Books for Native American Children Educate about Diabetes

Native Americans celebrate their heritage in November.  BPL has a range of media concerning Native American life and history, from books, such as Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee and Black Elk Speaks, to DVDs, such as Ken BurnsThe West.

November is also national Diabetes Awareness Month, and this disease is a special concern for Native Americans.  According to the Statistical Abstract of the United States 2012, diabetes is the fourth-leading cause of death among Native Americans, higher than that of other races. 

To educate Native American children about type 2 diabetes, Georgia Perez has written a series of beautifully illustrated books called the “Eagle Books.”  This four-book series was developed by the CDC’s Native Diabetes Wellness Program. It follows a young Native American boy, Rain That Dances, and his friends as they learn from the great bald eagle about type 2 diabetes. The take-home message is that healthy eating and an active lifestyle are key factors in staving off this disease. Each book includes a glossary of terms and a list of websites where you can find out more about this disease. It is also appropriate for story-time in classrooms or one-on-one reading. The series includes: Through the Eyes of the Eagle, Knees Lifted High, Plate Full of Color, and Tricky Treats. These books are new arrivals; please ask about their availability. Recommended for ages 4-8.

Another offering in this series is Coyote and The Turtle’s Dream, written by Terry Lofton and created by The Native Diabetes Wellness Program. It is based on the “Eagle Books” characters and is recommended for middle school readers. It also includes a glossary and a cast of characters list.

For more information:
Native American Heritage Month:
American Diabetes Association:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, diabetes and Native American health:

Submitted by Michelle Andrews and Liz Winn
Government Documents/Microforms Department
Central Library