Sequoyah: The Cherokee Man Who Gave His People Writing

Sequoyah: The Cherokee Man Who Gave His People Writing

by James Rumford

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The story of Sequoyah is the tale of an ordinary man with an extraordinary idea—to create a writing system for the Cherokee Indians and turn his people into a nation of readers and writers. The task he set for himself was daunting. Sequoyah knew no English and had no idea how to capture speech on paper. But slowly and painstakingly, ignoring the hoots and jibes of his neighbors and friends, he worked out a system that surprised the Cherokee Nation—and the world of the 1820s—with its beauty and simplicity. James Rumford’s Sequoyah is a poem to celebrate literacy, a song of a people’s struggle to stand tall and proud.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780547528724
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 11/01/2004
Sold by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 32
Sales rank: 964,436
Lexile: AD620L (what's this?)
File size: 15 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range: 5 - 8 Years

About the Author

Master storyteller James Rumford combines his love for art and history in his picture books. Each of his books is vastly different in its content, design, and illustrations but one aspect remains constant throughout his work: his passion about his subjects. Rumford, a resident of Hawaii, has studied more than a dozen languages and worked in the Peace Corps, where he traveled to Africa, Asia, and Afghanistan. He draws from these experiences and the history of his subject when he is working on a book. His book Sequoyah: The Cherokee Man Who Gave His People Writing was a 2005 Sibert Honor winner.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"The author writes with a concise eloquence that echoes the oral tradition and makes this one of those rare gems of read-aloud nonfiction." School Library Journal, Starred

Textured full-page mixed-media illustrations...feature strong figures and spare scenes reminiscent of the Asian and Native American artwork Rumford cites as sources of inspiration. Horn Book, Starred

Simple, declarative sentences take on the cadences of legend...the bright, textured illustrations take on the look of heavily outlined block prints, giving the whole the feeling of an old-fashioned children's history.
Kirkus Reviews, Starred

Customer Reviews

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Sequoyah: The Cherokee Man Who Gave His People Writing 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
jmilton11 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Genre: Informational/BiographyMedia: AcrylicsAge: IntermediateReview: 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.
miskend on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Excellent. The one plum/cherry blossom illustration seemed very much out of place and was distracting, although a nod to Hokusai. Otherwise a wonderfully conceived and executed book on a little known subject and introduces children to both a man and a culture.
frood42 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This brief and fascinating biography tells the story of Sequoyah, the Cherokee metalworker who created a syllabary for writing the Cherokee language, despite the skepticism and, in some cases, hostility of others who knew of his plan. The story is written in English and Cherokee, and tells both the story of the letters and how their existence changed life for the Cherokee. The illustrations are lovely, with images outlined in black ink and filled in with vivid colors, so that the pictures somewhat resemble stained glass. The book also includes the Cherokee syllabary, a time line of Sequoyah's life, and a discussion about his link to the Sequoyah trees. This picture book for children ages five through nine effectively tells the story of an important event in American history.
awidmer06 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Genre: Folk TaleAge Appropriateness: Primary/IntermediateReview: 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.
megmcg624 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This picture book tells the story of Sequoyah, a Cherokee man who invented a syllabic writing system for the Cherokee language in the late 18th century. The story is told in both English and Cherokee.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.
hetrickm on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Children are constantly asked to write in the classroom and I think this book is a must have introduction to writing in the library. The primary purpose of writing is to communicate and there were people who were unable to do so in the written format for hundreds of years. Children need to be exposed to the sacrifices and love for communication in order to appreciate the gift they have.
NikoleJosh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Summary: 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.My Response: 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.Classroom Extension: 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.