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Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story
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Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story

4.46  ·  Rating details ·  2,963 ratings  ·  612 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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Stina It's not fiction, really, more of a meditation on the cultural significance of fry bread.…moreIt's not fiction, really, more of a meditation on the cultural significance of fry bread.(less)

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Average rating 4.46  · 
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There is a recipe at the end of the book to make your own Fry Bread.

I spent 4 summers doing a Vision Quest in South Dakota and while I was there I was able to try Fry Bread. I have to say, it was well made and simply not for me, but other people around it loved it. I don't like funnel cake and other goodies many people love, so it's simply me.

I love the artwork in this story. It colorful and the people look so cute. It's a lovely story.

This is basically a love story to fry bread. It sweet and at
Dave Schaafsma
Dec 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
La Coccinelle
Feb 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, children
This is totally not what I expected. Instead of a simple picture book about about fry bread, it's an introduction to a long author's note. As such, it's a wordy non-fiction title, and not really suitable for storytime.

It's also extremely Americocentric, even while briefly acknowledging that Canada also has native peoples. So Canadian parents who were looking for a book that discusses fry bread and its implications and traditions in an inclusive way will probably want to look elsewhere.

For what i
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 Ho ...more
Dov Zeller
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art, picture-book, food
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.
This book made me so hungry. Kevin Maillard is a member of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, and he uses fry bread as a way to explore the ways that indigenous people are the same and the ways they can be different. Indigenous tribes in the US (and Canada) are a diverse range of people, but they share common history, and the book doesn't shy away from acknowledging it. There is a sort of devastating mid-book part that shocked the hell out of me, but which was very effective. The existence of fry ...more
Nov 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: glickspicks2020
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 p
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 featur
Oct 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Taken as a whole, I very much enjoyed and recommend this debut picture book by Native American journalist Kevin Noble Maillard, a member of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma. The accompanying illustrations by Caldecott Honor Winner Juana Martinez-Neal are endearing, full of detail, and represent a variety of modern Native Americans. (Note that though the subtitle says "Native American" the focus here is on the tribes of what is now the United States, so if you are looking for a book on First Natio ...more
The Library Lady
Jul 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Once you've read the author's 8 page long "note" at the end, you will probably want to go back and look at some of the details in the pictures that weren't on your mind when you were reading it. This may make this book excellent for older students studying Native American culture--and we certainly need more good books on that.

But as a picture book, well, it has its issues. The author writes with feeling, but the text is stiff.
As for the pictures, they remind me of Pat Mora, and truthfully that's
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 heritag ...more
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 t
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.
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. ...more
The story of fry bread, its multiple meanings, and what it means to the Native American and indigenous people.
Bek MoonyReadsByStarlight
Nov 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Such a cute book, but what makes this book special is the breakdown of the story at the end. There is so much meaning in this story and elaborating on that makes this, not just an adorable cooking story, but an incredible teaching tool.
*kisses fingers* Delicious and bittersweet. A must-have for classrooms and homes.
Marjorie Ingall
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-3-6, kids-4-8


Beautifully written, beautifully illustrated, with back matter so rich and informative and well-written, older kids and adults can really spend time with it. Read it and flip back to find all the references and you're essentially reading a whole second book. I love that the characters have all different skin tones and hair colors and textures; I love that the mama is fat and tattooed and gorgeous; I love the grandmother's beautif
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. ...more
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.
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.....) ...more
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! ...more
A celebration of culture.
Apr 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very adorable, and I especially appreciated the diversity in the art. Not everyone who's native looks the same way! The author's note at the back was the best part, probably, though that's coming from me as an adult. ...more
Dec 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
2020 Book Riot Read Harder Challenge: Read a food book about a cuisine you’ve never tried before

Loved it! Food as family, food as community, food as history--food, and in this particular case, fry bread, can often be more than just sustenance.
Dec 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
I loved every piece of this book. The illustrations are so loving and warm and the words are too. Make sure to read the Authors note.
Stacia Leigh
I loved the story, the art, the recipe, the end pages...a great picture book introducing another culture. Without the author's note I would have given this book five stars. But unfortunately those last few pages left me conflicted. ...more
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Kevin Noble Maillard is a professor and journalist who lives with his family on the 13th floor of a 115-year old bank in the heart of Manhattan. He is a regular writer for the New York Times, and has interviewed politicians, writers, tribal leaders, and even some movie stars. When he was 13 years old, he won a fishing derby for catching 72 fish in two hours. Originally from Oklahoma, he is a membe ...more

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