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Welcome to This Awful/Awesome Life! My name is Frances Joyce. I am the publisher and editor of this magazine. We'll be exploring different topics each month to inform, entertain and inspire you. Meet new authors, sharpen your brain and pick up a few tips on life, love, entertaining and business. Enjoy and please share!

Native American Authors for Children and Young Adults by Fran Joyce

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Enjoy these talented Native American writers for children and Young Adults:

Richard Van Camp is a member of the Dogrib (Tlicho) Nation from Fort Smith, NWT, Canada. He is the author of over 20 books in multiple genres. Van Camp’s board books for children ages 2-4 and 5-7, Little You and We Sang You Home, are treasured for their gentle and contemporary illustrations by award-winning illustrator, Julie Flett. Six – ten year olds will be entertained by his book, What’s the Most Beautiful Thing You Know about Horses. He also writes YA fiction such as Night Moves, a collection of short stories, and Whistle, a mini young adult novel exploring issues of mental health. His Young Adult novel, The Lesser Blessed, was made into a film through First Generation Films. Van Camp has also written a graphic novel, Three Feathers. His new baby book, Welcome Song for Baby: A Lullaby for Newborns was the official selection of the Books for B.C. Babies Program and was given to every baby born in British Columbia in 2008.

Nicola I. Campbell is named after her home, British Columbia's Nicola Valley. She is Interior Salish on her mother's side and Métis from Saskatchewan on her father's side. Campbell writes adult and children's short fiction and poetry. She is a strong believer in First Nation's spirituality, culture and tradition. Her works include: Shi-shi-etko and its sequel, Shin-chi's Canoe, A Day with Yayah and Grandpa’s Girls. She writes for ages 4-8 and 7-12.

Cynthia Leitich Smith, an award winning author, has written 11 books for children and young adults including two graphic novels. She has also written short stories for both children and young adults. Leitich Smith is a tribal member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, and she writes children’s fiction focusing on the lives of modern-day Native Americans. Her books are often assigned reading for elementary, middle school and high school students. Rain is Not My Indian Name, Feral Nights, Jingle Dancer, Indian Shoes, Tantalize, Eternal, Holler Loudly and Diabolical. Her books are suitable for varying age ranges including ages 4 and up, 7 and up, 11 and up and ages 14 to adult.

Tim Tingle is an Oklahoma Choctaw whose great-great-grandfather, John Carnes, walked the Trail of Tears in 1835. His paternal grandmother went to several Indian Boarding Schools in the early 1900’s. He is an award winning author and celebrated storyteller. Some of his better known works include: How I Became a Ghost, When a Ghost Talks, listen, Crossing Bok Chitto, When Turtle Grew Feathers: A Tale from the Choctaw Nation, and collections of stories like Walking the Choctaw Road: Stories from the Heart and Memory of the People and  House of Purple Cedar. Tingle writes for ages 4-8; middle school years and YA.

Joseph Bruchac

Joseph Bruchac

Joseph Bruchac is the author of more than 120 books including Killer of Enemies, Trail of the Dead, Long River, March Toward the Thunder, and Code talker: a Book about the Navajo Marines.

Bruchac is Abenaki.  Starting in second grade, he wrote poems for his teacher. After college, he searched for stories about his heritage from Native elders and incorporated these stories into his writing. Typically, his works are suitable for ages 11 and up.

Aaron Paquette, a Cree and Cherokee Métis, is a Canadian writer, artist, public speaker and politician. He writes fantasy and young adult literature. His debut novel, Lightfinder is suitable for ages 11 and up.

Eric Gansworth is a member of the Onondaga Nation; however, he grew up in the Tuscarora Nation. He is an author and a successful visual artist. One of his images was chosen for the cover of First Indian on the Moon, a novel by Sherman Alexie. Gansworth has published ten books, five of which are novels.  He also writes poetry. His works include: Indian Summers, Smoke Dancing, Mending Skins and Extra Indians. For young adults, Gansworth has written Give Me Some Truth and his most recent novel, If I Ever Get Out of Here, which centers on the relationship between two boys, one who is a resident of the Tuscarora Nation and the other who lives on a nearby Air Force base in 1975.

Erika T. Wurth is Apache, Chickasaw, and Cherokee. She writes poetry, YA and adult fiction and non-fiction. Her works include: Crazy Horse’s Girlfriend, Buckskin Cocaine (a short story collection) and two poetry collections, Indian Trains and A Thousand Horses Out to Sea.

Drew Hayden Taylor is an author, columnist, filmmaker, lecturer and playwright. He is a member of the Curve Lake First Nations (Ojibway) in Ontario. He has written an adult novel, Motorcycles and Sweetgrass, a young adult novel, The Night Wanderer: A Graphic Novel, fourteen plays, and he has been featured in numerous anthologies.

PHOTO CREDITS: Every effort was made to properly identify the origin of each photo that is not in the public domain. No infringement is intended.

Photo Collage 1:

Richard Van Camp -

Nicola I. Campbell:

Cynthia Leitich Smith: Erikniells [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons

Tim Tingle - Wikimedia Commons Tim Tingle reading at National Book Festival, 30 August 2014, 14:07:20, Own Work, Author: SLOWKING4, Accessed 10 Nov. 2018.

Joseph Bruchac solo photo -

Photo Collage 2:

Aaron Paquette –

Eric Gansworth - Eric Gansworth by dellas.jpg from Creative Commons – photographer currently in question – photo used with no intent to commitment infringement.

Erika T. Wurth -

Drew Hayden Taylor -


November 2018 in Pictures

Native American Authors You Should be Reading by Fran Joyce