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Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story Hardcover – Picture Book, Oct. 22 2019

4.9 out of 5 stars 3,049 ratings

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Product description


“Through the story and the book's beautiful pictures, Kevin Noble Maillard and Juana Martinez-Neal capture the complexity of native identity.” ―Graham Lee Brewer, NPR

“A wonderful and sweet book [that] takes a staple food of many tribes across the country and uses it to think about family, history, memory and community. . . Lovely stuff.” ―
The New York Times Book Review

“With buoyant, heartfelt illustrations that show the diversity in Native America, the book tells the story of a post-colonial food, a shared tradition across the North American continent . . . Through this topic that includes the diversity of so many Native peoples in a single story, Maillard (Mekusukey Seminole) promotes unity and familiarity among nations. Fry bread is much more than food, as this book amply demonstrates.” ―
Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Fry Bread celebrates the thing itself and much, much more . . . Maillard and Martinez-Neal bring depth, detail, and whimsy to this Native American food story, with text and illustrations depicting the diversity of indigenous peoples, the role of continuity between generations, and the adaptation over time of people, place, and tradition.” ―Booklist, starred review

“A powerful meditation” ―
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“This warm and charming book shows and affirms Native lives. The informational text and expressive drawings give it broad appeal.” ―
School Library Journal, starred review

“Rich with smells and sounds, Fry Bread radiates with Native American pride, the sharing of traditions and the love of family.” ―
Book Page, starred review

“An affecting picture book that features family and friends gathering, creating and enjoying fry bread together. Glorious . . . [Back matter] augments the simple, sincere verses with illuminating edification for older readers . . . Remarkable in balancing the shared delights of extended family with onerous ancestral legacy, Maillard both celebrates and bears witness to his no-single-recipe-fits-all community.” ―
Shelf Awareness, starred review

About the Author

Kevin Noble Maillard is a professor and journalist who lives with his family on the 13th floor of a 115-year old bank in the heart of Manhattan. He is a regular writer for the New York Times, and has interviewed politicians, writers, tribal leaders, and even some movie stars. When he was 13 years old, he won a fishing derby for catching 72 fish in two hours. Originally from Oklahoma, he is a member of the Seminole Nation, Mekusukey band.

Juana Martinez-Neal is the Peruvian-born daughter and granddaughter of painters. Her debut as an author-illustrator, Alma and How She Got Her Name, was awarded a Caldecott Honor, and Zonia’s Rain Forest was named an ALA Top 10 Sustainability-themed Children’s Book. She illustrated New York Times bestselling picture book Tomatoes for Neela by Padma Lakshmi; Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard, which won a Robert F. Sibert Medal; and La Princesa and the Pea by Susan M. Elya, for which she won a Pura Belpré Illustrator Award. She also co-illustrated with Molly Idle I Don’t Care by Julie Fogliano. Juana Martinez-Neal lives in Connecticut with her family.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Roaring Brook Press; Illustrated edition (Oct. 22 2019)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 48 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1626727465
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1626727465
  • Item weight ‏ : ‎ 499 g
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 25.78 x 1.78 x 26.29 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.9 out of 5 stars 3,049 ratings

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Customer reviews

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Top reviews from Canada

Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on May 31, 2022
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Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on February 11, 2021
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Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on August 1, 2020
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Top reviews from other countries

Sunday C
5.0 out of 5 stars Read aloud in grades k-3; don't skip the author's note!
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on February 16, 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars Read aloud in grades k-3; don't skip the author's note!
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on February 16, 2020
Winner of ALA's Sibert Award for Nonfiction 2020

A beautiful book to read aloud with illustrations that your students will want to return to and examine over and over again. Maillard, a member of the Seminole Nation, Mekusukey band, describes in simple verse not only this the physical properties of fry bread (which will make you want some) but also what fry bread represents to those who make and eat it--time, art, history, place, nation. Juan Martinez-Neal's illustrations are rich, beautiful, engaging for our youngest readers/learners.

READING THE AUTHOR'S NOTE (for ourself) or back matter is critical to helping our k-3 students make the most of this book. As I read the author's note--I realized how much I missed in Martinez-Neal's illustrations and in the meaning of Maillard's carefully chose words--the Indigenous people's art (placed carefully in the illustrations at various points), the choice of who to represent (in the illustrations and in the words) and so forth. I'd want to keep an eye on what Maillard includes in the notes as I present two-page layouts in the book to students and ask, "What do you notice?" and "Why do you think the illustrator made those choices?" or "Why do you think the author chose this word?"

Maillard's notes also highlight how there's not one kind of fry bread--fry bread looks different across families and even within a family and yet it still serves to represent. This idea provides so much content for thoughtful conversations with students.

Honestly, I think this could be read aloud or read-by-a-small group-of-students in grades k-8 for different purposes. Older students could read and discuss the back matter and then revisit the author's word choice and evaluate more thoughtfully the illustrator's choices.
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108 people found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb cultural representation
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on December 15, 2019
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64 people found this helpful
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Jane M.
5.0 out of 5 stars The book has many potential uses in a classroom situation.
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on March 8, 2020
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29 people found this helpful
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L. J. Rinaldi
4.0 out of 5 stars Food is home
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on December 31, 2019
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28 people found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE THIS BOOK!
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on December 22, 2020
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17 people found this helpful
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