Inspiration

We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga


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2019 Sibert Honor Book
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



From the Publisher

Art depicting the four seasons by Frané Lessac from We Are Grateful: OtsaliheligaArt depicting the four seasons by Frané Lessac from We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga

Traci Sorell, authorTraci Sorell, author

From the Author’s Note

Cherokee culture places a strong emphasis on expressing gratitude to unelanvhi (oo-NEH-la-nuh-hee), literally “the one who provides all,” or God. We also show gratitude for one another, animals, birds, plants, fish, the cosmos, water, and land. Cherokee people believe that recognizing and honoring the ways that the sacred and the duties of daily life are interwoven requires effort, ritual, and awareness, but above all, gratitude. I am grateful for the opportunity to provide a contemporary view of Cherokee culture in this book…

Many of us still observe the ancestral and ceremonial ways of life. We also live and work in the modern non-Cherokee world. Cherokee people are citizens of our tribal nation and of the United States. There are many distinct laws and responsibilities applied to us because of that dual status. We work to maintain a balance between these two worlds.

Otsaliheliga for all who came before us, those here now, and those yet to come.

"a gracious, warm, and loving celebration of community and gratitude." Kirkus Reviews starred review

"a gracious, warm, and loving celebration of community and gratitude." Kirkus Reviews starred review

Every day. Every season. Otsaliheliga.

Every day. Every season. Otsaliheliga.

"[An] informative authentic introduction to a thriving ancestral and ceremonial way of life" SLJ

"[An] informative authentic introduction to a thriving ancestral and ceremonial way of life" SLJ

art by Frané Lessac depicting the Great New Moon Ceremony from We Are Gratefulart by Frané Lessac depicting the Great New Moon Ceremony from We Are Grateful

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