Mashantucket Pequot Museum Library and Archives Blog

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Big Read: Love Medicine Book Talk

Saturday, Jan. 11, 2-3:30 pm

Join Lorén Spears (Narragansett/Niantic) at the Research Library to talk about Louise Erdrich’s first novel, Love Medicine. It is the first book about the Kashpaws and Lamartines whom we have gotten to know over the years. Lorén shares an indigenous perspective about Love Medicine, so if you haven’t read it yet, pick up a copy and come; if you have read it, here’s a chance to discuss it with others. Free! Call 860-396-6897 for more information or visit to find out about this and other programs.
The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. Managed by Arts Midwest, The Big Read provides competitive grants to support innovative reading programs in selected communities.

 Plan to visit the library again on Saturday, January 25, 1-2:30 pm, to hear Rachel Sayet (Mohegan) talk about her Master’s thesis from Harvard: Moshup: Enduring Aquinnah Wampanoag Stories.

Rachel Sayet

Friday, November 22, 2013

Giving Thanks

From the Children's Library...

Here are some excellent books about Native thanksgiving celebrations.

Many Thanksgivings: Teaching Thanksgiving-Including the Wampanoag Perspective.  The Boston Children’s Museum, 2002.
1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving, by Catherine O’Neill Grace and Margaret M. Bruchac (Abenaki).   National Geographic Society, 2001.

Thanksgiving: A Native Perspective, by Doris Seale (Santee/Cree), Beverly Slapin and Carolyn Silverman (Cherokee/Blackfeet). Oyate, 1995.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Storytelling with Joe and Jesse Bruchac, Trudie Lamb Richmond, and Candyce Testa

Mark your calendars for this Saturday, November 2, 2014, and join Abenaki storytellers, Joe and Jesse Bruchac, at the Pequot Museum. From 1-2:30 pm, the Bruchacs share some of their huge collection of Native stories; ones that teach us lessons, even when we're laughing. Trudie Lamb Richmond and Candyce Testa tell a few stories, too, and the afternoon will fly by. Meet the storytellers after the event. Buy their books and get them autographed!

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Big Read Kick-Off

Thursday, Sept. 19, 6:30-8:30 pm
Big Read Kick Off at the URI Multicultural Center, 74 Lower College Rd., Kingston, RI

The Big Read has selected Louise Erdrich’s first novel, Love Medicine as one of the works for discussion this year. Join us on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2-3:30 pm, to talk about Love Medicine with Tomaquag Museum’s director and educator Lorén Spears. As a Narragansett/Niantic, Lorén shares an indigenous perspective on how Erdrich weaves historic and familial trauma with hope and renewal. In the Research Library where we have copies you can borrow or buy one at the Museum gift shop. Free. Call (860) 396-6897 for information.

The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. Managed by Arts Midwest, The Big Read provides competitive grants to support innovative reading programs in selected communities.

The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Joe and Jesse Bruchac

We are pleased to announce that Joe’s son Jesse is joining the storytelling program here on Nov. 2. Jesse is a graduate of Goddard College, where his thesis was the creation of a syllabus for teaching the Abenaki language, and has worked extensively over the last 15 years in projects involving the preservation of the Abenaki language, storytelling, music and traditional culture.
Watch this blog for more information about Jesse, Joe, Trudie, and Candyce who are the storytellers taking the stage on Nov. 2 at 1 pm.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Joe Bruchac: Storyteller

Is it too early to think about November? No! Mark your calendar now so you won’t forget to come on Saturday, November 2, 1-2:30 pm, to hear well-known storyteller and author Joseph Bruchac. His books and stories reflect his Abenaki roots and his lifelong interest in American Indian histories and cultures. Most of Joe's books are based on Native traditional teachings, and many of his stories are ones he’s learned from the elders. His enthusiastic storytelling is amazing; you “see” the animals, people, and events in his stories. Joining him to tell a story or two, are local storytellers, Trudie Lamb Richmond (Schaghticoke) and Candyce Testa (Pequot). Free with Museum admission, free to Museum members.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Check out Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. #BookLoversDay

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, first published in 2007 by Little, Brown, is among my favorite books. Lots of readers know about the novel because it has won many awards including the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature and the American Indian Youth Literature Award for Young Adults. It’s a great read – one that makes you laugh and cry along with Junior as he makes his way in a new school and at home on the reservation. But it continues to show up on lists of banned books. Read it and see what you think – I join many others in loving it.

Friday, August 2, 2013

New Books for Teens

Here are three books we recommend in case you’re looking for good books to read for the “Summer Reading” you need to do for school.

How I Became a Ghost by Tim Tingle (Choctaw), Roadrunner Press, 2013
      Tim Tingle's new book is about a young boy and the Choctaw Trail of Tears; here’s how it starts:

            Maybe you have never read a book written by a ghost before. I am a ghost. I am not a ghost when this book begins, so you have to pay very close attention. I should tell you something else. I see things before they happen. You are probably thinking, “I wish I could see things before they happen.”
            Be careful what you wish for.

If I Ever Get Out of Here by Eric Gansworth (Onondaga), Scholastic, 2013 
      Lewis Blake lives on the Tuscarora Reservation and is starting junior high school and wants to make friends and he does, with George Haddonfield, an army
kid who shares his love for the Beatles.
Debbie Reese writes about it on her blog:
It is, however, a rare but honest look at culture and how people with vastly different upbringings and identities can clash. And dance. And laugh. Gansworth informs readers about cultural difference, but he doesn't beat anyone up as he does it.

Him Standing by Richard Wagamese (Ojibway), Orca, 2013
      One of Canada’s award-winning authors, Richard Wagamese‘s new book is an Orca Rapid Reads book and it is a quick, yet compelling story about what happens when Lucas Smoke, extraordinary woodcarver, is asked to carve a spirit mask by a mysterious man dressed all in black.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

S.D. Nelson

We’ve just added 2 new, beautiful books by S.D. Nelson to our collection of books by Native authors. He is a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and is an artist, writer, and gifted craftsman whose works of art are influenced by his Lakota heritage, yet they are contemporary interpretations of traditional images. Children respond to his pictures with people, horses, and animals of many vivid colors. Greet the Dawn: The Lakota Way, is a lyrical creation of images and colors, and follows people through the day from dawn to night. Buffalo Bird Girl: A Hidatsa Story combines his paintings with historical and contemporary photography to illustrate Waheenee-wea’s (Buffalo Bird Woman) words which were written down by Gilbert Wilson in the early 1900s. A lengthy, information-filled author’s note provides valuable background and resources for readers who will get a feel for her life in Like-a-Fishhook Village. 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Chickadee wins 2013 Scott O'Dell Award

Louise Erdrich (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa) was recently awarded the 2013 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, for her latest story in the Birchbark House series, Chickadee. In 2006, The Game of Silence, her second book in the series, was recognized as the best historical fiction for young people.
            The year is now 1866 and Omakayas and Animikiins have 8-year-old twin sons – Chickadee and Makoons. Their extended family, whom we know from the previous books, is enjoying the warmer spring weather while maple sugaring. At least they are, until Chickadee is taken by Zhigaagby’s two sons in revenge for a prank he played on the old man.
            Finding strength and resourcefulness from his namesake bird, Chickadee escapes and eventually finds his uncle and his family who has been desperately tracking his kidnappers from the woods to the Great Plains. The author is working on the fifth book about Chickadee’s twin, Makoons, and we hope she continues with the stories which are based on her family’s experiences.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Reading Circle - Tracks by Louise Erdrich

“We started dying before the snow, and like snow, we continued to fall.”

If you’ve never read Louise Erdrich’s novel, Tracks, or you have read it and are eager to share your thoughts about this powerful work, now is your chance.  While you wait to get your hands on Erdrich's new novel, The Round House, enrich your reading experience and join us on Saturday, February 16th at 1:00pm. 

Beat those February doldrums by calling to register for this free event. (860) 396-6897. 

Professor Theodore Van Alst (Lakota), Director of Yale’s Native American Cultural Center, brings his insights and enthusiasm to our Reading Circle discussion. Some light refreshments follow the discussion. 

Need a copy of the book? We have some copies to lend and they are available for purchase at our Museum store.