While walking through a forest of sequoias, a father tells his family the story of the tree's namesake. Sequoyah was a Cherokee man who invented a system of writing for his people. His neighbors feared the symbols he wrote and burned down his home. All of his work was lost, but, still determined, he tried another approach. The Cherokee people finally accepted the written language after Sequoyah taught his six-year-old daughter to read.
Rumford manages to explain how remarkable it is to invent a writing system without bogging young readers down in linguistics. This would be an excellent recommendation as both a biography and a history for an grade level elementary student.
I would not recommend teachers or librarians utilize this book as part of any curriculum about Native Americans, as it promotes negative images of Native Americans.
Genre: this is a biography because it recounts the story of a man who actually lived. It tells about the trials he faced in creating this written language and it tells of the opposition as well as the praise he recieved in doing this.
Theme: I believe the theme of this story is to continue on the path that is set before you even when opposition strikes.
Media: Ink, watercolor, pastel and pencil
Age Appropriateness: Primary/Intermediate
Review: This book is a good example of a folk tale because it is a story passed along orally through the Cherokee generations. It is a story of an ordinary man with an extraordinary idea- to create a writing system for the Cherokee Indians so his people could read and write. The character had a daunting task but Sequoyah worked hard and created a system that surprised the Cherokee Nation and the world with its beauty and simplicity.
Media: This book is a good example of ink, watercolor, pastel, and pencil media. The pencils allow different textures, shades, dimension, and blending.The brush, ink and watercolors give an even flow to the illustration. Images in the story are stronger and flowing because of the pastels.
Characterization: Sequoyah is a round character because he encounters a conflict, which is finding a language system for his people. Instead of ignoring the problem, he attacks it with dedication and hard work. Eventually, he creates a system that works extraordinary for his person, which leads him to be a self-determined individual.
A Native American born in 1760-1765, named Seqouyah who was in the Cherokee Nation tribe. He invents letters for his Cherokee tribe so their voices would not fade away into the white settlement. These letters are used still today in the Cherokee Nation tribe.
I liked pictues and how they showed the Cherokee Nation alphabet translation on the bottom of the paragraph to show it looks like in their language. It tells about his life story and how he did not give up when other people in the tribe was suspicious at first and showed them how to communicate through this alphabet. The book also has the alphabet in the back of the book along with how to pronounce and sound out the alphabet correctly.
1)Ask students what qualities did Seqouyah show that made him a hero.
2)Ask students how Seqouyah showed bravery and not give up when some people burned his house down.
Review: This book is informational because it gave information on the background of how Cherokee writing came to be. It is also a biographical book because it gave information on the man who created the writing.
Genre Critique: This book is a good example of historical fiction through the use of real, historical characters, settings, and events. The story incorporates the language that Sequoyah wrote with a chart in the back for the reader as well. The details, language use (translation into Cherokee on each page), and illustrations really capture the time period for the reader to experience.
Review/Critique: I found this book interesting. I haven't read much about native Americans, and never thought about them creating a written language for themselves.
Media: Ink, watercolor, pastel, and pencil on drawing paper adhered to a rough piece of wood to give it texture.
Rumford's narrative, translated into Cherokee by Anna Sixkiller Huckaby - the language training coordinator at the Cherokee Nation Cultural Resource Center - is a lyrical tribute to this extraordinary act of creation. His illustrations, done in ink, watercolor, pastel and pencil, are reminiscent of woodcuts, and have a lovely folk-quality to them. Included at the rear is a table with the complete syllabary, a brief afterword, and a time-line of Sequoyah's life. All in all, Sequoyah: The Cherokee Man Who Gave His People Writing is the sort of book that educates and entertains, all while providing a gorgeous aesthetic experience. Well worth the time of any reader with an interest in the Cherokee people, their writing system, or the man who created it.
This book is the story of the well known hero, George Gist, also known as Sequoyah. This man was a Cherokee Indian who came up with a language for his people to write. This is a wonderful biography that has been mine since I was a young girl. It tells all about his life and the way that he determined how to come up with the letters and shapes.
I enjoyed this book because of it's history aspect. I also liked the pictures in the book because the artwork is a few different look then most paintings and illustrations.
1) We could use this in a section about writing. We could write our own short stories in the Cherokee way and see if it is more difficult or easier then our own language.
2) We could use this in a history lesson and study famous Native American people. Each student in the class could write a brief essay over one of these people.
3) We could try to simulate the paintings and sketches on our own as an art project.
Summary: The story of the Cherokee man who gave his people the gift of written language.
Evaluation: This is an interesting story about an important figure in Native American history. This book helps the reader understand that there are many influential Native Americans that made a great impact on the world around them. The theme was inspirational and showed that even through hard times greatness can be achieved. Each page is written in English with a translation below that into Cherokee, which is very appropriate because the whole book is about the written Cherokee language.
This was an inspiring story of man who loved his people and achieved his dream even late in life. His legacy lives on today. His home still stands in Sallisaw, Oklahoma.
Extensions could be:
The students could look at the alphabet and find the first syllable of their name and practice writing it.
Read about the Cherokee people and their struggle to stand a proud people.
• Evaluation: The expository structure of this book make sit easy for the reader to follow and learn from.
• Target audience: 2nd-5th grade
• Connection to classroom: I would implement this book when discussing the Cherokee Native Americans and their culture.
Genre: biography, American history, non-fiction
RI.4.2 Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.
Overall I did enjoy this book, however, I was not sure of the reliability of the facts as there was no sources to support the information. The author introduced the story by having a father share the story of Sequoyah to his children. This introduction, in my opinion, makes the story seem fictional and as if Sequoyah is a myth. I think this book would be great to introduce Sequoyah, but only for an introduction, as I would expect students to use other sources to learn facts about Sequoyah.