Mar 21 2024

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story - Embracing Diversity in Children's Literature

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story - Embracing Diversity in Children's Literature
I hope that Fry Bread will bring the contemporary Native family into the public eye, and that Native children will see themselves reflected on its pages. I also hope this book will introduce all readers to Native culture and traditions—and will inspire other Native writers to share their own stories.

Kevin Noble Maillard, Author of Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story

 I was beyond thrilled when we at All About Books, decided to partner with publishers to create an exclusive paperback print run of Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story. Growing up as a descendant of the Blackfeet Nation, I lacked children's books that depicted Native American and indigenous people. I desired stories that featured modern Native American characters, giving me the chance to see myself and my heritage accurately reflected. Unfortunately, only 1.5% of children’s books are written by Indigenous authors. With books written by BIPOC making up less than half of published children’s books in 2022, and indigenous authors representing just a tiny fraction of that percentage, it's clear that there is a lack of representation for Native children in literature.

Studies have shown that children's literature and popular culture, particularly those that highlight diverse representation, play a significant role in shaping children's perceptions of real-world diversity. When Native Americans are not accurately portrayed or are misrepresented in children's media, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous children miss out on the opportunity to develop crucial empathetic skills and a deeper cultural understanding.

While on the hunt for diverse stories featuring indigenous people for his son, Kevin Noble Maillard, the author of Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story, encountered a familiar challenge. "When my oldest child was born in 2012, I wanted to buy a diverse selection of books for him. We are a multiracial family, blending African, Native American, and Asian heritages, and I began looking for children’s books that reflected that. But I had a difficult time finding them. Most books on Native culture were either about Pocahontas or Thanksgiving and there were virtually no stories featuring Native children in everyday situations—like a story about a girl and her cat or about playing outdoors on a snowy day. And so I decided to write my own." 

The significance of Fry Bread lies in its origins rooted in necessity and scarcity, offering a taste of tradition shared by many tribal communities through their unique family recipes. Maillard emphasizes the role of fry bread as a unifying force, providing readers with his own family recipe to recreate at home. This not only celebrates Native culture but also invites individuals to actively engage in their cultural heritage.

Our Sales Manager Natalie eagerly brought a copy of the book home and dove into recreating the recipe provided by Maillard. "Making the Fry Bread was an experience that brought my whole family together, even Owen participated in some way, and it was really heartwarming. The recipe yields enough for a whole tribe and my husband and I got to enjoy some of it after the kids went to bed... Making anything in the kitchen as a family can be heartwarming, so long as you have patience and go into it with kindness and grace. The final product was warm and soft on the inside and crispy on the outside!"




At its core, Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story goes beyond just the historical and traditional significance of the dish. It embodies the essence of family unity and the joy of creating something delicious together. This theme resonates with families of all backgrounds, showcasing the universal bond shared through the simple act of coming together and cooking up something special.

Posted on Mar 21, 2024

Brittany Winans
Hey there, I’m Brittany Winans

Brittany started in Spring 2022 and works on maintaining all our marketing, branding, publishing, and social media efforts with our Marketing Manager. If you follow us on social media, chances are you have already seen some of Brittany’s work!