Jo Jo Makoons: The Used-To-Be Best Friend

Jo Jo Makoons has sprung into young literature and brings us a story about growing up Native in a loving community – a must read for young readers! – Momma Braga


Hello/Boozhoo—meet Jo Jo Makoons! Full of pride, joy, and plenty of humor, this first book in an all-new chapter book series by Dawn Quigley celebrates a spunky young Ojibwe girl who loves who she is.

Jo Jo Makoons Azure is a spirited seven-year-old who moves through the world a little differently than anyone else on her Ojibwe reservation. It always seems like her mom, her kokum (grandma), and her teacher have a lot to learn—about how good Jo Jo is at cleaning up, what makes a good rhyme, and what it means to be friendly.

Even though Jo Jo loves her #1 best friend Mimi (who is a cat), she’s worried that she needs to figure out how to make more friends. Because Fern, her best friend at school, may not want to be friends anymore…


Jo Jo Makoons The Used-To-Be Best Friend brings a dash of humor, smarts and a story of growing up Native in a loving community.  This book is the first of an upcoming series and we are excited to see this series grow!

We love books that are diverse and give us a glimpse into other cultures and communities. This book provides an opportunity for Indigenous children to see themselves in books and teaches non-Indigenous children more about Ojibwe culture. We loved learning about it and the bonus glossary in the back was helpful to learn some new words!

It is easy to enjoy this book especially with Jo Jo’s personality, young readers will love her!

For this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 5 stars out of 5! An engaging story with humor and heart. A must read for every young reader. It is a great transition book for those who are growing from picture books to chapter books as the illustrations are a great touch!

If you would like to add this book to your young reader’s reading lineup, click here.

About the Author

Dawn Quigley is a citizen of the Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibwe, North Dakota. Her debut YA novel, Apple in the Middle, was awarded an American Indian Youth Literature Honor. She is a PhD, education university faculty member, and a former K–12 reading and English teacher, as well as Indian Education program codirector. You can find her online at

About the Illustrator

Tara Audibert is a multidisciplinary artist, filmmaker, cartoonist, animator, and podcaster. She owns and runs Moxy Fox Studio, where she creates her award-winning works, including the animated short film The Importance of Dreaming, comics This Place: 150 Years Retold and Lost Innocence, and “Nitap: Legends of the First Nations,” an animated storytelling app. She is of Wolastoqey/French heritage and resides in Sunny Corner, New Brunswick, Canada. You can find her online at

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*Please note that we were provided with an advance reader’s edition in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

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