Native American Short Stories

Early American Indian Stories for Children

These books of Native American short stories were written by American Indian authors and pass the heritage of Indian folklore to another generation. They reflect the culture and legends of early American Indians.

Baby Rattlesnake

By Te Ata

Native American Legend: Pawnee

Newer Version: Children's Picture Book

Baby Rattlesnake recounts a Pawnee legend of a young rattlesnake who is anxious to grow up and get his rattle before he is wise enough to know how to use it. Te Ata was a well-known Native American speaker and story teller. In this latest version, Lynn Moroney re-tells the classic tale of Baby Rattlesnake.

North American Indian Tales

By W.T. Larned

Read Aloud 5-6 years
Easy Reader 3-4th Grade

Paperback reprint from 1921

Iagoo the Storyteller recounts seven Native American legends to the children who have come to hear his tales. These include:
  • Shin-ge-bis Fools the North Wind
  • The Little Boy and Girl in the Clouds
  • The Child of the Evening Star
  • The boy Who Snared the Sun
  • How the Summer Came
  • Grasshopper
  • Mish-o-sha, the Magician
The tales were originally collected by an ethnologist in 1839 and published again in 1921.

Native American Tales and Legenda

Editor: Allan A. Macfarlan

Collection of Native American legends from different tribes of North America
5th-8th Grade

This original book has more than 30 American Indian short stories. One of the things that makes this book unique is that it lists the tribes from which each story is derived.

Native American Creation Stories include:
  • Maidu - How the Earth Began
  • Blackfoot - Old Man Makes the Land and the People
  • Tsimshian - The Origin of Daylight
  • Iroquois - The Four Winds
  • Choctaw - How the Tribes Began
  • Mohawk - The Discover of Fire
  • Cheyenne - The Origin of the Buffalo and of Corn
  • Ojibwa - Mon-daw-min
  • Onondaga - The Origin of Wampum
It also includes other Native American short stories of adventure and discovery. The last three stories include tales with sorcery.

Native American Stories

The Sign of the Beaver

By Elizabeth G. Speare

A story about the special friendship between Attean, an American Indian boy, and Matt, a white settler. This book was published in the early 1980s and has won numerous awards for this historical fiction book based on a true event.

The Sign of the Beaver on Kindle

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Famous Native Americans

Streams to the River, River to the Sea

By Scott O'Dell

Northern United States
6th grade and above
This historical fiction account of Sacagawea is told in first person as she journeys with Lewis and Clark on the Corps of Discovery. The author relied on the Journals of Lewis and Clark and on oral legends to recount the story of Sacagawea's capture by another Indian tribe, her marriage to a Frenchman, and her adventures in the wilderness through unknown territory with over thirty men and her newborn son. The romanticized relationship between Clark and Sacagawea may be offensive to some. (Other tales have concluded that there was an emotional bond between the two in spite of the presence of her polygamous husband through the journey. There is no historical evidence for it, other than the fact that Clark adopted her two children after her death.)


Stories about Pocohontas are recorded in our list of childrens books on the Jamestown Settlement of 1607. Sacagawea and Pocohontas are two of the most famous women in history and two of the most famous Native Americans.

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