Native Voices: Christine Day on I Can Make This Promise

By Kim Rogers

I had the pleasure of interviewing Christine Day (Upper Skagit) for Cynsations. Her debut middle grade novel, I Can Make This Promise (HarperCollins 2019), was inspired by her own family history and tells the story of twelve-year-old old Edie who discovers her family secrets and finds her own Native American identity.

What were the challenges (literary, research, psychological, logistical) in bringing I Can Make This Promise to life?

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Native Voices: Kevin Noble Maillard on Writing Fry Bread

By Kim Rogers

Today, I’m excited to welcome Kevin Noble Maillard to Cynsations. Kevin is a professor of law at Syracuse University, a journalist, and a member of the Seminole Nation. His debut picture book Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story is illustrated by Pura Belpré-award winner and Caldecott Honor-recipient Juana Martinez-Neal (Roaring Brook/Macmillan, Oct. 2019 ).

What was your initial inspiration for writing Fry Bread?

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Native Vision: Weshoyot Alvitre on Illustrating At The Mountain’s Base

By Kim Rogers

Today, I’m delighted to welcome Weshoyot Alvitre to Cynsations.

At the Mountain’s Base (Kokila, 2019) is illustrated by Weshoyot and written by Cherokee author Traci Sorell.

Weshoyot is Tongva (Los Angeles Basin) and is well established within the Indigenous art community.

A comic book artist and illustrator, she has contributed to numerous Eisner award-winning books,

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Author Interview: Annie Boochever on Alaska Native Civil Rights Hero Elizabeth Peratrovich

By Traci Sorell

Rarely do we see biographies of Native people post-1900, so the biography of Elizabeth Peratrovich, Fighter in Velvet Gloves (University of Alaska Press, 2019), by Annie Boochever with Roy Peratrovich, Jr. (Tlingit) is a welcome addition in children’s literature.

The book recently represented the state of Alaska at the National Book Festival in Washington,

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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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