Review of We Are Still Here!: Native American Truths Everyone Should Know

We Are Still Here!: Native American Truths Everyone Should Know
by Traci Sorell; illus. by Frané Lessac
Primary, Intermediate    Charlesbridge    40 pp.    g
4/21    978-1-62354-192-7    $17.99
e-book ed.  978-1-63289-973-6    $9.99

In this informational picture book by the team behind We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga (rev. 11/18), a diverse group of students and families are headed to (the fictional) Native Nations Community School for Indigenous People’s Day presentations. Each spread depicts a different student’s report on a subject significant to Native people’s experience since the late 1800s. Topics include assimilation, allotment, termination, language revival, and more; although these are dense and complex areas, Sorell makes them comprehensible for readers through the book’s unique format. Each classmate’s “presentation” includes a brief summary or definition (“Assimilation: Most U.S. leaders did not respect our ways and thought it would be better for us to adopt their beliefs and practices”) with a handful of supporting details. Every presentation concludes with the line: “We are still here!” Warm gouache illustrations help support the historical context while personalizing the contemporary setting. This book provides information that is omitted from most curricula (“Most people do not know what happened to Native Nations and our citizens after treaty making stopped in 1871”) in an easy-to-understand manner. Above all, the message is reinforced for all readers: Native people are still here. Appended with a glossary, a timeline, sources, and an author’s note.

From the May/June 2021 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Nicholl Denice Montgomery

Nicholl Denice Montgomery is currently working on a PhD at Boston College in the curriculum and instruction department. Previously, she worked as an English teacher with Boston Public Schools.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

Community matters. Stay up to date on breaking news, trends, reviews, and more.

Get access to reviews of books, ebooks, and more

ALREADY A SUBSCRIBER?

We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing

ALREADY A SUBSCRIBER?