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About Traci Sorell
Traci Sorell writes award-winning fiction and nonfiction for young people of all ages. Her debut nonfiction picture book We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga, illustrated by Frané Lessac (Charlesbridge, 2018), won an American Indian Youth Literature Award (AIYLA) - Picture Book Honor, a Sibert Honor, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Picture Book Honor and an Orbis Pictus Honor. Other titles include: At the Mountain’s Base, illustrated by Weshoyot Alvitre (Kokila, 2019), an AIYLA - Picture Book Honor; Indian No More, co-authored with Charlene Willing McManis (Tu Books, 2019), won the AIYLA Middle Grade category and 2020 Global Read Aloud for Upper Elementary; Classified: The Secret Career of Mary Golda Ross, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer, illustrated by Natasha Donovan (Millbrook, 2021), an Orbis Pictus Honor; and, We Are Still Here! Native American Truths Everyone Should Know, illustrated by Frané Lessac (Charlesbridge, 2021). A former federal Indian law attorney and policy advocate, Sorell is a 2021-22 Tulsa Artist Fellow and Cherokee Nation citizen who lives on her tribe's reservation in northeastern Oklahoma. For more about Traci, all of her books and accompanying teachers' guides, visit www.tracisorell.com.
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Titles By Traci Sorell
A 2022 Robert F. Sibert Honor Book
Twelve Native American kids present historical and contemporary laws, policies, struggles, and victories in Native life, each with a powerful refrain: We are still here!
Too often, Native American history is treated as a finished chapter instead of relevant and ongoing. This companion book to the award-winning We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga offers readers everything they never learned in school about Native American people's past, present, and future. Precise, lyrical writing presents topics including: forced assimilation (such as boarding schools), land allotment and Native tribal reorganization, termination (the US government not recognizing tribes as nations), Native urban relocation (from reservations), self-determination (tribal self-empowerment), Native civil rights, the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), religious freedom, economic development (including casino development), Native language revival efforts, cultural persistence, and nationhood.
2019 Orbis Pictus Honor Book
NPR's Guide To 2018’s Great Reads
2018 Book Launch Award (SCBWI)
Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2018
School Library Journal Best Books of 2018
2018 JLG selection
2019 Reading the West Picture Book Award
The Cherokee community is grateful for blessings and challenges that each season brings. This is modern Native American life as told by an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation.
The word otsaliheliga (oh-jah-LEE-hay-lee-gah) is used by members of the Cherokee Nation to express gratitude. Beginning in the fall with the new year and ending in summer, follow a full Cherokee year of celebrations and experiences. Written by a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, this look at one group of Native Americans is appended with a glossary and the complete Cherokee syllabary, originally created by Sequoyah.
"A gracious, warm, and loving celebration of community and gratitude"—Kirkus Reviews STARRED REVIEW
"The book underscores the importance of traditions and carrying on a Cherokee way of life"—Horn Book STARRED REVIEW
"This informative and authentic introduction to a thriving ancestral and ceremonial way of life is perfect for holiday and family sharing"—School Library Journal STARRED REVIEW
"An elegant representation"—Shelf Awareness STARRED REVIEW
Now that they've been forced from their homeland, Regina's father signs the family up for the federal Indian Relocation Program and moves them to Los Angeles. Regina finds a whole new world in her neighborhood on 58th Place. She's never met kids of other races, and they've never met a real Indian. For the first time in her life, Regina comes face to face with the viciousness of racism, personally and toward her new friends.
Meanwhile, her father believes that if he works hard, their family will be treated just like white Americans. But it's not that easy. It's 1957 during the Civil Rights era, and the family struggles without their tribal community and land. At least Regina has her grandmother, Chich, and her stories. At least they are all together.
In this moving middle-grade novel drawing upon Umpqua author Charlene Willing McManis's own tribal history, Regina must find out: Who is Regina Petit? Is she Indian, American, or both? And will she and her family ever be okay?
River wants so badly to dance at powwow day as she does every year. In this uplifting and contemporary picture book perfect for beginning readers, follow River's journey from feeling isolated after an illness to learning the healing power of community.
Additional information explains the history and functions of powwows, which are commonplace across the United States and Canada and are open to both Native Americans and non-Native visitors. Author Traci Sorell is a member of the Cherokee Nation, and illustrator Madelyn Goodnight is a member of the Chickasaw Nation.
At the mountain's base sits a cabin under an old hickory tree. And in that cabin lives a family -- loving, weaving, cooking, and singing. The strength in their song sustains them through trials on the ground and in the sky, as they wait for their loved one, a pilot, to return from war.
With an author's note that pays homage to the true history of Native American U.S. service members like WWII pilot Ola Mildred "Millie" Rexroat, this is a story that reveals the roots that ground us, the dreams that help us soar, and the people and traditions that hold us up.
An American Indian Library Association Youth Literature Award Honor Picture Book
Mary Golda Ross designed classified airplanes and spacecraft as Lockheed Aircraft Corporation's first female engineer. Find out how her passion for math and the Cherokee values she was raised with shaped her life and work.
Cherokee author Traci Sorell and Métis illustrator Natasha Donovan trace Ross's journey from being the only girl in a high school math class to becoming a teacher to pursuing an engineering degree, joining the top-secret Skunk Works division of Lockheed, and being a mentor for Native Americans and young women interested in engineering. In addition, the narrative highlights Cherokee values including education, working cooperatively, remaining humble, and helping ensure equal opportunity and education for all.
"A stellar addition to the genre that will launch careers and inspire for generations, it deserves space alongside stories of other world leaders and innovators."—starred, Kirkus Reviews
The descendant of Cherokee ancestors who had been forced to walk the Trail of Tears, Wilma Mankiller experienced her own forced removal from the land she grew up on as a child. As she got older and learned more about the injustices her people had faced, she dedicated her life to instilling pride in Native heritage and reclaiming Native rights. She went on to become the first woman Principle Chief of the Cherokee Nation.
In this chapter book biography by award-winning author Traci Sorell, readers learn about the amazing life of Wilma Mankiller--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 Wilma Mankiller's footsteps and make a difference!
And don’t miss out on the rest of the books in the She Persisted series, featuring so many more women who persisted!