We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga

written by Traci Sorell, illustrated by Frané  Lessac

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ISBN-10:  1580897723

A look at modern Native American life through the eyes of an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation.

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View the trailer above.

From Charlesbridge Publishing

Order your copy here or at your favorite place to buy books.

Otsaliheliga (oh-jah-LEE-hay-lee-gah) is a word that Cherokee people use to express gratitude. Beginning in the fall with the Cherokee New Year and ending in summer, follow a full Cherokee year of celebrations and experiences. Written by Traci Sorell, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, and illustrated by Frané Lessac, this nonfiction 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

★ “Perfect for holiday and family sharing” —School Library Journal, starred review

★ "Has the ability to resonate with any reader" - Shelf Awareness, starred review

★ "Underscores the importance of traditions . . . while simultaneously . . . challenging dated media images of Indigenous people." - The Horn Book, starred review 

"The text reads like poetry  . . . and the author’s note sets past misrepresentations right." - Booklist

“I am truly grateful for Traci Sorell's first picture book, We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga. By focusing on the simple but deeply meaningful theme of gratitude, she's portrayed the strength and lasting nature of her Cherokee heritage in a way that will resonate with young readers of many cultural backgrounds. Further, she does this in a contemporary fashion, not talking about her people in the vanished past but as a vital part of the present-day world. Vividly and accurately illustrated by Frané Lessac, and including Cherokee language on numerous spreads, it both entertains and teaches on every page. It’s the kind of book I want my own grandchildren to read.”

Joseph Bruchac (Abenaki), best-selling author of over 130 books for children and adults

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Click to download: Classroom & Activity Guide and Coloring Sheets.

For a guide to Cherokee Words (Spoken & Phonetics) that are found in the book, click here.