Reviewed by Elizabeth Blair
My Powerful Hair is a new picture book that turns a painful truth about racism into a celebration of Native culture.
When Carole Lindstrom was a little girl growing up in Bellevue, Nebraska, she really wanted long hair. She would put the blanket she had as a baby on her head and, “pretend I had long hair, you know, swing it around,” she laughs.
She couldn’t understand why her mother wouldn’t let her. “Every time it got a little bit long, she said, ‘We have to cut it. It’s too wild,'” Lindstrom remembers.
She says her mother didn’t seem to have a good explanation. One clue was a black and white photograph that sat on top of the TV set — a picture of her grandmother and two great aunts. “They were wearing these white smocks and their hair was just really chopped short and they had bangs. They just didn’t look right,” says Lindstrom. “And I remember asking my mom about that picture. . . and my mom didn’t really know much about it other than to say, ‘Well, that was when grandma and your great aunts were sent to boarding school. Indian boarding school.'” Continue reading on NPR.org.
My Powerful Hair by Carole Lindstrom
Published by Abrams on March 21, 2023
Genres: American Indians First Nations Metis Inuit, Hair
Reading Level: Grade K, Grades 1-2, Grades 3-5
Review Source: NPR
Also by this author: We Are Water Protectors
From the award-winning and bestselling author of We Are Water Protectors comes an empowering picture book about family history, self-expression, and reclaiming your identity.
Our ancestors say our hair is our memories,our source of strength and power,a celebration of our lives.
Mom never had long hair—she was told it was too wild. Grandma couldn’t have long hair — hers was taken from her. But one young girl can’t wait to grow her hair long: for herself, for her family, for her connection to her culture and the Earth, and to honor the strength and resilience of those who came before her.
From Carole Lindstrom, author of the New York Times bestseller and Caldecott Medal winner We Are Water Protectors, and debut illustrator Steph Littlebird comes an empowering and healing celebration of hair and its significance across Indigenous cultures.