Laurel
Award Winning Picture Book Author
Indigenous Children’s Writer
Travels from: Albuquerque, NM

“A sweet story of friendship and community.” — Kirkus Reviews

Laurel Goodluck is Mandan, Hidatsa from the prairies of North Dakota, and Tsimshian from the rainforest in Alaska. She now resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with her Diné husband, where they raised two children also bent on storytelling in journalism and acting. Belonging to an intertribal family is at the heart of her stories, encouraging children to realize their cultural experiences are unique and powerful perspectives to explore and celebrate.

Her award-winning debut picture book, Forever Cousins, is followed by five more picture books with heartwarming, humorous, or conceptual themes, including Rock Your Mocs (2023), Too Much, MyGreat Big Native Family (2024), FierceAunties (2025), Yáadilá, Good Grief (2025), Stories are the Heart of the World (2026). She also wrote She Persisted: Deb Haaland (2023), her first chapter book.

Laurel received a BA in Psychology and an MA in Community Counseling and Family Studies from the University of New Mexico. She began writing by crafting curriculum for community advocacy involving Native teen leadership and later for children newly diagnosed with mental health challenges.

Laurel's Featured Titles

Too Much: My Great Big Native Family

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers |
Children’s Picture Book

A little boy wants a chance to shine on his own but discovers that being apart from his large and lively Native family isn’t necessarily better in this heartwarming and humorous picture book.

When Russell gets a part in the school play, he lights up like a shining star—and he can’t wait to tell his big, boisterous Native family the exciting news. But catching their attention when they all get together feels impossible; no matter where they go, they seem to be too noisy, too many, and just too much!

Russell decides to keep his big debut to himself and fly solo for once…but being alone may not be the answer. After all, there’s no such thing as too much love, and when he needs them most, his great big family knows how to be just enough.

Rock Your Mocs

Heartdrum |
Children’s Picture Book

In this happy, vibrant tribute to Rock Your Mocs Day, observed yearly on November 15, author Laurel Goodluck (Mandan, Hidatsa, and Tsimshian) and artist Madelyn Goodnight (Chickasaw) celebrate the joy and power of wearing moccasins—and the Native pride that comes with them. A perfect book for Native American Heritage Month, and all year round!

We’re stepping out

and kicking it up.

Wearing beauty on their feet—

as art, as tradition,

with style, with pride—

kids from different Native Nations know

every day is a day to ROCK YOUR MOCS!

This book contains an author’s note with additional information about moccasins and Rock Your Mocs day, for readers curious to learn more about intertribal pride and the joy found in different Native identities! Rock Your Mocs Day has now been extended to a week in November, and during that week, kids from all over the United States join together to show pride in their heritage. 

She Persisted: Deb Haaland

Philomel Books |
Children’s

Inspired by the #1 New York Times bestseller She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton and Alexandra Boiger, a chapter book series about women who spoke up and rose up against the odds–including Deb Haaland!

As a child of two military parents, Deb Haaland moved around a lot when she was young before finally settling in Albuquerque to be near family. But she persisted, studying hard and eventually earning a law degree. An enrolled member of the Pueblo Laguna nation, Deb was one of the first two Native American women to be elected to Congress, where she represented New Mexico’s 1st District. In 2021, when the Senate confirmed her as President Biden’s secretary of the interior, she became the first Native American in history to become a cabinet secretary. She continues to break barriers and inspire future generations to dream of greater opportunities.

In this chapter book biography by acclaimed author Laurel Goodluck, readers learn about the amazing life of Deb Haaland–and how she persisted.

Complete with an introduction from Chelsea Clinton, black-and-white illustrations throughout, and a list of ways that readers can follow in Deb Haaland’s footsteps and make a difference! A perfect choice for kids who love learning and teachers who want to bring inspiring women into their curriculum.

And don’t miss out on the rest of the books in the She Persisted series, featuring so many more women who persisted, including Maria Tallchief, Wilma Mankiller, Patsy Mink, and more!

Forever Cousins

Charlesbridge |
Children’s Picture Book

In this Native American story, Kara and Amanda are best-friend cousins. Then Kara leaves the city to move back to the Rez. Will their friendship stay the same?

Kara and Amanda hate not being together. Then it’s time for the family reunion on the Rez. Each girl worries that the other hasn’t missed her. But once they reconnect, they realize that they are still forever cousins. This story highlights the ongoing impact of the 1950s Indian Relocation Act on Native families, even today.

This tender story about navigating change reminds readers that the power of friendship and family can bridge any distance.

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Coming Soon!

Laurel’s Blog

Laurel’s Events

Honors, Awards & Recognition

NTCE Honor Book for Outstanding Fiction for children: Forever Cousins, 2023
JLG Gold Standard Selection: Forever Cousins, 2022
Forever Cousins is listed as a critically reviewed selection of multicultural and social justice books for children, young adults, and educators

Media Kit

By clicking the link below you will be directed to a Google Docs Folder
where you can download author photos and cover images.

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