Tuesday, February 9, 2021

15. We Are Still Here! Native American Truths Everyone Should Know

We Are Still Here! Native American Truths Everyone Should Know. Traci Sorell. Illustrated by Frane Lessac. 2021. [April] 40 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Our Native Nations have always been here. We are Indigenous to the continent now called North America. Our leaders are sovereign and have power to make rules. Our ways of life changed when white people arrived from Europe. 

We Are Still Here! is a nonfiction picture book for older readers. The framework of the story is that a classroom is celebrating Indigenous Peoples' Day and presenting twelve projects. (But despite this framework the book itself is clearly nonfiction.) The twelve projects/topics are: Assimilation, Allotment, Indian New Deal, Termination, Relocation, Tribal Activisim, Self-Determination, Indian Child Welfare and Education, Religious Freedom, Economic Development, Language Revival, and Sovereign Resurgence.

The projects almost have a power-point feel to them. (Not in a bad way, the framework clearly has this being a school research project/presentation). And there's nothing wrong with bullet points after all! The illustrations hint at historical context for the given topic. But not always or exclusively. For those that are curious about the illustrations--exactly what, when, where--there is more information to be found in the back of the book.

The refrain of the book is WE ARE STILL HERE. This is repeated after every single presentation as an affirmation.

There is back matter. A LOT of back matter which is wonderful thing to see in nonfiction.

I found this to be an informative, fascinating, well-researched read. (Not that I am an expert by any stretch of the imagination. But the amount of back matter leads me to believe it is well-researched.)

© 2021 Becky Laney of Young Readers

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