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We Are Grateful–Otsaliheliga

“Otsaliheliga,” We are grateful!  I am grateful for this wonderful book about a journey through the seasons with a Cherokee family by Traci Sorell and illustrated by Frané Lessac.  Sorell, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, describes in detail how a Cherokee family moves through the year and the seasons, calling attention to everything they are grateful for and reflecting on the joys and sorrows of life.  Cherokee words are included on many pages with a pronunciation guide and in the Cherokee syllabary. The illustrations are wonderful and reflect Cherokee life today. Sorell gives insight into Cherokee culture and the story encourages all readers to think about their own lives and reflect on their life experiences day to day and all year long.  We Are Grateful is a marvelous addition to an ever growing #ownvoice collection of books for readers about the experiences of Native Americans. Thank you, Traci Sorrell, thank you.

Teacher thoughts:

  • It is so important to share works from authors that reflect their culture and experiences, in their own voice, with students everywhere.
  • This book is a great addition to a text set about Native Americans BY Native Americans.
  • Students will enjoy reading this book over and over as they read with a different lens each time, including the pictures, Cherokee culture, the Cherokee language, the content and the author’s note.
  • There are many cross curricular opportunities with this book; social studies, word study, SEL, the possibilities are endless!
  • Great author website and illustrator website with free downloads!

Students say:

“They are grateful all year long!”

“The pictures were very colorful.”

“Every season they are grateful.”

“It reminded me to be grateful like they are.”

I like that the book is in two languages, Cherokee and English.”

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