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Roaring Brook Press

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story

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Author: Kevin Noble Maillard

Illustrator: Juana Martinez-Neal


Page Count: 48


Published: October 22, 2019


ISBN: 9781626727465


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 Belpré 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 wonderful and sweet book . . . Lovely stuff.” —The New York Times Book Review


  • 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


“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

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