Alaska and the Arctic: Non-fiction Books

Through these books, readers will learn about Inuit inventions that we still use today, find out how to build a proper igloo, and meet Native families from across Alaska and northern Canada. Many of these titles are part of a series; series titles are noted following the book description.

A Story to Tell: Traditions of a Tlingit Community

Illustrated by: D. Bambi Kraus
Age Level: 9-12

"Let's go for a walk," Fran tells her granddaughter, Marissa, "I have a story to tell you." Here, at a family reunion, Marissa visits the Tlingit community of Kake for the first time, meets her many relatives, and learns some of the stories and traditions of the Eagle and Raven clans. — Oyate (We Are Still Here: Native Americans Today)

Building an Igloo

Age Level: 6-9

Product Description: For centuries people of the Arctic built their houses of snow. Today, the Inuit no longer live in igloos but Tookillkee Kiguktak remembers learning how to build one as a child. In crisp black-and-white photographs, Ulli Steltzer documents the beauty and precision of an igloo's construction — from stacking blocks of snow to cutting a door — in this informative picture book.

Proud to be Inuvialuit

Illustrated by: Tessa Macintosh
Age Level: 9-12

This beautiful photo-essay focuses on a community of beluga-whale hunting Inuvialuit in Tuk (short for Tuktoyaktuk) on the Arctic coast of the Northwest Territories of Canada. In addition to details about a modern whale-hunting expedition, there are stories and definitions of Inuvialuit words and other bits and pieces of lore. — Midwest Book Review (The Land Is Our Storybook)

Salmon Summer

Age Level: 6-9

Product Description: Every summer, the salmon return to spawn in the streams of Kodiak Island, Alaska, and nine-year-old Alex, a native Aleut, comes here to fish with his family as his ancestors did. Bruce McMillan lived with Alex's family at their fishing camp on Kodiak Island and captures the natural beauty of the Alaskan island and the intense bond of family and tradition.

The Inuit Thought of It: Amazing Arctic Innovations

Age Level: 6-9

Product Description: Today's Arctic communities have all the comforts of modern living. Yet the Inuit survived in this harsh landscape for hundreds of years with nothing but the land and their own ingenuity. Explore the amazing innovations of traditional Inuit such as the kayak, snow goggles, and dog sleds.

The Inuksuk Book (Wow Canada! Collection)

Age Level: 6-9

Product Description: The image of a traditional Inuit stone structure, or inuksuk, silhouetted against an Arctic sky, is a common symbol in the Far North. Yet, for many people, the purpose of the inuksuk remains a mystery. Artist and children's author Mary Wallace, in consultation with Inuit elders and other noted experts, gives a fascinating introduction in words, pictures, and paintings to the many forms of the inuksuk structure and its unique place in Inuit life and culture.

We Feel Good Out Here

Illustrated by: Tessa Macintosh
Age Level: 9-12

Julie-Ann is a Gwichya Gwich'in from Tsiigehtchic in the Northwest Territories. She is a Canadian Ranger, a mother of twin daughters, a hunter, a trapper, and a student. Julie-Ann shares her family's story and the story of her land, observing, "The land has a story to tell, if you know how to listen." A glossary of Gwichya Gwich'in words is provided. (The Land Is Our Storybook)