Editor Interview: LaFrenda Frank of Salina Bookshelf

By Traci Sorell

For almost twenty-five years, Salina Bookshelf has published books, most for children, that center Native life–principally Navajo and Hopi people, their languages and cultures.

Today on Cynsations, I am pleased to interview LaFrenda Frank at Salina Bookshelf to learn more about this publishing house and her work there.

Share with us some about your history with Native literature,

Continue Reading Editor Interview: LaFrenda Frank of Salina Bookshelf »

Native Voice: Art Coulson on Unstoppable: How Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team Defeated Army

Learn more about Art Coulson

By Traci Sorell 

I’m delighted to feature author and former journalist Art Coulson today on Cynsations.

Fellow Cherokee Nation citizen and newcomer to the field of children’s literature like myself, Art has been busy writing and getting books published. Unstoppable: How Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team Defeated Army,

Continue Reading Native Voice: Art Coulson on Unstoppable: How Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team Defeated Army »

Interview: Joseph Bruchac on Telling Stories and Two Roads

By Traci Sorell

I’m delighted to feature the prolific, award-winning poet and author Joseph Bruchac and his latest middle grade novel, Two Roads (Dial, 2018) on Cynsations.

From the promotional copy:

It’s 1932, and twelve-year-old Cal Black and his Pop have been riding the rails for years after losing their farm in the Great Depression. 


Cal likes being a “knight of the road” with Pop,

Continue Reading Interview: Joseph Bruchac on Telling Stories and Two Roads »

Native Author-Illustrator Interview: Jonathan Nelson

By Traci Sorell

for Cynthia Leitich Smith‘s Cynsations

Today we welcome Diné (Navajo) artist Jonathan Nelson to discuss his journey as an illustrator and his recently published debut picture book.

Johnny, your Wool of Jonesy (Native Realities, 2016), a wordless graphic novel won the American Indian Library’s Association Middle Grade Honor Book Award earlier this year.  Continue Reading Native Author-Illustrator Interview: Jonathan Nelson »

New Voices: Kaylee Morrison and Nancy Smith on Joshua and The Biggest Fish

Nancy stands behind co-author & grandkid, Kaylee.

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

What an honor and joy it is to welcome debut children’s authors, Kaylee Morrison and Nancy Smith, who’re also citizens of Muscogee Nation!

Their picture book is Joshua and The Biggest Fish (Doodle and Peck Publishing, 2017). From the promotional copy:

The big fish are way out in the deepest part of the river.

Continue Reading New Voices: Kaylee Morrison and Nancy Smith on Joshua and The Biggest Fish »

New Voice: Dawn Quigley on Apple in the Middle

By Traci Sorell

This is a watershed year for the release of Native young adult novels.

From Eric Gansworth’s Give Me Some Truth (Scholastic, 2018), the followup to his If I Ever Get Out of Here (Scholastic, 2013), and Tim Tingle’s Trust Your Name (7th Generation, September 2018), the fourth in his No Name series, to the upcoming Hearts Unbroken by Cynthia Leitich Smith (Candlewick,

Continue Reading New Voice: Dawn Quigley on Apple in the Middle »

New Voice: Traci Sorell on We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga

Traci & Frane in Tahlequah (Cherokee Nation Capital), June 2017

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Traci Sorell is the debut author of We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga, illustrated by Frané Lessac (Charlesbridge, 2018). From the promotional copy:

Otsaliheliga (oh-jah-LEE-hay-lee-gah) is a word that Cherokee people use to express gratitude. 


Beginning in the fall with the Cherokee New Year and ending in summer,

Continue Reading New Voice: Traci Sorell on We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga »

Cynsations Return & Author Update: Cynthia Leitich Smith on Writing, New Releases, Native Voices & Allies

Learn more about Cynthia Leitich Smith.

By Traci Sorell
for Cynthia Leitich Smith‘s Cynsations

As an New York Times bestselling author and the creator of Cynsations blog, Cynthia is well known to many. But after reading her upcoming YA novel, Hearts Unbroken (Candlewick, Oct. 9), this summer, I believe readers gain more insight into her earlier years.

Continue Reading Cynsations Return & Author Update: Cynthia Leitich Smith on Writing, New Releases, Native Voices & Allies »

Author Interview: Tim Tingle, Choctaw Storyteller & Author

Tim Tingle (right) with his son, Dr. Jacob Tingle,
photo courtesy Oklahoma Center for the Book.

By Traci Sorell

On April 7, 2018, author Tim Tingle received the Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award.

Named in honor of an author who served as Oklahoma Center for the Book‘s first president, the award is presented annually  for a body of work contributing to Oklahoma’s literary heritage.

Continue Reading Author Interview: Tim Tingle, Choctaw Storyteller & Author »

Author Interview: Eric Gansworth on Give Me Some Truth

Eric Gansworth signing Give Me Some Truth
at 2018 Texas Library Association conference.

By Traci Sorell

Eric Gansworth is the YA author of Give Me Some Truth (Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic, May 29, 2018). From the promotional copy:

Carson Mastick is entering his senior year of high school and desperate to make his mark, on the reservation and off. 

Continue Reading Author Interview: Eric Gansworth on Give Me Some Truth »