Today we are thrilled to reveal the cover for Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids, a middle-grade anthology edited by Cynthia Leitich Smith and illustrated by Nicole Neidhardt. The book will be released on February 9, 2021, by Heartdrum. Pre-order here!
A collection of intersecting stories set at a powwow that bursts with hope, joy, resilience, the strength of community, and Native pride.
In a high school gym full of color and song, Native families from Nations within the borders of the U.S. and Canada dance, sell beadwork and books, and celebrate friendship and heritage. They are the heroes of their own stories.
Featured contributors: Joseph Bruchac, Art Coulson, Christine Day, Eric Gansworth, Dawn Quigley, Carole Lindstrom, Rebecca Roanhorse, David A. Robertson, Andrea L. Rogers, Kim Rogers, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Monique Gray Smith, Traci Sorell, Tim Tingle, Erika T. Wurth, and Brian Young.
“The story behind Ancestor Approved is truly one of community and collaboration, much like the intertribal powwow reflected in the book,” explains editor Cynthia Leitich Smith. “The contributors joined efforts—by text message, email, and an online message board—to create this engaging collection of interconnected stories, poems, and visual artwork centered on a two-day event, including the characters’ preparations and journeys home. In fact, Nicole Niedhardt’s gorgeous, dynamic cover draws its inspiration from Jessie, the protagonist of Kim Rogers’s short story, ‘Flying Together.’
Nicole’s vivid artwork is a wonderful example of how the creative team has crafted so many moments of engaging connectivity, offering humor and tension, sensitivity, and warmth, along with everyday mysteries and the timeless fantastical.
The result is a groundbreaking book for young readers that celebrates friendship and family, culture and tradition, intergenerational relationships, and the wide-ranging diversity within today’s Native and First Nations communities.”
Cynthia Leitich Smith is the bestselling, acclaimed author of books for all ages, as well as the author-curator of Heartdrum, a Native-focused imprint at HarperCollins Children’s Books. She is an enrolled member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and lives in Austin, Texas.