Thursday, March 4, 2010

COLA: Debbie Reese

Blog name: American Indians in Children's Literature

Blogger: Debbie Reese

Blog Origination date: May 8, 2006

Focus: Portrayals of American Indians in children's and young adult books

Regular features: Essays, short and long, written to help readers recognize flawed portrayals of American Indians, wherever they appear. The focus is literature, but I also blog about commercial products, textbooks, lesson plans, movies, and television shows.

Pub schedule. How frequently do you update your blog? At least twice a week

Post of note, something in particular you want readers to check out:
Effects of American Indian stereotypes

50 words or less how would you describe your blog:
Whether you were raised in the United States or another country, you were given (by well-meaning adults) books that portrayed American Indians in stereotypical ways as tragic and noble, or savage and brutal. You may even have come to believe that American Indians vanished, killed off by colonizers and other tribes. We're still here! Come to my site and learn about us.

Top 10 reads if we want to become informed about Native American children's lit?
Below are some things you can find at my site. I link to full-text articles, doing what I can to provide no-cost resources.

"Authenticity and Sensitivity: Goals for writing and reviewing books with Native American themes," by Debbie Reese, in School Library Journal.

"I is not for Indian: The Portrayal of Native Americans in Books for Young People," by Naomi Caldwell-Wood and Lisa Mitten of the American Indian Library Association

"I Still Isn't for Indian," by Nina Lindsay, in School Library Journal

"Look Mom! It's George! He's a TV Indian! by Debbie Reese, in Horn Book Magazine

Native American Themes in Children and Young Adult Books, by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Two invaluable print resources are:
American Indian Themes in Young Adult Literature, by Paulette Molin
A Broken Flute: The Native Perspective in Books for Children, edited by Doris Seale and Beverly Slapin

What do you hope readers will gain, find or enjoy because they've visited your blog?
I hope readers come away knowing how to look critically at images of American Indians, and that they share what they learn with their children and their children's teachers and librarians.


Zetta said...

Thanks for spotlighting Debbie--all of us working for justice in publishing can learn a lot from her vigilance, persistence, and keen critical eye...

Katy said...

Fantastic article links--interesting reading.

MissA said...

Can't wait to check out these links!

Debbie, what you do is so valuable and much needed, thank you! From reading your blog, I have learned to look with a more critical eye at how Native Americans are portrayed in literature and on TV. Keep up the great work :)

Jessie Carty said...

Wow! What a great blog idea :) can't wait to check it out.

Anonymous said...

I am wowed by the links Debbie provided, they're so helpful! Thank you for showcasing her and her work.

Mrs. Pilkington said...

thanks for this profile -- great links

Debbie Reese said...

Thanks for sending your readers my way!

(This is a short post, second try...)

Debbie Reese said...

Hurray! This time success.

I started emailing with COLA a few weeks ago, either when the POC challenge got started, or maybe it was earlier, when the whitewashing covers (the second one) broke.

I'm glad to be part of this network. People committed to the thoughtful and intellectual growth of all readers.

Color Online said...


I think you are amazing and having you here brings a level of scholarship that we as a community do value.

I am so glad you're here.

Thank you.

bj neary said...

Debbie's blog is great, educational, full of information we all need to read!

Kelly said...

Thank you for featuring Debbie Reese! Such important information. Debbie, thanks for all you do. You're making a difference.