusiasts, and appealing to older, struggling readers. (Fiction. 8-12)"
Eight sports short stories cover the bases, from kickball to ballet, bombardment to running. Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 2005

"With its multicultural themes and well-told WWII history, this will appeal to a wide audience. (author's note, bibliography) (Fiction. 10+)"
Sixteen-year-old Ned Begay detested life in the Navajo mission school where he was sent. Read full book review >
RACCOON’S LAST RACE by Joseph Bruchac
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

"Readers will hope this foursome keeps on rolling. (Picture book/folktale. 4-7)"
Azban the Raccoon is a favorite Abenaki trickster and this father-and-son storytelling pair creates a lively, clever, and authentic version of his story. Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 2004

"Finished with a career recap, plus a discussion of the long effort to restore Thorpe's confiscated Olympic medals, this doesn't make the most comprehensive, or searching, profile—but young readers in need of a role model could hardly do better. (Picture book/biography. 8-10)"
The creators of Crazy Horse's Vision (2000) offer another inspiring American portrait, again focusing on their subject's youth and extraordinary accomplishments. Read full book review >
HIDDEN ROOTS by Joseph Bruchac
Released: Feb. 1, 2004

"Worth it, though, for the important subject and Uncle Louis's solid, rooted depth. (Historical fiction. 9-12)"
Eleven-year-old Howard's tiny New York town has 1954's post-war and Cold War concerns, but Howard's family has more complex scars. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 2003

"Each animal bursts with personality in this sure winner. (Picture book/folklore. 5-9)"
In the spirit of the traditional "Hare and the Tortoise," the Bruchacs retell a Seneca tale. Read full book review >
POCAHONTAS by Joseph Bruchac
Released: Aug. 1, 2003

"Many readers may find this hard going, but it will please historical fiction fans, and is a first choice for those interested in exploring the topic. (Fiction. 10+)"
Employing the same device as in his Sacajawea (2000), Bruchac breathes new life into this often-romanticized story. Read full book review >
THE WINTER PEOPLE by Joseph Bruchac
Released: Sept. 1, 2002

"An important addition to American history fiction collections. (Fiction. 10+)"
In 1759, in the midst of the global conflict between France and England, a little village in Quebec was a small arena of the larger conflict. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 2002

"All this material convinces the reader that other stories or nonfiction forms or even the Web site it shills might be more useful—but this outing leaves one considering the addenda, not the text. (Picture book. 5-10)"
The prolific chronicler of Indian culture for children tries to distill a complicated set of cultural signals into the great circle of the seasons. Read full book review >
SKELETON MAN by Joseph Bruchac
Released: Sept. 1, 2001

"A natural for under-the-blanket reading. (Fiction. 10-12)"
Bruchac (The Journal of Jesse Smoke, p. 655, etc.) sets this short nail-biter, based on a Mohawk legend—about a man with an appetite so insatiable that he eats himself down to bones, then goes after his relatives—in modern New York state. Read full book review >
Released: June 1, 2001

"The requisite appendices include a historical note, archival photographs, and a tear-stained pullout map of the Trail of Tears. (Fiction. 9-14)"
Sixteen-year-old Jesse narrates in journal form the events leading up to the forced relocation of the Cherokee Nation from its ancestral (and treaty-granted) territory to Indian Country in 1838. Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 2001

"A winner. (Picture book/folktale. 4-8)"
Noted storyteller Bruchac (Squanto's Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving, p. 1498, etc.) teams up with his son, James (Native American Games and Stories, not reviewed) to present a pourquoi tale from the East Coast Native American tradition. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 2000

"Nonetheless, every teacher and librarian who works with school-age children will want to purchase this less-than-perfect book because it offers two important topics—Native Americans and the first Thanksgiving in the New World—from a noteworthy storyteller. (Fiction. 6-9)"
Does every child need a book on every subject in which the facts are set within a fictional frame? Read full book review >
CRAZY HORSE’S VISION by Joseph Bruchac
Released: May 1, 2000

"Like A Boy Called Slow, also by Bruchac (1995), this makes inspirational reading and affords a glimpse into the heart of a renowned American leader. (Picture book/biography. 9-11)"
Bruchac (Sacajawea, 2000, etc.) teams up with a Lakota (Sioux) artist for an atmospheric view of the feared and revered Crazy Horse's youth. Read full book review >
SACAJAWEA by Joseph Bruchac
Released: March 1, 2000

"Couched in Bruchac's elegant prose, this epic tale of courage and endurance is both a grand adventure story and an inspiration that is not to be missed. (Fiction. 12-14)"
The Lewis and Clark expedition to explore the northwest part of the American continent probably would not have ever been completed without the help of the young Shoshone woman Sacajawea. Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 1998

"A delicate tale, very well told. (Fiction. 7- 9)"
In alternating chapters, Bruchac (Lasting Echoes, p. 1641, etc.) describes two 14-year-old boys, one a Quaker and one an Abenaki Indian, whose lives at the time of the Revolution will eventually intersect. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 1, 1997

"For use in conjunction with other, more rooted texts. (Nonfiction. 12+)"
This scholarly history provides a starting place for learning about the impact on Native Americans of the arrival of Europeans and other settlers. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

"Teenagers attempting to resolve their own family knots and tangles will find much here that is resonant, but Bruchac's triumph is in the emotional honesty and limpid strength of his working of the words. (Autobiography. 14+)"
Bruchac (Eagle Song, 1997, etc.) tells of his life, with great compassion for those he loved and for the little boy he was, woven with Abenaki tales from his heritage. Read full book review >
EAGLE SONG by Joseph Bruchac
Released: March 1, 1997

"A worthy, well-written novella—but readers cannot be moved by a story that pulls them in so many different directions. (Fiction. 9-11)"
A rare venture into contemporary fiction for Bruchac (The Circle of Thanks, p. 1529, etc.), this disappointing tale of a young Mohawk transplanted to Brooklyn, N.Y., is overstuffed with plotlines, lectures, and cultural information. Read full book review >
THE CIRCLE OF THANKS by Joseph Bruchac
Released: Oct. 1, 1996

"Jacob's stylized illustrations are an eyeful, smartly situating each of the native people in their respective landscapes. (Picture book/poetry. 4-8)"
Bruchac (Children of the Longhouse, p. 685, etc.) gathers 14 traditional Native American poems of appreciation and respect for nature's gifts. Read full book review >
Released: June 1, 1996

"Thoroughly researched; beautifully written. (Fiction. 8- 11)"
Ohkwa'ri and his twin sister, Otsi:stia, 11, are late-15th century Mohawks living in what would become New York State. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 1996

"In fact, the frame (and Old Bear's overarching first-person presence in the legends) distances readers, creating a gap that the real beckoning treasures of this book—the tales themselves and Locker's monumental oil landscapes—cannot bridge. (Picture book/folklore. 6+)"
From the creators of The Earth Under Sky Bear's Feet (1995), philosophical free-verse legends about (and portraits of) places across the US and the native people who hold them sacred. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 17, 1995

"An engrossing companion to Thirteen Moons On Turtle's Back (1992). (Picture book/folklore. 9-12)"
Thirteen poems and songs gathered from as many traditions, mostly about—despite the subtitle "Native American Poems of the Land"—stars, spirits, and the sky. Read full book review >
LONG RIVER by Joseph Bruchac
Released: Sept. 1, 1995

"Here, the attempt is often strained, resulting in a tale more than adequately told but far from inspiring."
A veritable factory of folk tales, author of more than 60 titles, continues his pre-Columbian history of the American Northeast. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1995

"222), Ross (with Bruchac, The Girl Who Married the Moon, 1994), and Stroud each provides notes. (Picture book. 4-8)"
A charming look at the time when the world was new. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 1995

"Rarely do the virtues of patience, humility, and generosity get such pleasurable handling. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Gluskabe, a cultural hero of the Western Abenaki, is busy improving the world: ensuring fresh water for humans, making big animals smaller and therefore less dangerous. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1994

"Oops. (Picture book. 4-8)"
How the bat found its niche in the animal kingdom and why birds fly south in winter are explained in this Muskogee tale, one of a dozen similar stories on the topic found in Native American lore. Read full book review >
FOX SONG by Joseph Bruchac
Released: Sept. 15, 1993

A storyteller known for retellings of Native American tales depicts a child who treasures and finds comfort in the many things her Abenaki great-grandmother taught her before her recent death. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

"Complete harmony of text and pictures: altogether lovely. (Folklore/Picture book. 5-10)"
A gentle story of the Sun's healing of marital discord by a gift of ripe strawberries that magically grow at the feet of an angry woman as she flees her husband's harsh words, thus halting her departure long enough for him to catch up and make amends. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

"Brief reading list; foreword and afterword on the value of oral and cultural transmission. (Folklore. 11-13)"
Sixteen stories with similar themes, gathered from various Native American traditions. Read full book review >
DAWN LAND by Joseph Bruchac
Released: May 1, 1993

Bruchac's first novel—based on Native American legends, tall tales, and myths, and especially suitable as a YA—follows a young warrior on a vision quest into the unknown. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 30, 1992

"Style, humor, and grace enliven familiar themes; atypical for folkloric writing, most characters emerge three-dimensional and real."
Native American eco-cosciousness expressed through retellings of legend and myth, tales of the supernatural and of revenge, celebrations of nature and wit all rooted in the often overlooked Northeastern Woodlands cultures. Read full book review >
Released: March 25, 1992

"Folklorist Bruchac and poet London work together on brief, dignified retellings of Native American legends for the accompanying text, properly pointing out in an afterword that tribes in different areas see different seasonal patterns and hold different beliefs. (Poetry/Folklore. 7-9)"
From a velvety moonlit wetland scene in "Big Moon" to the glory of a deciduous forest in the "Moon of Falling Leaves," Locker once again proves himself a gifted landscape artist. Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 1991

"Some of these stories about the likes of the hoop snake, swamp auger, and other high-country creatures are already familiar; still, this is a good additional collection, enlivened with occasional tongue-in-cheek drawings. (Folklore. 10-13)"
There's not too much exaggeration in these retold tales, collected from a backwoods region where the coffee's so strong that the spoon doesn't just stand upright, it dissolves, and winters are so cold that residents have to punch the air a few times if they want to take a deep breath—not much out of line in the account of how champion logger Bill Greenfield hauled a giant pancake griddle with the help of his blue ox Babe (not quite so small or weak as young Paul Bunyan's). Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 1976

"A lightweight addition."
Workmanlike retellings of nine tales from the Iroquois, most of them only two or three pages long. Read full book review >