Arrest Sitting Bull by Douglas C. Jones
It is the 1890s, and the ghost dance—the invocation of the power that will help the Indians destroy the white man—is sweeping through the Dakota reservation. The U.S. government worries about the aging Sitting Bull, who is attracting many fanatical followers. How can peace be maintained when the order is sent that Sitting Bull most be arrested?
Creek Mary’s Blood by Dee Brown
This epic tale of Indian life, written by the author of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, follows a single family’s participation in major events: the American Revolution, the Cherokee relocation of the 1830s, and the Battles of Little Big Horn and Wounded Knee. As the family moves from Georgia to the Great Plains, their history mirrors that of a people and a nation.
The Heartsong of Charging Elk by James Welch
Charging Elk is a young Sioux recruited to Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. When the show is in Marseilles, he becomes ill and is accidentally left behind. Unable to communicate in French or English, he lives as an outcast in France, reminiscing of his home in the Dakotas. Welch’s literary style complements the heart wrenching narrative.
House Made of Dawn by M. Scott Momaday
In this Pulitzer Prize winning novel, Abel is a young Indian who has just returned from World War II. He is caught between the world of his ancestors and the modern white world. Abel is an intriguing character, and his fragmented story is engaging. This densely written, issue-centered story is a beautiful, timeless look at the rift between cultures.
Moon of Bitter Cold by Frederick J. Chiaventone
Red Cloud, a Lakota chief, unites the Sioux, Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Crow to command victory in Red Cloud’s War (1866-1868). Red Cloud, his enemies, his allies, and his country are all vividly painted in this gritty account of the only war that Indians ever won against the U.S.
Mountain Windsong by Robert Conley
This is a love story set during Andrew Jackson’s Indian removal policy, which uprooted the Cherokees from their North Carolina homeland. Oconechee manages to escape the forced removal, but Waguli joins the exodus of the Trail of Tears. The two spend years searching for one another.
People of the Thunder by W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neal Gear
Set in the 1300s largely in what is now Alabama and Mississippi, this complex novel tracks three wanderers’ quest to create peace in violent times. The story is loaded with historical detail, court intrigue, colorful characters, and sharp plot twists; however, it is not for the squeamish, as it also contains plenty of blood and gore.
Stone Heart by Diane Glancy
The Shoshone woman Sacajawea narrates this second-person account of the 1804 Lewis and Clark expedition. Glancy’s lyrical writing is punctuated with excerpts from the diaries of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. This intimate portrait of a remarkable woman’s physical and spiritual odyssey is worth reading.
Turn the Stars Upside Down by Terry C. Johnston
Recreating the events leading up to the September 5, 1877 death of Crazy Horse, notorious defender of the weak and helpless, Johnston brings the famous Oglala chief dramatically to life. Crazy Horse’s story is compelling and poetically written. "He is a thousand winds that still blow," Johnston writes of Crazy Horse.
Zeke and Ned by Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana
Zeke Proctor and Ned Christie were Cherokee folk heroes / outlaws of the late 1800s during the Cherokee struggle for independence. These men and their families are realistic, well-drawn characters that dominate this fast-paced, readable novel. Zeke and Ned is a mock-heroic tale of culture shock and sudden death on the western frontier.
Don’t like historical fiction? Read something from a different genre by one of these authors!
Mystery/Suspense - James D. Doss, Margaret Coel
Romance - Kathleen Eagle, Cassie Edwards, Janelle Taylor
General Fiction - Sherman Alexie, Louise Erdich