38 books like Hanta Yo

By Ruth Beebe Hill,

Here are 38 books that Hanta Yo fans have personally recommended if you like Hanta Yo. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Orenda

Robert Downes Author Of The Wolf and The Willow

From my list on Indians at first contact with Europeans.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve written seven books, all along the theme of adventure in one way or another, but my best-known work is that of my novels of the Ojibwe Indians. As a child, I grew up on a farm where my dad discovered scores of arrowheads and artifacts while plowing the fields. This was a deep revelation for me as to the extent of Indian culture and how little we know of its people. In my books, Windigo Moon and The Wolf and The Willow, I try to bring the world of the 1500s and its Native peoples to life.

Robert's book list on Indians at first contact with Europeans

Robert Downes Why did Robert love this book?

Grounded in historical fact, The Orenda (The Magic) tells the story of Jesuit missionaries caught up in the war between the Wendats (Hurons) and the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) living on the shores of Lake Huron in the mid-1600s. It’s a very dark book, with its depictions of ritual torture not for the squeamish, but it perfectly captures the time and culture of two very different civilizations, grappling to understand one another. Bowden does an excellent job of capturing the thoughts and outlook of the Wendat war chief Bird, and the French missionaries struggling to Christianize his village.

I loved this book because it helped me to understand the Indians’ way of thinking and their outlook on the world.

By Joseph Boyden,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Orenda as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE LIBRIS AWARD — FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR

In the wilds of seventeenth-century North America, the lives of a Jesuit missionary, a young Iroquois girl, and a great warrior and elder statesman of the Huron Nation become entwined.

The Huron have battled the Iroquois for generations, but now both tribes face a new, more dangerous threat from another land. Uneasy alliances are made and unmade, cultures and beliefs clash in the face of precipitous change, and not everyone will survive the march of history. Joseph Boyden’s magisterial novel tells this story of blood and hope, suspicion and…


Book cover of The Light in the Forest

Stephen Holgate Author Of Madagascar

From my list on strangers in a strange land.

Why am I passionate about this?

Strangers in a strange land – an evocative phrase that originated in “Exodus” (the one by Moses, not Leon Uris) and has echoed within my own life. As a diplomat, I lived nearly fourteen years overseas and know the particular dislocation of trying to make a new life in a country not my own. This experience forms the center of my four published novels. It’s also the theme of The Hero’s Journey a story at the heart of every culture; the hero sets off toward unknown lands and comes back transformed, as did I. Here’s my list of the five greatest novels about strangers in a strange land.

Stephen's book list on strangers in a strange land

Stephen Holgate Why did Stephen love this book?

I remember as a kid enjoying the movie based on the book.

Though fiction, the tale is inspired by the experiences of many whites captured by American Indians and raised among them. In this short, well-paced novel, True Boy, a captive of the Lenape tribe since age four, is forcibly returned to his white family. He soon yearns to return to the freedom he knew with the Lenape.

I was raised on Westerns and developed a fascination with American Indians that this story addresses well. A fine novel about those who are fated to be strangers wherever they go.

By Conrad Richter,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Light in the Forest as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

A beautifully illustrated edition of a novel that has enthralled young American readers for generations. It is the story of John Cameron Butler-captured as a small child in a raid on the Pennsylvania frontier by the Indian tribe Lenni-Lenape. Adopted by the great warrior Cuyloga and renamed True Son, he has spent 11 years living and thinking of himself as fully Indian. But when the tribe signs a treaty that requires them to return their white captives, 15-year-old True Son is returned against his will to the family he had long forgotten, and to a life that he no longer…


Book cover of People of the Longhouse

Robert Downes Author Of The Wolf and The Willow

From my list on Indians at first contact with Europeans.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve written seven books, all along the theme of adventure in one way or another, but my best-known work is that of my novels of the Ojibwe Indians. As a child, I grew up on a farm where my dad discovered scores of arrowheads and artifacts while plowing the fields. This was a deep revelation for me as to the extent of Indian culture and how little we know of its people. In my books, Windigo Moon and The Wolf and The Willow, I try to bring the world of the 1500s and its Native peoples to life.

Robert's book list on Indians at first contact with Europeans

Robert Downes Why did Robert love this book?

No list of historical fiction depicting the Indians’ way of life would be complete without the inclusion of a book by the Gears, who’ve written many novels of Native life years before the arrival of European explorers.

I like this book because it’s a bit of a retelling of Hansel and Gretel set in the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) culture. Two young children are among many captured by a witch and bound for an uncertain fate. The book delves into the widespread fear of witches in many Indian cultures and also offers a glimpse of life among the Haudenosaunee, who famously lived in large agricultural communities, dwelling in longhouses surrounded by palisades.

By W. Michael Gear, Kathleen O'Neal Gear,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked People of the Longhouse as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Six hundred years ago in what would become the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada, five Iroquois tribes were locked in bitter warfare. From the ashes of violence, a great Peacemaker was born…

Young Odion and his little sister, Tutelo, live in fear that one day Yellowtail Village will be attacked. When that day comes and Odion and Tutelo are marched away as slaves, their only hope is that their parents will rescue them.

Their mother, War Chief Koracoo, and their father, Deputy Gonda, think they are tracking an ordinary war party herding captive children to an enemy village. Koracoo…


Book cover of Beyond the Far Horizon: Adventures of a Fur Trader

Robert Downes Author Of The Wolf and The Willow

From my list on Indians at first contact with Europeans.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve written seven books, all along the theme of adventure in one way or another, but my best-known work is that of my novels of the Ojibwe Indians. As a child, I grew up on a farm where my dad discovered scores of arrowheads and artifacts while plowing the fields. This was a deep revelation for me as to the extent of Indian culture and how little we know of its people. In my books, Windigo Moon and The Wolf and The Willow, I try to bring the world of the 1500s and its Native peoples to life.

Robert's book list on Indians at first contact with Europeans

Robert Downes Why did Robert love this book?

This fictional account of the life of an English fur trader is a sentimental favorite for me out of my respect for historian Charles Cleland.

Cleland tells the story of Alexander Henry who was captured by the Odawa Indians during the attack on Fort Michillimackinac in 1763. Henry lived among the Indians through the seasons, giving an eye-witness account of their lives as hunter-gatherers. Cleland is better as a historian than a novelist, but this is still a fun read and would also be a good book on any Young Adult list.

By Charles Cleland,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Beyond the Far Horizon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Beyond the Far Horizon is based upon the true life story of Alexander Henry, abrave and adventurous young man who, as a fur trader, dared to risk his life andfortune on the vast lakes and in dark forests of the Great Lakes frontier. Henryslife, far from the comforts of the American colonies he left behind, was so dangerousthat he was no stranger to the threat of death. As he pursued his fur trade venture duringthe years between 1760 and 1765, he nearly drowned, starved, and froze to death, andon several occasions, barely escaped being killed by hostile Indians. He was…


Book cover of Hanta Yo

Marian Jasper Author Of For All Time

From my list on catapulting history back to life.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having edited 5 newspapers in North London a few years ago, I found that my love of reading–especially historical novels–expanded to writing once my business was sold to a well-known newspaper publishing company. All history fascinates me, as is obvious from my recommendations, and even though these could be listed as fiction, they all have a great deal of fact within them. I delved into historical reading as a very young girl and progressed from the Georgette Heyer novels to my current more in-depth novelists, so my range has been quite vast and varied over the years. I truly wish I had more time to read. 

Marian's book list on catapulting history back to life

Marian Jasper Why did Marian love this book?

I cannot remember how this book came into my possession. I have always been interested in various ethnic origins, and once I began reading this remarkable book, it was difficult to put down. It follows a small Sioux tribe from 1750 to 1834 when the tribe resisted the influence of the white man.

The book's name translates to "Clear the Way," and it certainly was true to its meaning, as it took all my powers of concentration to "clear the way" and understand the depths that the author Ruth Beebe Hill must have gone to in her research to make this book acceptable to interested readers.

It gives an in-depth understanding of the culture of these proud but violent people and, sadly, how some finally succumbed to the influences that they had so long fought against.   

By Ruth Beebe Hill,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hanta Yo as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Partially based on fact, this multi-generational saga follows the lives of two Indian families, members of the Mahto band of the Teton Sioux, before the arrival of the white man


Book cover of The Legend Of the White Buffalo Woman

R. Chapman Wesley Author Of The Well

From my list on uspenseful spiritual transformation.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in rural central Virginia the namesake of my African-American, family physician father, Dr. Robert C. Wesley and my educator mother, Anne Louise Reynolds. Becoming a physician seemed to be my destiny, which explains attending Yale Medical School. The Well was inspired by my lifelong concern over global health threats, originally regarding the threat of nuclear weapons, and propelled me toward pandemic inquiry. It was also a way to explore fundamental questions I struggled with: At the current state of mankind’s moral and ethical development, would a miraculous discovery controlled by very few lead to universal well-being or universal tyranny? I'm honored to submit my recommendations of books that combine suspense and spirituality.

R.'s book list on uspenseful spiritual transformation

R. Chapman Wesley Why did R. love this book?

This is a picture book published by National Geographic Kids, but equally applicable for reading by adults of our day. 

It is a rendition of, perhaps, the most important Lakota sacred legend, relaying how the Great Spirit presented to the People of the Lakota Nation the Sacred Calf Peace Pipe with which to pray and communicate with the Universe. 

I found this story particularly intriguing as the heroine is an animal spirit sent by the Universe, transformed from a White Buffalo calf into a beautiful spiritual Lakota woman. 

She comes forward at a particularly troubled time for the Lakota Nation, forced into a traumatic migration from mid-western forest lands to the Great Plains by indigenous wars and European colonizing transgressions. The relationship of the tribes to sustenance provided by buffalo herds became the mainstay of the Lakota Nation.

Of all my choices, this story most directly depicts the impact of…

By Paul Goble,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Legend Of the White Buffalo Woman as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Paul Goble recounts the legend of the White Buffalo Woman who appears to her people offering them a peac e pipe, a gift that will give them hope and a new way to pra y to the Great Spirit. A spiritual celebration of life is ap parent on every page. '


Book cover of Lakota Dreaming

Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy Author Of Tall, Dark, and Cherokee

From my list on Native American romantic suspense.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a lifelong history lover. I was the kid who hung around the feet of the elders, listening to their stories and learning about the past. That led to a deep interest in tracing family history, which has been a passion since about the age of ten. I still can get lost for hours finding ancestors or reading about their lives. That interest led me to a double major in college and I earned a Bachelor of Arts in both history and English with a two-year degree in journalism. I live a short distance from Oklahoma and one of my favorite pastimes is to go to powwows whenever possible.

Lee's book list on Native American romantic suspense

Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy Why did Lee love this book?

This book blends the past with the present and takes the heroine Zora Hughes from New York City to South Dakota where she and John Iron Hawk. The story combines history with mystery and romance with suspense in an engaging way that kept me turning the pages to see what happened next.

By Constance Gillam,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lakota Dreaming as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Her visions brought her here. Her heart tells her to stay. But someone dangerous wants her gone…

Zora Hughes is haunted by someone else’s past. Plagued by dreams of her ancestor fleeing captivity, the former NYC fashion editor travels to South Dakota to uncover the truth. And until she can put her visions to rest, she won’t let anyone stand in her way… not even the handsome captain of the local tribal police.

John Iron Hawk is on a mission to clean up his reservation. Trying to raise a teenage daughter on his own while working to expose a corrupt…


Book cover of Black Elk Speaks: The Complete Edition

Stephen Rowley Author Of The Lost Coin: A Memoir of Adoption and Destiny

From my list on memoirs that will ignite your soul.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am captivated by memoirs that shed light on the deeper life experiences of their authors. My curiosity about inner life compelled me to learn about the psychological essence of memoir writers, resulting in my writing a memoir from an in-depth psychological perspective. My curiosity also led me to become a psychotherapist, which helped me better navigate dark and uncertain waters with my clients. By probing the inner psychological dynamics of such memoirs, I learned more about myself and became a writer with rare psychological insight. Such illumination served to ignite my very soul. My passion is fueled by tapping the mysteries of what lies within us all. 

Stephen's book list on memoirs that will ignite your soul

Stephen Rowley Why did Stephen love this book?

I was deeply moved by this translated account of the Oglala Lakota holy man, which vividly depicts the tragic history of American indigenous tribes. I was deeply moved by Black Elk's compelling vision for his people, calling upon ancestors and the Divine Spirit for protection and healing.

Despite the simplicity and humanity in his voice, I struggled to reconcile Black Elk’s generosity of spirit with the heartless colonization and cultural extinction of the Lakota Sioux and other tribes. The intertwined fates of the buffalo and Indigenous tribes left me filled with profound sadness and heartache.

Black Elk's story opened my eyes to the ancient spiritual world of his people and the overwhelming injustice they had to endure. I am forever grateful.

By John G. Neihardt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Black Elk Speaks as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

More than one million copies sold
2017 One Book One Nebraska selection

"An American classic."-Western Historical Quarterly

Black Elk Speaks, the story of the Oglala Lakota visionary and healer Nicholas Black Elk (1863-1950) and his people during momentous twilight years of the nineteenth century, offers readers much more than a precious glimpse of a vanished time. Black Elk's searing visions of the unity of humanity and Earth, conveyed by John G. Neihardt, have made this book a classic that crosses multiple genres. Whether appreciated as the poignant tale of a Lakota life, as a history of a Native nation, or…


Book cover of A Thousand Moons

Gretchen McCullough Author Of Confessions of a Knight Errant: Drifters, Thieves, and Ali Baba's Treasure

From my list on rambunctious adventure tales.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love humorous tales with quirky characters who find themselves in bizarre situations, especially in foreign countries. This mirrors my own experience of the world! After Brown University, I found myself teaching rowdy Egyptian girls; I resided in a converted classroom in Istanbul; and I was tamed by an eighty-year-old Spanish nun at a girls’ school in Tokyo. In my late thirties, I dropped my anchor in Lattakia, Syria, only to be tailed by the Syrian secret police. Like the character in my novel, Confessions of a Knight Errant, I returned to Cairo from Almeria, Spain where I was on a writers’ residency on January 28th, the Friday of Rage, of the Egyptian uprising, 2011. 

Gretchen's book list on rambunctious adventure tales

Gretchen McCullough Why did Gretchen love this book?

On a recent visit to Ireland, A Thousand Moons was recommended by an Irish writer.

I did not know that there were Irish soldiers who fought in the Civil War. Since my family was originally from Ireland, (although they immigrated around the time of the Revolutionary War), this interested me. Thomas McNulty, one of the main characters in the novel, is an Irishman who fought in the Civil War and then later in the Indian War.

Winona, an orphan from the Lakota tribe, who used to Ojinjintka tells this tale. She was rescued by Thomas McNulty from being massacred. McNulty might be a tough guy, but he is also a cross-dresser! McNulty and his fellow soldier and partner, Cole adopt Winona as their own. When they are attacked by lawless militias, they must flee for their lives.

This novel really gives the reader a clear picture of the lawlessness of…

By Sebastian Barry,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Thousand Moons as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Old God's Time (March 2023), Sebastian Barry's stunning new novel, available to pre-order now

From the Costa Book of the Year-winning author of Days Without End

Even when you come out of bloodshed and disaster in the end you have got to learn to live.

Winona is a young Lakota orphan adopted by former soldiers Thomas McNulty and John Cole.
Living with Thomas and John on the farm they work in 1870s Tennessee, she is educated and loved, forging a life for herself beyond the violence and dispossession of her past. But the fragile harmony of her unlikely family unit,…


Book cover of 47,000 Beads

Joy Ellison Author Of Sylvia and Marsha Start a Revolution!: The Story of the Trans Women of Color Who Made LGBTQ+ History

From my list on to celebrate transgender pride.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was a kid, I knew that my gender was different. I didn’t feel like a boy or a girl, but I didn’t know the word “nonbinary.” There were no kid’s books about people like me. I grew up with a lot of questions, which drove me to become a doctor of Women’s and Gender Studies and an expert on transgender history. Now I’m passionate about writing the kind of picture books that I needed as a child. If you want the kids in your life to understand transgender identity and feel loved whatever their gender may be, you’ll enjoy the books on my list. 

Joy's book list on to celebrate transgender pride

Joy Ellison Why did Joy love this book?

When we talk about transgender pride, the voices of Native people are often nowhere to be heard. 47,000 Beads is an exception. This beautiful book tells the story of Peyton, a pow-wow dancer who has stopped feeling comfortable wearing a dress. This book helped me understand more about Indigenous children who are Two-Spirit – a pan-Native term for people whose genders are sacred in their tribal nation, but unintelligible to the white people who colonized the United States. I’m so glad I was able to read it and I hope you will be too. 

By Koja Adeyoha, Angel Adeyoha, Holly McGillis (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 47,000 Beads as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Peyton loves to dance, and especially at Pow Wow, but her Auntie notices that she’s been dancing less and less. When Peyton shares that she isn't comfortable wearing a dress anymore, Auntie Eyota asks some friends for help to get Peyton what she needs.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the Lakota people, the Great Plains, and American Indians?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the Lakota people, the Great Plains, and American Indians.

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