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Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story

4.49  ·  Rating details ·  1,035 ratings  ·  215 reviews
Fry bread is food.
It is warm and delicious, piled high on a plate.

Fry bread is time.
It brings families together for meals and new memories.

Fry bread is nation.
It is shared by many, from coast to coast and beyond.

Fry bread is us.
It is a celebration of old and new, traditional and modern, similarity and difference.
Hardcover, 42 pages
Published October 22nd 2019 by Roaring Brook Press
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Average rating 4.49  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,035 ratings  ·  215 reviews

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David Schaafsma
My family reads all the Goodreads-award-nominated picture books every year. This is book #20 (of 20, so the last, I promise!) of 2019, and we liked it. It was written by Oklahoma Seminole and NYC journalist and academic Kevin Noble Maillard and illustrated bu Peruvian Juana Martinez-Neal. It's about fry bread as unifying cultural food, across tribes, but also something that everyone anyone can eat. It's not really a story, but a series of categories he finds fry bread IN: Fry bread as food, art, ...more
Beautiful book. Don't miss the back matter with additional information from the author about Native American culture, his family, and the historical context for many of the images in the book.
Paul  Hankins
"Five Stars for Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story"

From the start, I want to tell you that I could get this review completely wrong. But, I note that a number of friends are giving the book five stars and moving on. Their endorsement with the full five stars says that they loved the book. Found it to be amazing. . . I would love to know the what and the why of those five-star ratings. Let me try to share my what and my why of five stars for Fry Bread.

The reason I could get this wrong is
Rod Brown
Nov 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Goodreads Choice Awards Project: Read as many of the Best Picture Book nominees as possible. 2 to go!

Nice art, but the story section didn't really do anything for me. The eight-page Author's Note at the end though was very fascinating, especially the negative feelings some indigenous people have against fry bread. Bonus star for that.
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Readers Looking for Picture-Books About Food, Family and/or Native American Cultures
Native American journalist Kevin Noble Maillard, a member of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, makes his children's book debut in this lovely picture-book tribute to fry bread, a staple of many native peoples' diet. Using simple but poetic text, he explores the shapes, colors, sounds and flavors of fry bread. More importantly, he explores its role in the Native American family, and its importance as a symbol of Native American resilience. His text is paired with charming artwork from Caldecott ...more
Dov Zeller
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book, food, art
I love this beautiful, joyful ode to fry bread and Native American culture and the deep meaningfulness and cultural importance of traditional foods and also the way such foods are not just one thing, but sort of continue to grow and have a life of their own as those who carry their traditions become diasporic. I highly recommend this book.
The story of fry bread, its multiple meanings, and what it means to the Native American and indigenous people.
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
Nominated for Goodreads' Best Children's book, Kevin Maillard, a Seminole Nation of Oklahoma member, pays tribute to fry bread, a staple of many native American's diet. He explores its role in the Native American family, and the book features striking artwork from Juana Martinez-Neal. Don't miss the extensive afterword providing substantial supplemental information about Native Americans.
Jillian Heise
I am utterly enamored with this upcoming picture book from debut author Kevin Noble Maillard (Enrolled Seminole Nation Okla.) & a favorite illustrator, Juana Martinez Neal!! Beautifully written & lovingly told in both words and illustrations. Plus SO MUCH back matter to dive into that will provide perspective and historical context that is valuable for every classroom and library. A must-read, must-share. ...more
Abby Johnson
YES YES YES. Do not miss this wonderful book which celebrates fry bread and Native American life in all its diverse glory. The text of the story takes you through a family enjoying fry bread, "Fry bread is color... fry bread is flavor..." and the gorgeous illustrations depict a diverse-looking group of Native American family members and friends sharing a meal together.

The excellent, extensive back matter includes a lot more information about each section of the book, pointing out notable
Elizabeth Moreau Nicolai
I've read this book to my own children, to my storytimes, and I'm giving this book to as many people as I can get to stand still to listen to me talk about it. It's beautifully done illustrations (and I've NEVER seen multiracial Native people depicted before which is something my biracial Native children need). The text is simple but so powerful. (The long walk, the stolen land... yes that is in a picture book and it isn't too heavy, it isn't too much, it is history, it is culture, it is ...more
Laura Harrison
Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, omg-cant-wait
Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard and illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal is one of my favorite books of 2019. It should be getting more attention. The book is about a modern Native American family. This is the author's first picture book. He is an enrolled citizen of the Seminole Nation. The illustrations are the best that Juana Martinez-Neal has ever created. It is a stunning picture book and a true Caldecott 2020 contender.
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Beautiful book! The celebration of fry bread as food, as history, as community and as tradition in the story of American Indians is embedded and extolled throughout this special book. I especially love the recipe and the back matter author, Kevin Maillard shares as it connect his writing and explains the deeper meaning and connection to Native people.

Juana Martinez-Neal does an exquisite job of illustrating this book. Her thoughtful attention to detail bridges customs from past to present in a
Dylan Teut
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If I was asked what I loved the most about FRY BREAD, would it be @noblemaillard's crafty language? Would it be @juanamartinez's best illustrations yet? Would it be the fascinating back matter? Would it be the power of all of the above? Yes. Absolutely incredible. A treasure. (And I want to go make some fry bread, now.....)
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
FRY BREAD: A NATIVE AMERICAN FAMILY STORY by Kevin Noble Maillard is a beautiful story right from "the get-go." And I am not just talking about its cover and illustrations, although Juana Martinez-Neal's artwork is beautiful and perfectly suited for Maillard's story. It starts with the end papers, both as one opens the book and as one closes it: a gorgeously printed list of as many Native American tribes as it could fit, including some of those who have not yet been "granted recognition" as a ...more
Julie Esanu
This is the book that should be in every library and classroom. A beautiful ode to fry bread, which had an inauspicious origin, that affirms identity, culture, and heritage. The detailed and descriptive back matter should be mandatory reading for anyone thinking about history and historical perspectives.
Chance Lee
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-it
A celebration of Native American culture through food. The writing brilliantly takes us from an up-close image of fry bread and slowly zooms out to show us the cultural context. The illustrations perfectly compliment the story. And there's a recipe in the back!
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This takes fry bread as a commonality with all its variations and takes that as a launching point for exploring families and customs and what the fry bread means and how the fry bread changes. You get the emotional meaning of fry bread even if you can't get a strict definition of it, because there are so many recipes. (A recipe is included, but it is certainly not the only option.)

Warm and enticing illustrations with great diversity.
Nov 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
C.E. G
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There's a lot of detail in the art and telling and design of this book that was just so smart! I loved:

*The end pages of the book are decorated with a list of both recognized and unrecognized tribes.
*Instead of acknowledgments/thanks at the end of the book, the names of the people he's thanking are tucked into the art within the story.
*Racially diverse indigenous family, showing a range of hair textures and skin colors.
*The final pages were really thoughtful and informative.

A standout picture
A celebration of culture.
Wendy Gardiner
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: informational
Don't miss the outstanding backmatter
Ami Pendley
Oct 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Dr. Debbie Reese called this book exquisite and that’s exactly the right word. Everything is perfect: the endpapers with the names of tribes and nations including those who have been denied federal recognition, the gorgeous case cover, the back matter, the beautiful illustrations, and the story. Absolutely exquisite.
Nov 17, 2019 rated it liked it
I decided to read this book because it was nominated for the Goodreads choice award for best picture book.

I feel bad not giving this 5 stars as it seems everyone else who has read this book has done.

I love that the book is showing a culture that many might not know about. I love it for the "diverse" aspect of it. But the actual book was hard for me to connect to. I know people are praising the illustrations but I did not like them very much. I think that the people looked like caricatures of
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't love this book any more. It is gorgeous and entertaining and educational -- all at once. For anyone who wants to know more about native people and our close and complex relationship with frybread, grab this book.
Franki Sibberson
A must have. I preordered this so long ago, hearing so much about it. It was well worth the long wait--so powerful and so many layers in the text, illustrations, author's note. Love this one.
Judy Lindow
Jan 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Read for the Mock Caldecott 2020. Inside the front and the back of the book, walls of Native American villages and communities are listed. Wow. That's as effecting as the rest of the story. Fry Bread is a lyrical celebration of the many ways a shared food connects different groups within their large overriding Native American heritage.

At the end of the poem - with beautiful, soft illustrations showing the diversity of children found in the Indian communities - there's a recipe (yay!) and more
Alyssa DeFini
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: multicultural
This text tells the story of modern day Native Americans. The bread is described on each page using images and headings. The headings allow the reader to understand the bread and in the specific category. For example, the bread is A PLACE, IS COLOR, IS FLAVOR, IS NATION. The reader will be able to see how Native Americans live all over, look different, come from different tribes, and are both young and old.

This text is perfect to use with students when learning about the Native American
Dec 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A most beautiful celebration of fry bread.
I wrote this note to the author's assistant:
Hi, Karen,
I found your email on Kevin's website.
I just wanted to send him a message of congratulations on his wonderful book Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story.
I am not Native American, I am the daughter of two Irish immigrants. However, I was a teacher on the nearby Oneida Indian reservation
for several years. And now I am both the children's librarian and public library director in Seymour, WI.
I saw
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-read-harder
Read Harder 2020:
Picture Book with Main Character from Marginalized Community,
Book by Native Author, &
Book About Cuisine You’ve Never Tried Before

I was so excited to find this book that works for three tasks in the 2020 Read Harder Challenge. I found it by using NPR’s book concierge under the tag “food.” Naturally I gravitated first to the task about food, but I was stumped trying to find a more traditional food memoir about a cuisine I haven’t tried before. This picture book was so
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