Featured books by Traci Sorell

At the Mountain’s Base

At the Mountain’s Base

By: Traci Sorell
Illustrated by: Weshoyot Alvitre
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader
Genre: Historical Fiction

A family, separated by duty and distance, waits for a loved one to return home in this lyrical picture book celebrating the bonds of a Cherokee family and the bravery of history-making women pilots. 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 as they wait for their loved one, a pilot, to return from war. The author's note pays homage to the true history of Native American U.S. service members like WWII pilot Ola Mildred "Millie" Rexroat.

Mary Golda Ross, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer

Classified: The Secret Career of Mary Golda Ross, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer

By: Traci Sorell
Illustrated by: Natasha Donovan
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Genre: Biography

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. The narrative highlights Cherokee values including education, working cooperatively, remaining humble, and helping ensure equal opportunity and education for all.

Indian No More

By: Traci Sorell, Charlene Willing McManis
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Genre: Historical Fiction

Regina Petit's family has always been Umpqua, and living on the Grand Ronde Tribe's reservation is all ten-year-old Regina has ever known. But when the federal government enacts a law that says Regina's tribe no longer exists, Regina becomes "Indian no more" overnight. 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, and Regina comes face to face with the viciousness of racism, personally and toward her new friends. 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?

Powwow Day

By: Traci Sorell
Illustrated by: Madelyn Goodnight
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Genre: Fiction

In this uplifting, contemporary Native American story, River is recovering from illness and can't dance at the powwow this year. Will she ever dance again? 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. 

We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga

By: Traci Sorell
Illustrated by: Frané Lessac
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader
Genre: Nonfiction

Join the Cherokee people as they celebrate each season of the year and special occasions, as well as the daily activities for which gratitude is expressed. Bold hues and flat forms distinguish the naïve illustrations. Cherokee words, based on Sequoyah’s syllabary (written symbols for syllables), are sprinkled throughout. Additional information concludes this handsome and unique glimpse of contemporary Native life written by a Cherokee poet.

We Are Still Here: Native American Truths Everyone Should Know

By: Traci Sorell
Illustrated by: Frané Lessac
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader
Genre: Nonfiction

Using a class activity as a framework, the history of Indigenous people in the United States is presented. Each “presentation” concludes with a resounding “We are still here” despite the difficult history. Simple but bold illustrations and extensive backmatter conclude this important introduction to an often-forgotten part of American history.

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"I used to walk to school with my nose buried in a book." — Coolio