Native Voice: Traci Sorell on At the Mountain’s Base & Indian No More

By Kim Rogers

For my first interview with Cynsations, I welcome author Traci Sorell! First off, so:ti:c?a to you and Cynthia Leitich Smith for this opportunity. I am thrilled and honored to join Cynsations as a reporter covering Native books for children and teens.

Traci, your debut picture book, We are Grateful: Otsaliheliga, illustrated by Frané Lessac (Charlesbridge,

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New Cynsations Reporter Kim Rogers

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Kim Rogers joins the Cynsations team as a reporter covering children’s-YA writing, illustration, publishing and other book news from Indigenous authors and illustrators.

Welcome to Cynsations! Could you tell us about your vision for Native voices coverage here at the blog? Why did you decide to take on this role in the conversation of books?

First off I’d like to say that I am so excited and honored to join Cynsations.

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Native Voice: Anthony Perry on Growing as a Writer

By Traci Sorell

Tony, I’m delighted to welcome you to Cynsations! You have written a detailed, well-paced historical middle grade novel, Chula the Fox (White Dog Press, 2018), set in the Chickasaw homelands of what is now Mississippi in the 1700s.

Congratulations on winning the 2019 Ben Franklin Award Gold Medal from the Independent Book Publishers Association and the 2019 Independent Publisher Book Awards Bronze Medal for Multicultural Fiction in the Juvenile-Young Adult category for your debut work!

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Poetry Anthology Editor & Illustrator Interview: Miranda Paul & Marlena Myles

By Traci Sorell

I adore picture book poetry anthologies. The variety of poems and artwork inspire me every time. Thanku: Poems of Gratitude (Millbrook Press, Sept. 3, 2019) marks the debut of artist Marlena Myles as a picture book illustrator. Edited by the award-winning author Miranda Paul, the anthology features many well-known poets and a portion of the book’s sales support the We Need Diverse Books nonprofit organization.

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Native Voices & Visions: Sherri Maret & Merisha Sequoia Clark on The Cloud Artist

By Traci Sorell

Today I’m excited to feature an inspiring Choctaw duo–author Sherri Maret and illustrator Merisha Sequoia Clark–who crafted The Cloud Artist, a bilingual Choctaw-English fiction picture book (RoadRunner Press, 2017).

The story centers on a young Choctaw girl who creates art using clouds, and it has been well received since publication. It was a 2018 Oklahoma Book Award finalist,

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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,

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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,

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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,

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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.

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