Winner of the 2020 Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal
A 2020 American Indian Youth Literature Picture Book Honor Winner
“A wonderful and sweet book . . . Lovely stuff.” —The New York Times Book Review
Told in lively and powerful verse by debut author Kevin Noble Maillard, Fry Bread is an evocative depiction of a modern Native American family, vibrantly illustrated by Pura Belpre Award winner and Caldecott Honoree Juana Martinez-Neal.
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.
A 2020 Charlotte Huck Recommended Book
A Publishers Weekly Best Picture Book of 2019
A Kirkus Reviews Best Picture Book of 2019
A School Library Journal Best Picture Book of 2019
A Booklist 2019 Editor's Choice
A Shelf Awareness Best Children's Book of 2019
A Goodreads Choice Award 2019 Semifinalist
A Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Book of 2019
A National Public Radio (NPR) Best Book of 2019
An NCTE Notable Poetry Book
A 2020 NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People
A 2020 ALA Notable Children's Book
A 2020 ILA Notable Book for a Global Society
2020 Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Books of the Year List
One of NPR's 100 Favorite Books for Young Readers
Nominee, Pennsylvania Young Readers Choice Award 2022-2022
Nominee, Illinois Monarch Award 2022
About the Author
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 member of the Seminole Nation, Mekusukey band.
Juana Martinez-Neal is the Peruvian-born daughter and granddaughter of painters. Her debut as an author-illustrator, Alma and How She Got Her Name, was awarded a Caldecott Honor, and Zonia’s Rain Forest was named an ALA Top 10 Sustainability-themed Children’s Book. She illustrated New York Times bestselling picture book Tomatoes for Neela by Padma Lakshmi; Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard, which won a Robert F. Sibert Medal; and La Princesa and the Pea by Susan M. Elya, for which she won a Pura Belpré Illustrator Award. She also co-illustrated with Molly Idle I Don’t Care by Julie Fogliano. Juana Martinez-Neal lives in Connecticut with her family.
“Through the story and the book's beautiful pictures, Kevin Noble Maillard and Juana Martinez-Neal capture the complexity of native identity.” —Graham Lee Brewer, NPR
“A wonderful and sweet book [that] takes a staple food of many tribes across the country and uses it to think about family, history, memory and community. . . Lovely stuff.” —The New York Times Book Review
“With buoyant, heartfelt illustrations that show the diversity in Native America, the book tells the story of a post-colonial food, a shared tradition across the North American continent . . . Through this topic that includes the diversity of so many Native peoples in a single story, Maillard (Mekusukey Seminole) promotes unity and familiarity among nations. Fry bread is much more than food, as this book amply demonstrates.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Fry Bread celebrates the thing itself and much, much more . . . Maillard and Martinez-Neal bring depth, detail, and whimsy to this Native American food story, with text and illustrations depicting the diversity of indigenous peoples, the role of continuity between generations, and the adaptation over time of people, place, and tradition.” —Booklist, starred review
“A powerful meditation” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“This warm and charming book shows and affirms Native lives. The informational text and expressive drawings give it broad appeal.” —School Library Journal, starred review
“Rich with smells and sounds, Fry Bread radiates with Native American pride, the sharing of traditions and the love of family.” —Book Page, starred review
“An affecting picture book that features family and friends gathering, creating and enjoying fry bread together. Glorious . . . [Back matter] augments the simple, sincere verses with illuminating edification for older readers . . . Remarkable in balancing the shared delights of extended family with onerous ancestral legacy, Maillard both celebrates and bears witness to his no-single-recipe-fits-all community.” —Shelf Awareness, starred review