Seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.

– President Gerald R. Ford, officially recognizing Black History Month, 1976

There was a time in our nation’s history when learning about the achievements and good deeds of Americans included pertinent facts about almost every group of people living in the United States. The notable exception was people of color, and more specifically, African Americans. Present-day, during the month of February, we celebrate Black history and African American accomplishments, including contributions by our teachers, historians, lawyers, doctors, political activists, writers, engineers, dancers, athletes, musicians, artists, and so much more.

Black History Month

Portrait Carter G. Woodson
Carter G. Woodson

Did you know that observance of Black History Month began in 1976 back when President Gerald Ford was at the helm? Prior to this, African American history was actually observed during the second week in February as “Negro History Week,” which began in 1926. Negro History Week was the brainchild of Carter G. Woodson-PhD and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), founded in 1915 as the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. Woodson reportedly settled on the second week in February because it coincided with the birthday of Abraham Lincoln (U.S. National Archives: Emancipation Proclamation) and Frederick Douglass (African American Civil Rights Activist). Learn more about Carter G. Woodson as well as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Several books on Woodson’s life and legacy for adults and kids can be found in IndyPL’s catalog.

It’s about the lived, shared experience of all African Americans, high and low, famous and obscure, and how those experiences have shaped and challenged and ultimately strengthened America. It’s about taking an unvarnished look at the past so we can create a better future. It’s a reminder of where we as a country have been so that we know where we need to go.

President Barack Obama, 2016

The Library has books, music, movies, and digital collections related to African American history. If you are in need of suggestions for what to check out next, here are some great ways to get started – re-read a classic or favorite, find out about an author you have never read, reflect on what you remember, or discover a piece of history you didn’t know.

Attend a Black history program at The Library.

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  • Event: History On Stage
  • Date & Time: Saturday, March 02, 2:00pm
  • Location: Wayne Branch
  • Description: Experience a live performance from two historic ladies: Madam CJ Walker & a Sales Associate, Madam CJ Walker & Ida B. Wells, or Ida B. Wells & Harriet Tubman. After a 45 minute presentation they will answer your questions for 15 minutes.
  • No Registration Required.
  • Event: History On Stage
  • Date & Time: Monday, March 04, 6:00pm
  • Location: Spades Park Branch
  • Description: Experience a live performance from two historic ladies: Madam CJ Walker & a Sales Associate, Madam CJ Walker & Ida B. Wells, or Ida B. Wells & Harriet Tubman. After a 45 minute presentation they will answer your questions for 15 minutes.
  • No Registration Required.

Visit the Center for Black Literature & Culture at Central Library to explore our collection.

The Center for Black Literature & Culture (CBLC) is home to our largest collection of materials by Black authors. Take as long as you’d like to browse this collection that features authors whose work impacts local, national and global culture in literature, sports, business, politics, science and music. Also don’t miss the CBLC’s website, The Power of Black Voices. This online collection includes artifacts, photographs, and articles across many categories.

Our knowledgeable staff and the resources available to you at The Library and online can help you get started from primary sources and portals to biographies, artifacts, photographs, and more.

Center for Black Literature & Culture

Share Black history with kids.

If you are looking for Black history resources for kids, read through history by browsing our Racial Justice Timeline, 1954-1968. Listed here are important events of the Civil Rights Movement and the fight for racial justice. For each event a few books are listed, both fiction and non-fiction, that bring the events and people to life.

Books written for children are also great introductions to history for adults. These selections designed for kids often include excerpts of primary sources, charts, graphs, and high quality photographs from digital archives. These selections make thoughtful reads for adults as well.

Read Black authors.

Here are six tips to help you find books written by Black authors, including a convenient clickable list of authors linked directly to our catalog for placing requests or checking out e-books or audiobooks. Find compelling history and historical fiction, biographies, and memoirs by both contemporary and classic authors.

You can also get reading recommendations from our staff. Browse these featured recommendations.

Kids of all ages can learn about more than a dozen trailblazing women in science, art, law, politics, and sports by listening to these video storytimes. Our featured story is called Equality’s Call, by Deborah Diesen, illustrated by Magdalena Mora. It is the story of the history of voting rights in the United States from our nation’s founding until today. The story is read by National Women’s History Museum Ambassador, actress Logan Browning.

To hear even more stories about amazing women, just click on a book cover to listen to another one!

title - Althea Gibsontitle - Drum Dream Girltitle - The House That Jane Builttitle - Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitostitle - Game Changerstitle - Hidden Figurestitle - Joan Procter, Dragon Doctortitle - Kamala and Maya's Big Ideatitle - Separate Is Never Equaltitle - Shaking Things uptitle - Turning Pagestitle - When Harriet Met Sojournertitle - The Youngest Marcher

e-Books & Audiobooks

Use your indyPL Library Card to check out books about trailblazing women at any of our locations, or check out books about trailblazing women e-books and audiobooks from OverDrive Kids right to your device! If you have never used OverDrive before, you can learn how to use it for both e-books and audiobooks.

Find more FREE online reading at Free Video Read Alouds or try storytime at home!

Need help? Ask a Library staff member at any of our locations or call, text, or email Ask-a-Librarian. The Tinker Station helpline at (317) 275-4500 is also available. It is staffed by device experts who can answer questions about how to read, watch and listen on a PC, tablet or phone.

Websites, Activities & Printables

Women’s History for Kids

Fun books to help kids learn about women’s history and get inspired to make a difference!

Title - NinaTitle - Red Bird SingsTitle - BaseballTitle - 2017 Women

Women and Girls Make Amazing Music!

These compelling documentaries shed light on the lives and careers of women and girls working in a range of genres and musical settings.

Title - Sisters With TransistorsTitle - Tokyo idolsTitle - FannyTitle - Joan Baez

Game Changers: 25 Books About Female Athletes Who Took the Lead

Listed here are more stories about trailblazing female athletes. “Stories, both real and imagined, show what girls can do. The stories of women’s lives, and the choices they made, encourage girls to think larger and bolder, and give boys and men a fuller understanding of the female experience.” ~National Women’s History Project

Title - Breaking ThroughTitle - I Am A PromiseTitle - Girl RunningTitle - Anybody

Women Make Amazing Art!

Invite the budding young artists in your life to explore art by women from around the planet!

Title - The Life and Art of Ningiukulu TeeveeTitle - We Are ArtistsTitle - Through GeorgiaTitle - Faith Ringgold

In 1987, Congress declared March National Women’s History Month. These resources shine a light on contributions and accomplishments, uncover untold stories, and help us learn how perseverance, strength, and persistence prevailed in the face of discrimination. In spite of centuries of obstacles women have made a profound impact on history and continue to shape contemporary society.

These books, videos, and online resources provide an engaging look back at the women who have come before, women today, and a hopeful look forward to the possibilities of the female changemakers and leaders to come.

Women’s History Month Reading Recommendations from Library Staff

The staff at IndyPL create book lists all year to help readers find just the right book. From female entrepreneurs to politicians to information about women’s heart health, here are several booklists that highlight women. You can browse all of our book lists featuring women for adultsteens and kids.

Women’s Hoops: The Essential Reading List

NCAA tournament season is almost upon us, and the WNBA opener is on the horizon. Get amped for all the action to come with new and classic reads about women’s basketball.

Title - Hoop MusesTitle - Full-court QuestTitle - Inaugural Ballers : the True Story of the First U.S. WomenTitle - Dear Black Girls

Women and Girls Make Amazing Music!

These compelling documentaries shed light on the lives and careers of women and girls working in a range of genres and musical settings.

Title - Sisters With TransistorsTitle - Tokyo idolsTitle - FannyTitle - Joan Baez

Women Make Amazing Art!

Invite the budding young artists in your life to explore art by women from around the planet!

Title - The Life and Art of Ningiukulu TeeveeTitle - We Are ArtistsTitle - Through GeorgiaTitle - Faith Ringgold

Women in Higher Education – United States

It took 200 years after the establishment of Harvard College before women had access to college education in the United States. Now many preside over institutes of higher learning. This list highlights history, important figures, areas of study, and current issues related to women in higher education, both nationally and locally.

Title - In The Company Of Educated WomenTitle - Pioneers Of WomenTitle - Mary McLeod BethuneTitle - Reminiscences of School Life and Hints on Teaching

Womanism Past and Present

Womanism, first coined by Alice Walker in her book “In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens Womanist Prose,” takes the concept of feminism a step further to include Black women and other women of color. Alice’s Womanism theory can be defined in part as “A woman who loves other women, sexually and/or nonsexually. Appreciates and prefers women’s culture, women’s emotional flexibility … and women’s strength. … Committed to survival and wholeness of entire people, male and female. Not a separatist, except periodically, for health … Loves music. Loves dance. Loves the moon. Loves the Spirit … Loves struggle. Loves the folk. Loves herself. Regardless. Womanist is to feminist as purple is to lavender.”

Title - In Search of Our MothersTitle - Black Feminist ThoughtTitle - Sensuous KnowledgeTitle - All the Black Girls Are Activists

Women in Comedy

These diverse women are making history as comedians and as authors. Read their stories to get know the women that make us laugh.

Title - Leslie F*cking JonesTitle - Legitimate KidTitle - Hello, Molly!Title - Ten Steps to Nanette

Josei or Women’s Manga

Check these titles out if you are looking for mature stories that center an older female audience. Josei covers genres from mysteries to slice of life romances to psychological horror – so you’re bound to find something for everyone! Please note that these titles will be found in both our adult and teen sections due to age-rating standards varying between Japan and the United States. I have indicated on each title whether it is found in the teen or adult section of the library.

Title - Blank CanvasTitle - ChihayafuruTitle - DonTitle - Even Though We

e-Books & Streaming

Several of our e-book and streaming platforms have collections specifically highlighting women.

You can download e-books or audiobooks, stream films, documentaries, and television shows free with your IndyPL library card. Detailed information about each of our services is available on our download and stream page. If you have never used our streaming services before, directions are available:

Need more help? Ask a Library staff member at any of our locations or call, text or email Ask-a-Librarian. The Tinker Station helpline at (317) 275-4500 is also available. It is staffed by device experts who can answer questions about how to read, watch and listen on a PC, tablet or phone.

Websites & Online Portals

If you only have a minute or if you have the whole month, you can read, watch, or listen to fascinating stories about American women online.

Female Healers
This year’s Women’s History Month celebrates “Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope.” The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis is featuring Early Indianapolis women healers. Learn more about the women who have made history in the Encyclopedia of Indianapolis!

#KnowHerStory
These quick looks at history are perfect for learning about some exceptional women in a small amount of time. #KnowHerStory is hosted by The National Women’s History Museum.

Because Of Her Story
This is an online collection from the Smithsonian that includes stories and objects from women who have shaped America. Explore the online collection of artifacts and then read the stories about why the objects are significant.

Girlhood (It’s complicated)
This website is a unique look at women’s history from the perspective of young girls from The National Museum of American History. It explores the concept of girlhood and how girls have changed history.

National Poetry Foundation
The National Poetry Foundation provides this opportunity to read poems that explore women’s history and women’s rights by several female writing icons.

Reading the words Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. left behind, thinking about them and talking to others about them, is one way to honor him on January 15, 2024, the day commemorating his birth and legacy.

Dr. King’s writings include not only books, but masterful speeches and many letters. Below is a selection of his books, his speeches and one letter, which is regarded as one of the most important documents of the Civil Rights Movement. These featured writing selections are available to you for reading or listening online, or for check out with your IndyPL library card. You can take just ten minutes to read a letter, 20 minutes to listen to one of his speeches, or several days to do a deep dive into one of his books to learn about, re-connect with, remember, or re-commit to his messages about community, equality, and social justice.

“Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop…and I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land.”

~ Martin Luther King Jr., Memphis, Tennessee, April 3, 1968, delivered less than 24 hours before he was assassinated on April 4, 1968.

Five Speeches

I Have a Dream
Delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., August 28, 1963. Read and listen to audio of his “I Have a Dream” speech.

Our God is Marching On
Delivered in Selma, Alabama after the march to Montgomery, March 25, 1965. Read or listen to audio of his “Our God is Marching On” speech.

Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break the Silence
Delivered at Riverside Church, New York City, April 4, 1967. Read or listen to audio of his “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break the Silence” speech.

The Other America
Delivered at Grosse Pointe High School, March 14, 1968. Read his “The Other America” speech.

I’ve Been to the Mountaintop
Delivered in Memphis, Tennessee, April 3, 1968, one day before he was assassinated on April 4, 1968. Read his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech.

(More Fascinating featured documents can be found at the Stanford Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute.)

One Letter

Letter From a Birmingham Jail
Written April 16, 1963 from the Birmingham jail where Dr. King was held for participating in a nonviolent demonstration against segregation. The letter was written in response to a letter called “A Call for Unity” published on April 12, 1963 by eight white religious leaders of the South who took issue with the demonstration.

Six Books

Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story (1958) Dr. King’s first book, it tells the story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott from the early strategic planning to pushback from the white community to the eventual success of establishing a desegregated city bus service. print | print | e-bookaudiobook

The Measure of a Man (1959)
A collection of meditations and prayers written 10 years before the civil rights leader was assassinated. print

Strength to Love (1963)
This is a collection of Dr. King’s iconic sermons. print | print | print | e-book

Why We Can’t Wait (1963)
His argument for equality and an end to racial discrimination that explains why the civil rights struggle is vital to the United States. print | print | e-bookdownloadable audiobook | audiobook CD

Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? (1967)
The book in which he outlines the trends in the African American struggle during the sixties, and calls for peaceful coexistence between the African American and white communities. print | e-bookaudiobook | audiobook CD

The Trumpet of Conscience (1968)
A collection of five lectures from 1967 that address racial equality, conscience and war, the mobilization of young people, and nonviolence. print | e-book

Visit the Center for Black Literature & Culture at Central Library

You can check out Dr. King’s books and many more at the Center for Black Literature & Culture (CBLC), a space at Central Library dedicated to celebrating the vibrant and resilient heritage and triumphs of those born of African roots. The CBLC’s collection includes specially selected literature, music, movies, and artwork highlighting the contributions of black icons, specifically those with Indiana roots.

Black Biopics

Biopics are films about historical figures and events. While directors and producers often take dramatic license in these films, at their core these films help audiences learn, become inspired, and share in the emotional journey of the characters. Below are biopics depicting Black stories and people.

Title - RayTitle - HarrietTitle - 42Title - RespectTitle - King RichardTitle - Hidden FiguresTitle - SelmaTitle - The Woman King

Books for Kids to Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, here are 25 books for children that highlight Dr. King’s life and legacy fighting for justice.

Title - The Words of Martin Luther King JrTitle - Only Light Can Do ThatTitle - AinTitle - Martin Luther King Jr. DayTitle - Martin & AnneTitle - MartinTitle - Threads of PeaceTitle - Good Night Martin Luther King Jr

The Racial Equity Collection

The Racial Equity Collection makes it easier than ever for Library patrons to access antiracism and social justice resources. The Library purchased thousands of new materials including books, e-books, audiobooks, DVDs, and Blu-rays. The materials span a wide range of genres, with titles suited for children, teens, and adults. See the collection online.

Kwanzaa is a celebration that honors African heritage. Observed from December 26th to January 1st, it includes a feast on December 31st called Karamu. Kwanzaa celebrations include singing, dancing, storytelling and African drums. To learn more about the holiday’s roots in ancient African customs and how it is celebrated, watch the PBS Learning Media video All About the Holidays: Kwanzaa and this Sesame Street video during which a family shares how they celebrate together.

Listen together as author Ibi Zoboi reads aloud, The People Remember, with illustrations by Loveis Wise. It uses the seven principles of Kwanzaa called Nguzo Saba, to share the history of African descendants in America from the time their ancestors arrived in America to the present day. The seven principles are:

1. Umoja (Unity)
2. Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)
3. Ujima (Responsibility)
4. Ujamaa (Cooperative economics)
5. Nia (Purpose)
6. Kuumba (Creativity)
7. Imani (Faith)

You can also listen to author Donna L Washington read Li’l Rabbit’s Kwanzaa, a story that introduces the holiday and celebrates its true meaning – coming together to help others.

Did you like these? You can find more stories at Free Video Read Alouds and enjoy even more themed reading and activity fun at IndyPL’s DIY Online Storytimes at Home.

Books for Kids About Kwanzaa and Nguzo Saba to Check Out with your IndyPL Library Card

Use your IndyPL library card to check out e-books, audiobooks, and other streaming content about Kwanzaa from home, right to your device. See our digital Kwanzaa collection from OverDrive Kids, or come visit us! Below is a selection of books for kids to help you get started!

Title - The Night Before KwanzaaTitle - KwanzaaTitle - Celebrating KwanzaaTitle - The People RememberTitle - KwanzaaTitle - Seven Spools of ThreadTitle - My First KwanzaaTitle - Habari Gani? WhatTitle - KwanzaaTitle - LiTitle - Kwanzaa KaramuTitle - The Sound of Kwanzaa

Need Help?

Ask a Library staff member at any of our locations or call, text, or email Ask-a-Librarian. The Tinker Station helpline at (317) 275-4500 is also available. It is staffed by device experts who can answer questions about how to read, watch and listen on a PC, tablet or phone.

Many American families gather for Thanksgiving, a day to share food, family memories, and gratitude for both. The arrival of early settlers and the colonization of North America is part of our shared history as Americans. It is important to learn and remember the full history of colonization and the reality that it included centuries of genocide, the theft of land, and oppression. As a result, Indigenous Peoples recognize Thanksgiving as a day of mourning. It is a time to remember ancestral history as well as a day to acknowledge and protest the racism and oppression which they continue to experience today. The following resources will help you learn more about Indigenous Peoples and Thanksgiving.

National Day of Mourning

Since 1970 there has been a gathering at the Plymouth rock historic site in Massachusetts on Thanksgiving Day to commemorate the National Day of Mourning. The United American Indians of New England will host the 54th Annual National Day of Mourning on November 23, 2023. Watch their website for livestreaming information on that day.

In this video from the National Museum of the American Indian, Paul Chaat Smith (Comanche) co-curator of the exhibit Americans, looks at why the Thanksgiving story is so important to the United States’ image of itself as a nation. Watch it to gain a better understanding of Indigenous Peoples and Thanksgiving.

Read books by Indigenous authors.

In our collection, two notable titles about Thanksgiving are, for adults, This Land Is Their Land: The Wampanoag Indians, Plymouth Colony, and the Troubled History of Thanksgiving by David J. Silverman, and for children1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving by Margaret M. Bruchac (Abenaki) and Catherine Grace O’Neill. (For more resources for kids see Talking to Kids About Thanksgiving.)

There have been a number of books published by Indigenous authors to share Indigenous perspective for both adults and children in a variety of topics. First Nations publishes a list of essential reading for anyone interested in learning about the Native American experience. To help you find these books in our collection, see our blog post Finding Books by Indigenous Authors.

Many of us here – as Native Americans, avid readers, activists for improving Native American economies and communities, and as direct participants in the Native American experience – believe that we are uniquely positioned to suggest this reading list,” said First Nations President & CEO Michael Roberts. “We attempted to include many facets of the Native American experience, as well as books and research reports that would be of interest to a broad variety of readers.

Take a deeper dive in our collection and online.

Learn about the people whose land you live on.

Native Land is an interesting interactive map. Enter your address and get an answer to “You are on the land of…” The map will tell you the name of the Indigenous People who once lived where you live. Besides curiosity, why would a person want to know this? The creators of the map hope to encourage discussion and increase awareness about Indigenous history and the diverse cultures of Native People. There is a teacher’s guide to go with the map which is also helpful.

Are you looking for ways to share with children the importance of family, community, and gratitude? Or trying to make sure talking to kids about Thanksgiving includes giving them an age appropriate introduction to history? A wonderful book to share is Keepunumuk Weeãachumun’s Thanksgiving Story by Danielle Greendeer (Mashpee Wampanoag) and Tony Perry (Chickasaw). Learn the story of Weeãachumun, who asked local Native Americans to show the newcomers how to grow food.

Watch this video to hear Alexis Bunten from the Bioneers Indigeneity Program share learning activities about sharing, valuing nature, and animal behavior. Alexis reads the story aloud, and then leads a discussion about talking to kids about Thanksgiving. A very helpful resource guide is available with all kinds of fun ideas to try at home.

You might also try If You Lived During the Plimoth Thanksgiving by Chris Newell (citizen of Passamaquoddy Tribe at Indian Township). It comes highly recommended from American Indians in Children’s Literature, a site that provides critical analysis of Indigenous peoples in children’s and young adult books. Read their detailed review to find out why the book is so highly regarded, like this analysis “There are many sentences and passages in If You Lived During the Plimoth Thanksgiving that I wholeheartedly welcome. Here’s one from page 8: “The story of the Mayflower landing is different depending on whether the storyteller viewed the events from the boat or from the shore.”

Very young listeners might also enjoy Online Storytime: Thanksgiving to hear some of our favorite books to share in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. Online Storytime will include experiences to talk, read, sing, write, and play. This makes fun stories and activities about Thanksgiving include important early learning skills!

Make a selection from one of these lists to enjoy a rich variety of stories to add to your annual Thanksgiving traditions.

Prayer Books for Kids – The Many Ways People Say “Thank You”

Here is a selection of prayers and stories for children to explore the prayer traditions in their own family or those of their friends and neighbors. After sharing one, talk about the ways the characters in the story prayed, or talked about the things they felt thankful for. How was it the same as how you talk about gratitude in your home? How was it different?

Title - A Family PrayerTitle - The Masjid Kamal LovesTitle - Salat in SecretTitle - A World of PraiseTitle - Standing in the Need of PrayerTitle - My Heart Fills With HappinessTitle - Sammy SpiderTitle - Thanku

Books by Indigenous Authors for Young Children

Learning about other cultures helps young children develop a better sense of themselves and the world around them. The books in this list are written by Indigenous authors, providing a look inside the traditions and values of their communities.

Title - First LaughTitle - Fry BreadTitle - We Are Water ProtectorsTitle - Bowwow PowwowTitle - KamikTitle - Zoe and the FawnTitle - You Hold Me upTitle - Thunder Boy Jr

Picture Books by Native Authors, Recommended by American Indians in Children’s Literature (AICL)

Add to your Thanksgiving favorites with these great books recommended by American Indians in Children’s Literature.

Title - Bowwow PowwowTitle - Awâsis and the World-famous BannockTitle - First LaughTitle - Nimoshom and His BusTitle - ChickadeeTitle - KunuTitle - Whale SnowTitle - Fatty Legs

During the 1800s water jars or containers featured abstract designs of rain, vegetation and animals associated with water. This particular abstract design features parallel lines that represent rain and slightly coiled circles that represent a ceremonial drumstick. This Zuni storage jar is an artifact in the collection of The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

When is Indigenous Peoples’ Day?

Indigenous Peoples’ Day is the second Monday in October. It recognizes the resilience and diversity of Indigenous peoples in the United States. The day provides an opportunity to intentionally remember and learn about Indigenous histories and cultures. Not currently a national holiday, many American states and cities observe it.

Isn’t that Columbus Day?

Columbus Day, a natioanlly recognized federal holiday observing the life of Italian explorer Christopher Columbus, also occurs the second Monday in October. In the last 40+ years controversy about the celebration of Columbus’ legacy, without including information about the harm caused to the Indigenous peoples of the Americas, has steadily built. Recognizing Indigenous Peoples’ Day honors the cultures, events, and stories that have been left out of our national narrative. Learn more about the movement to observe Indigenous Peoples’ Day in the Smithsonian article, Unlearning Columbus Day Myths.

In this video, meet Artist in Residence at the Eiteljorg Museum, DG House (Cherokee of NE Alabama). Listen to a discussion about Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

A number of books written by Indigenous authors share Indigenous perspective for both adults and children. We can help you find them!

For Adults & Teens

First Nations publishes a list of essential reading for anyone interested in learning about the Native American experience. They also publish a list for children.

Many of us here – as Native Americans, avid readers, activists for improving Native American economies and communities, and as direct participants in the Native American experience – believe that we are uniquely positioned to suggest this reading list,” said First Nations President & CEO Michael Roberts.

First Nations indicates on the list which titles are especially good ones to start with. Here are a few of their selections. See the full list. Explore our collection more at Finding Books by Indigenous Authors.

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown

“Eloquent, heartbreaking, and meticulously documented, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee follows the systematic destruction of the American Indian during the second half of the 19th century. Using council records, autobiographies, and firsthand descriptions, Brown’s work highlights the voices of those American Indians who actually experienced the battles, massacres, and broken treaties.”
print | e-booke-audiobook | audiobook CD

An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz

“Historian and activist Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz offers a history of the United States told from the perspective of Indigenous peoples and reveals how Native Americans, for centuries, actively resisted expansion of the US empire. Dunbar-Ortiz challenges the founding myth of the United States and shows how policy against the Indigenous peoples was colonialist and designed to seize the territories of the original inhabitants, displacing or eliminating them.”
print | e-booke-audiobook 

Do All Indians Live in Tipis?

“Debunking common myths and providing information about everything from katsina dolls to casinos and Pocahontas to powwows, Native staff members at the National Museum of the American Indian have handled a wide array of questions over the years. This book presents nearly 100 of their answers. This book counters deeply embedded stereotypes while providing an introduction to diverse Native histories and contemporary cultures.”
print

Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask by Anton Treuer

“Treuer, an Ojibwe scholar and cultural preservationist, answers the most commonly asked questions about American Indians, both historical and modern. He gives a frank, funny, and personal tour of what’s up with Indians, anyway.”
print | e-book | e-audiobook | audiobook CD

“All the Real Indians Died Off” and 20 Other Myths About Native Americans by Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz

“Dunbar-Ortiz shows how myths about Native Americans are rooted in the fears and prejudice of European settlers and in the larger political agendas of a settler state aimed at acquiring Indigenous land and are tied to narratives of erasure and disappearance.”
print | e-bookaudiobook 

Indigenous Thought and the Environment

The Eiteljorg Museum put together a list of suggested reading, listening, and watchingBrowse and place holds on some of their recommendations. You can also explore how the fight for climate justice and environmental preservation is tied to tribal sovereignty. From the removal of Indigenous people in order to create national parks to resistance against the Dakota Access Pipeline, each of the books in this book list, Indigenous Thought & the Environment, explores a different facet of a complex relationship.

For Children

Dr. Debbie Reese (Nambé Pueblo) began her website, American Indians in Children’s Literature (AICL) in 2006 to make finding Indigenous books for children easier. Dr. Reese provides American Indian Children’s Literature Best Books Lists each year to help parents and teachers find great books for kids.

Additional lists of best Indigenous books for children:

Enjoy the video read aloud We Are Water Protectors read by the author, Carole Lindstrom (Anishinabe/Métis and member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibwe). The book earned a 2021 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award and appears on the 2020 American Indians in Children’s Literature (AICL) Best Books List. The book’s author, Michaela Goade, won the 2021 Caldecott Medal for illustration.

Best Picture Books for Kids by and about American Indians

A guide to some of the best picture books by and about American Indians recommended by The American Indian Library Association, American Indians in Children’s Literature (AICL), or firstnations.org.

Title - We Are Still Here!Title - I Sang You Down From the StarsTitle - We Are Water ProtectorsTitle - HerizonTitle - Rez DogsTitle - The TrainTitle - Bowwow PowwowTitle - BirdsongTitle - We Are GratefulTitle - Fry BreadTitle - At the MountainTitle - Sweetest Kulu

The poet James Whitcomb Riley was born in Greenfield, Indiana on October 7, 1849. To give you an idea how long ago that was, he was about 12 years old when the U.S. Civil War started. Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell were both born around the same time. At the time of his death on July 22, 1916, Riley was a beloved figure across the country, but especially so in Indiana. Many of his poems were funny. People really liked that. During his life he traveled the country giving live shows reading his poetry. In his time, he was a rock star!

James Whitcomb Riley’s death was such news it made front page headlines in major newspapers all across the country. One of the newspaper headlines about his funeral said, “35,000 People Pass Casket of Indiana Poet”. That is a lot of people paying their respects.

Riley Recordings

During Riley’s life people did not have radios in their homes yet. In order to listen to music or readings people used a hand cranked phonograph machine to listen to audio recordings on cylinders. Today you can play a digital file of an audiobook on your phone or computer. In 1912 Riley recorded poetry readings for the Victor Talking Machine Company so that people could listen at home. You can listen to old Riley Recordings in The Library’s digital collection. Open the James Whitcomb Riley Recordings to listen to the man himself reading his own poetry.

James Whitcomb Riley Books

Mr. Riley’s most famous poems for children were and still are, “Raggedy Man,” “The Little Orphant Annie,” “When the Frost is on the Punkin,” and “The Old Swimmin’ Hole.” You can read them right now in these free e-books from IUPUI. I recommend the deliciously scary “The Little Orphant Annie.” Annie is a great storyteller! She tells the story of why you better mind your parents because “The gobble-uns’ll git you ef you don’t watch out!” To read it click on the first book below, Riley Child Rhymes, and then click on page 23.

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Websites, Activities & Printables:

In the spirit of another beloved Hoosier, David Letterman:

Top 10 Ways to Know James Whitcomb Riley was a Rock Star of his Time:

10. His book Rhymes of Childhood, published in 1912, can still be found today over 100 years later. Find it at the library or go to an online bookstore. There are not very many books still available from that long ago!

9. In the late 1890s Riley encouraged the African American poet Paul Laurence Dunbar. He wrote Dunbar a letter of recommendation that helped get Dunbar’s work published.

8. When Riley died, the President of the United states, Woodrow Wilson, and the Vice-President of the United States, Thomas Riley Marshall (who was from Columbia City, Indiana), both sent messages of condolence to his family. The Governor of Indiana allowed Riley to lay in state at The Indiana Statehouse Rotunda so that people could come pay their respects. Until that time, only Abraham Lincoln had been honored in that way.

7. Greenfield, IN, his birthplace, and Indianapolis, IN, his home for over 20 years, fought over the location of Riley’s grave. Over Riley’s Dead Body: Indy’s Weirdest Civic Fight. Indianapolis won. He grave is at Crown Hill Cemetery in a tomb at the top of a hill, the highest point in Indianapolis.

6. Both Riley’s boyhood home in Greenfield, IN and his adult home in Indianapolis, IN are museums and on the National Register of Historic Places.

5. Named in his honor, the James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children opened in 1924. In 1955 the hospital added Camp Riley, a camp for youth with disabilities.

4. In 1940, the U.S. Postal Service issued a 10-cent stamp honoring Riley.

3. Commissioned in 1942 during World War II, the cargo ship SS James Whitcomb Riley bears his name.

2. There used to be a Hoosier Poet Brand of coffee, oatmeal, vegetables, cigars and more.

1. James Whitcomb Riley donated the land Central Library is built on. The bronze gates at the main entrance on St. Clair Street were purchased with pennies donated by children. The bronze tablets on each of the iron gates say: The gates are the gift of the children of Indianapolis in loving remembrance of their friend James Whitcomb Riley

Famous Hoosiers for Kids

A look at an interesting group of the Indiana born or raised who have contributed to the history and life of the state and the nation from a millionaire businesswoman to a Disney animator to a lighthouse keeper (in Indiana!) as well as a U.S. President. #indyplkids

Title - Bill PeetTitle - John GreenTitle - Major Taylor, Champion CyclistTitle - Seed by Seed

Photograph of Frederick Douglass.

Hoosiers Reading Frederick Douglass Together

The Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities started the program, Reading Frederick Douglass Together, to encourage families, friends, neighbors, and co-workers to gather to read and discuss “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” by Frederick Douglas to help shape our understanding of freedom in American.

Douglass first gave the speech on July 5, 1852 at an event commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Abraham Lincoln would not issue the Emancipation Proclamation until 1863 and the 13th amendment that freed enslaved people did not pass until 1865, so he delivered this speech well before either of those milestones. His words in The Meaning of July 4th for the Negro, continue to resonate with Black citizens after more than 150 years for pointing out at the time that not all were free. The speech says in part,

“This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn.” And he asked them, “Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak to-day?”

Resources

If you are unable to attend a reading, you can find the text here. There is a printable tip sheetdiscussion guide, and page of helpful resources. In addition, we invite you to explore Indiana University School of Liberal Arts’ Frederick Douglas Papers or watch this short video of five descendants of Frederick Douglass read excerpts from his famous speech which asks all people to consider America’s long history of denying equal rights to Black Americans.

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass was born into slavery in 1818 but then grew up to became a human rights activist, gifted public speaker and author. He also started a newspaper, was a U.S. Marshal, and at the 1888 Republican National Convention became the first African American to receive a vote for President of the United States at a major party’s convention. (Benjamin Harrison, from Indianapolis, went on to win the presidency in 1889.) He lectured on civil rights and abolition and also supported Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, and Susan B. Anthony in their fight for women’s suffrage. He published his first autobiography (he wrote three altogether) called Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave in 1845. It it the first hand account of his childhood as a slave. You can read it here.

More Reading:


Visit the Center for Black Literature & Culture at Central Library to find and check out books that affirm and celebrate the Black experience.

The CBLC includes a section just for kids. Every book taken off the shelf, both fiction and non-fiction, features Black characters or historical and contemporary people that highlight the Black experience, history, or biography.

The Center for Black Literature & Culture at Central Library

The Central Authors Engraving Project – Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass (1817-1895) was an extraordinary leader and abolitionist who escaped slavery to become one of the greatest orators in modern history and was instrumental in the emancipation of slaves in the United States. Check out the items on the following list by or about Dougalss to learn more about this great man.

Title - Narrative of the Life of Frederick DouglassTitle - My Bondage and My FreedomTitle - Life and Times of Frederick DouglassTitle - The Heroic SlaveTitle - Frederick DouglassTitle - Frederick DouglassTitle - Frederick DouglassTitle - Frederick Douglass

June and July hold annual reminders of the history of independence and freedom in the United States. See our staff recommendations that will give you a variety of perspectives on pivotal events that have shaped our views.

July 4, 1776
Independence Day

Independence Day commemorates the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. The declaration announced the separation of the 13 colonies from Great Britain. The declaration says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

January 1, 1863
Emancipation Proclamation

But for America’s Black population, these words did not apply. They remained enslaved for nearly 100 more years until US President Abraham Lincoln declared in the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863 that “All persons held as slaves within any States, or designated part of the State, the people whereof shall be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.

June 19, 1865
Juneteenth

It took more than two years for this news of independence and freedom to travel throughout the country. On June 19, 1865 Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas and declared “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.” Juneteenth reminds us that the process of ending slavery, of extending independence and freedom to everyone, was not a single moment in time, but multiple moments.

In his famous “I have a dream” speech in 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. referenced this ongoing fight for freedom “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.

July 2, 1964
Civil Rights Act

It took another 100 years for President Lyndon B. Johnson to sign the Civil Rights Act in 1964 outlawing racial discrimination in the United States. The process continues to this day.

President Joe Biden declared Juneteenth a federal holiday on June 17, 2021. “By making Juneteenth a federal holiday, all Americans can feel the power of this day, and learn from our history, and celebrate progress, and grapple with the distance we’ve come but the distance we have to travel.” He continue “After all, the emancipation of enslaved Black Americans didn’t mark the end of America’s work to deliver on the promise of equality; it only marked the beginning. To honor the true meaning of Juneteenth, we have to continue toward that promise because we’ve not gotten there yet.

IndyPL Recommends: Juneteenth Reads

Juneteenth is often celebrated with food, the singing of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” and by reading the works of prominent Black authors. Below, we have selected reads on the history of Juneteenth, emancipation and freedom, reconstruction, and celebration. All descriptions come from the book jackets or publishers of these works.

Title - Hidden Black History : From Juneteenth to RedliningTitle - JuneteenthTitle - On JuneteenthTitle - Juneteenth

Slave Narratives: The Stories that Abolished Slavery

Today slave narratives are seen as first person stories about one of the darkest times in United States history, but when slave narratives were being published in the 1800s they were a powerful tool used in the fight for their own freedom. Through their stories they were able to contradict the slaveholders’ favorable claims concerning slavery. Through these narratives they could tell the horrors of family separation, the sexual abuse of black women, and the inhuman workload. The narratives helped show the humanity of the most dehumanized people in the country.

Title - Narrative of the Life of Frederick DouglassTitle - The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah EquianoTitle - Twelve Years A SlaveTitle - William Wells Brown

    Picture Book Stars to Celebrate Independence & Freedom

    Learn about the 4th of July, Juneteenth, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Thirteenth Amendment, and more! Read stories about family and neighborhood traditions all over the country from parades to fireworks to noodles to pie. #indyplkids

    Title - The Night Before FreedomTitle - Revolutionary Prudence WrightTitle - Her Name Was Mary KatharineTitle - Let

    June 19th is Juneteenth, a day set aside to commemorate the day Texas slaves first learned about emancipation. More than two years after President Lincoln signed the emancipation proclamation! Union army general Gordon Granger made the announcement in Galveston on June 19, 1865. His announcement made Texas the last state to hear the news. Juneteenth is a crucial piece of the complex series of announcements, documents, and events that lead to the passage of the 13th amendment.

    Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

    Juneteenth National Independence Day is a United States federal holiday. It was signed into law by President Joe Biden on Thursday June 17, 2021. Listen to Opal Lee, the activist known as the “Grandmother of Juneteenth,” reflect on her efforts that are credited with the day being officially recognized. In 2017 at the age of 89 Lee walked from Fort Worth to Washington D.C. to call attention to her quest. To learn more about Opal check out Opal Lee and What It Means To Be Free.

    Annual Indy Book Fest & Juneteenth Celebration

    The Center for Black Literature & Culture (CBLC) hosts an annual Juneteenth celebration at Central Library. This year’s featured speaker was Galveston native Fay Williams, Esq. in a moderated conversation about the history of Juneteenth. We look forward to seeing you next year!

    Remembering the History of Emancipation

    In the NPR interview What the Emancipation Proclamation Didn’t Do, Lonnie Bunch III, founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History, said the following about remembering the history of emancipation:

    “Well, I think that on a very specific notion, I would love people to realize that African-Americans were agents in their own liberty. I think that that’s an important piece, rather than simply the notion, if you look at the movie “Lincoln,” it seems as if Lincoln freed the slaves, rather than it’s part of a complicated nuanced puzzle that led to emancipation.

    But, I think the other part that’s so important to me about this moment is this is a moment for Americans to remember that you can believe in a change that you can’t see. That the Emancipation Proclamation, slavery was something that everybody knew was going to exist forever except for a few fanaticals. But suddenly the Emancipation Proclamation began America on a trajectory that ultimately led to a fundamental change in citizenship and equality. And so what I hope is that people would realize that they have a right to demand and effect change because change is possible in this country.”

    Learn more about Juneteenth

    Watch:

    • Our streaming service called Kanopy has a curated collection of films that commemorate Juneteenth. If you have never borrowed from Kanopy before directions and a video tutorial are available.
    • Watch the online exhibition Slavery & Freedom from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History. It highlights stories behind some of the museum’s most compelling objects.
    • Blacks and the Vote This online discussion from the CBLC includes the importance of voting, inspired poetry from local performers, and a moderated panel discussion about what voting means in today’s America.

    Listen:

    Read:

    Take a Deeper Dive:

    IndyPL Recommends: Juneteenth Reads

    Here are some selected reads on the history of Juneteenth, emancipation and freedom, reconstruction, and celebration.

    Title - Hidden Black History : From Juneteenth to RedliningTitle - JuneteenthTitle - On JuneteenthTitle - JuneteenthTitle - Come JuneteenthTitle - Closer to FreedomTitle - Sweet Taste of LibertyTitle - Forever FreeTitle - Envisioning EmancipationTitle - JubileeTitle - The Thin Light of FreedomTitle - Freedom National

    If you are a serious researcher, curious traveler, or proud resident, these links will help you explore Indiana and Indianapolis from collections of digitized photos and artifacts to letters, old newspapers articles, and more. Browse them from home or take an afternoon to visit the Indianapolis Special Collections Room at Central Library where you will find all things Indiana and Indianapolis complete with a beautiful sixth floor view of downtown Indianapolis.

    Indianapolis Public Library Resources

    Digital Indy Archives: Yearbooks, arts organizations, civic organizations, public safety, neighborhoods, newsmagazines all accessible online.

    Hoosier State Chronicles
    250+ scanned and searchable newspapers from every county in Indiana, with the earliest starting in 1804.

    Indianapolis Star (1903-2004)
    A full-text version of the Indianapolis Star from 1903-1922 including photographs, ads, obituaries, and marriage announcements.

    Indianapolis Star (1991-Present)
    Full-text coverage from the Indianapolis Star back to 1991, including obituaries, but excluding paid advertisements and freelance writers.

    IndyPL Staff Reading Recommendation about Indiana and Indianapolis covering history, sports, art, nature, hoosier authors, and more.

    Local Newspapers

    • Central Library has Indianapolis newspapers on microfilm from about 1822 to the present. You may access the microfilm collection in person during library hours.
    • Indianapolis Star (1903-2004) A full-text version of the Indianapolis Star from 1903-1922 including photographs, ads, obituaries, and marriage announcements.
    • Indianapolis Star (1991-Present) Full-text coverage from the Indianapolis Star back to 1991, including obituaries, but excluding paid advertisements and freelance writers.
    • Indianapolis Star ProQuest Online Database: Access 1903-present via indypl.org with a library card.
    • The Weekly View Published be Eastside Voice Community News Media for 24 zip codes in from Downtown Indy East to Greenfield, North to Lawrence, Geist, and Broad Ripple, and South to Beech Grove, New Pal & Southport.
    • La Voz de Indiana La Voz de Indiana Bilingual Newspaper serves all communities by concentrating on the Hispanic and American markets. As the “only” bilingual publication in the state of Indiana , La Voz is published in both Spanish and English. Their goals are to Embrace Diversity by promoting understanding and improve communication between people.
    • The Free Soil Banner The Free Soil Banner was published in Indianapolis from 1848 to 1854. Other cities had newspapers by the same name, but the Indiana version was edited by Lew Wallace and William B. Greer, and reportedly funded by Ovid Butler, the founder of North Western Christian University, later renamed Butler University.

    Museums

    The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis Archive
    Physical Collection: Photos and historic documents pertaining to Indianapolis history.
    Digital Collection: 1,000 artifacts from the museum. Selected objects range from Social Studies to Science to Geography with a particular emphasis on Indiana.

    Indiana Medical History Museum
    Physical Collection: The foremost institution in the region for medical history interpretation and preservation.

    Indianapolis Firefighters’ Museum
    Physical Collection: Indianapolis fire service history through exhibits, photographs, artifacts, log books, and more.
    Digital Collection: Materials include photographs, logbooks, yearbooks, scrapbooks and other items the Museum has collected over the years.

    Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newsfields
    Stout Reference Library and Archives
    Physical Collection: Indiana Artist Files, history of Oldfields estate, Art Association of Indianapolis to Newfields history, various arts-related manuscript collections.
    discovernewfields.org/research/libraries | discovernewfields.org/archives
    Digital Collection: Selections from online manuscript collections.

    Indianapolis Resources

    Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site
    Physical Collection: Physical collection detailing the life of the 23rd President of the United States.
    Digital Collection

    Historic Indianapolis
    Online Blog: A blog about historic events in Indianapolis.

    Indianapolis Long Ago
    Facebook Group: Photos and history from fans of Indianapolis history.

    Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department
    Digital Collection: All things Indianapolis police history in photographs, video, and artifacts including arrest logs from the early 1900s, information about some of the very first policewomen, mug shots from the turn of the century, IPD personnel records, and video footage of Indianapolis policing from the 1980s and 1990s.

    Indy Nostalgia
    Facebook Group: Photos and history from fans of Indianapolis history.

    Invisible Indianapolis
    Online Blog: Research blog detailing race, heritage, and community memory in Indianapolis.

    Irvington Historical Society
    Physical Collection: Property, school and family records related to Greater Irvington.

    State Resources

    Indiana Album
    Digital Collection: Images from private collections across the state; based in Indianapolis.

    Hoosier State Chronicles
    Digital Collection: Newspaper from across Indiana. Indianapolis papers include: Recorder, Sentinel, News, Daily Herald, Journal, Leader.

    Indiana Historical Society
    Physical Collection: Physical collections of print materials, photographs, Digital Collection: Bass Photograph Collection, Civil War, correspondence, clubs.

    Indiana Landmarks
    Physical Collection: Preserving the built environment of Indiana.

    Indiana Memory Digital Collection: Aggregator of statewide digital collections.

    Indiana State Archives
    Physical Collection: City records, land records, neighborhood records, meeting minutes, etc.

    Indiana State Library
    Physical Collection: Genealogy and Rare Books and Manuscripts Finding Aids | Manuscript Catalog.
    Digital Collection: Photographs, maps, manuscripts, broadsides, pamphlets, periodicals, government documents, genealogy materials.
    Digital Collection: Indiana State Library Historical Bureau; Indiana State Historical Markers on a variety of Marion County topics.

    Indiana Department of Natural Resources
    Online Database: Database of historic properties and cemeteries within Indianapolis.

    Colleges & Universities

    Butler University
    Digital Collection: Materials from Butler University Special Collections and Archives.

    Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)
    Digital Collections: Speedway, Benjamin Harrison presidential site, LGBTQ+, City Directories, Sanborn Maps, Crispus Attucks Museum.

    Other Community Resources

    National Historic Geographic Information System (NHGIS)
    Digital Collection: Historic census tract-level census data available in GIS formats.

    The Polis Center
    Online Databases: Data visualization, aggregation, statistics and informational databases.

    UIndy Mayoral Archives
    Digital Collection: Includes archives for L. Keith Bulen, Richard G. Lugar, William H. Hudnutt, Stephen Goldsmith.

    This photo from the Library of Congress shows the delivery of two turkeys to President Herbert Hoover in 1929. According to White House History, the tradition of sending a Thanksgiving turkey to US Presidents goes back many years. John F. Kennedy was the first President to pardon a turkey. A pardon means showing leniency, in other words, he didn’t eat it! Pardoning the turkey eventually became an annual event for United States Presidents. You might wonder what happened to all those pardoned turkeys? I found out they have gone to several different places including George Washington’s Mount Vernon and Disney World!

    There have been many United States Presidents, more than 40, so there are a lot of oddball traditions and just plain funny stories about their quirky habits. There are even more stories about their pet projects and special accomplishments. Check out some of these books to find out behind-the-scenes stories that probably won’t make it on your social studies test!

    Would you like to learn about how presidents get elected? Take a look at Elections for Kids to see books, databases, websites, and artifacts that will help learn more or do research to answer homework questions about elections.

    You can start by looking at this voting machine that is an Artifact from The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. It was used by voters in Indianapolis from the 1930s through the 1980 election. Look at more elections artifacts from the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis’ Collection.

    Websites, Activities & Printables:

    NoveList K-8: Stories about Elections is a database you can use in any IndyPL Library Branch or at home to learn about elections for kids. Login using your library card number. Novelist will show you fiction chapter books and picture books you can read about elections. Click on “Check the Library Catalog” to see if IndyPL has the book.

    Unique Stories About U.S. Presidents

    Unique often equals funny! All the astonishing accomplishments and silly details fit to print about which President sang with his pet parrot, which one took dancing lessons, which one got a speeding ticket on a horse, and which one ran down Pennsylvania Avenue (the street in front of the White House) chasing after a goat! Hint: the goat one is the President from Indiana!

    Title - Teddy Roosevelt Was A Moose?Title - Abe LincolnTitle - JoeyTitle - Dancing HandsTitle - Hard Work, but ItTitle - Lincoln Clears A PathTitle - Close CallsTitle - TeddyTitle - Hanging Off JeffersonTitle - Who Named Their Pony Macaroni?Title - President Taft Is Stuck in the BathTitle - The President Sang Amazing Grace

    The books, databases, websites and artifacts on this page will help you do research and answer homework questions about elections. Explore Unique Stories of the U.S. Presidents as well as The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis Election Artifacts Collection.

    Websites, Activities & Printables

    Novelist K-8 Logo

    NoveList K-8: Stories about Elections is a database you can use in any IndyPL Library Branch or at home. Login using your library card number. Novelist will show you fiction chapter books and picture books you can read about elections. Click on “Check the Library Catalog” to see if IndyPL has the book.

    e-Books & Audiobooks

    Use your indyPL Library Card to check out books about elections at any of our locations, or check out election e-books and audiobooks from OverDrive Kids right to your device! If you have never used OverDrive before, you can learn how to use it for both e-books and audiobooks.

    Need more help? Ask a Library staff member at any of our locations or call, text or email Ask-a-Librarian. Additionally, the Tinker Station helpline at (317) 275-4500 is also available. It is staffed by device experts who can answer questions about how to read, watch and listen on a PC, tablet or phone.

    Elections and Voting – It’s a Big Deal!

    Choose a book or two from this list to learn about the United States election process, who can vote, and the history of how each has developed over the last 200+ years. Find out the answers to some puzzling FAQs: What’s a ballot? What is a poll? What does suffrage mean? Why couldn’t Black people vote? Why couldn’t women vote? You can read a general history or focus on one issue, event, or person who made a difference. #indyplkids

    Title - Black Voter SuppressionTitle - ElectionsTitle - The Voice That Won the VoteTitle - Stolen JusticeTitle - Give Us the Vote!Title - The KidsTitle - The WomanTitle - How Elections WorkTitle - One Person, No Vote : How Not All Voters Are Treated Equally, Ya EditionTitle - VotingTitle - WhatTitle - Fight of the Century