We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga

written by Traci Sorell, illustrated by Frané  Lessac


ISBN-10:  1580897723

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


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


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.