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She Persisted: Wilma Mankiller

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Hardcover
$16.99 US
5.52"W x 7.94"H x 0.54"D  
On sale Oct 04, 2022 | 96 Pages | 978-0-593-40303-7
| Grades 1-4
Reading Level: Lexile 1040L | Fountas & Pinnell S
Inspired by the #1 New York Times bestseller She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton and Alexandra Boiger, a chapter book series about women who spoke up and rose up against the odds--including Wilma Mankiller!

A 2024 American Indian Youth Literature Honor Book!


The descendant of Cherokee ancestors who had been forced to walk the Trail of Tears, Wilma Mankiller experienced her own forced removal from the land she grew up on as a child. As she got older and learned more about the injustices her people had faced, she dedicated her life to instilling pride in Native heritage and reclaiming Native rights. She went on to become the first woman Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.

In this chapter book biography by award-winning author Traci Sorell, readers learn about the amazing life of Wilma Mankiller--and how she persisted
 
Complete with an introduction from Chelsea Clinton, black-and-white illustrations throughout, and a list of ways that readers can follow in Wilma Mankiller's footsteps and make a difference! A perfect choice for kids who love learning and teachers who want to bring inspiring women into their curriculum.
 
And don’t miss out on the rest of the books in the She Persisted series, featuring so many more women who persisted!

Covers may vary.
Best-selling author Traci Sorell writes inclusive, award-winning historical and contemporary fiction and nonfiction in a variety of formats for young people. She is a two-time Sibert Medal and Orbis Pictus honoree and an award-winning audiobook narrator and producer. Eight of her books have received awards from the American Indian Library Association, including At the Mountain’s Base, Contenders: Two Native Baseball Players, One World Series and She Persisted: Wilma Mankiller. A former federal Indigenous law attorney and policy advocate, Traci is a Cherokee Nation citizen and first-generation college graduate. She lives within her tribe’s reservation in northeastern Oklahoma. View titles by Traci Sorell
© Photo courtesy of the author
Chelsea Clinton is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World; She Persisted Around the World: 13 Women Who Changed History; She Persisted in Sports: American Olympians Who Changed the Game; She Persisted in Science: Brilliant Women Who Made a Difference; Don't Let Them Disappear: 12 Endangered Species Across the Globe; Welcome to the Big Kids Club; It's Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired & Get Going!; Start Now!: You Can Make a Difference; with Hillary Clinton, Grandma's Gardens and Gutsy Women; and, with Devi Sridhar, Governing Global Health: Who Runs the World and Why? She is also the Vice Chair of the Clinton Foundation, where she works on many initiatives, including those that help empower the next generation of leaders. She lives in New York City with her husband, Marc, and their children. You can follow Chelsea Clinton on Twitter @ChelseaClinton or on Facebook at facebook.com/ChelseaClinton. View titles by Chelsea Clinton
© Vanessa Blasich
Alexandra Boiger grew up in Munich, Germany as the youngest of seven children. She studied Graphic Design at the Fachhochschule Augsburg before working in Feature Animation at Warner Brothers and Dreamworks. After working in animation, Alexandra decided to pursue a lifelong dream of becoming a children’s book illustrator. She has illustrated many picture books, including She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World. Max and Marla was her debut as both author and illustrator. Alexandra now lives in Northern California with her husband and daughter. View titles by Alexandra Boiger
Chapter 1
A Girl Called Pearl


Wilma Pearl Mankiller led the Cherokee Nation as its first female chief. But before she visited with US presidents and met with world leaders, she was known by family and friends as a girl called Pearl.

Pearl arrived in late autumn on November 18, 1945. Born at the old Hastings Hospital in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, she already had five siblings waiting at home for her. Her father, Charley, was a Cherokee Nation citizen living in the nearby Rocky Mountain community. Irene, her mother, was a white woman whose family had moved to the area. Her parents grew up around each other and married young. When Pearl was three, Charley built a four-room wood home for the family on land owned by his father.

Traditionally, Cherokee individuals did not own land on the tribe’s reservation. The Cherokee Nation, meaning all the people in the tribe, shared the land together. Families owned their homes, gardens and crops, but not the land itself. But the US government did not want the Cherokee people to continue living together and sharing land this way. So the US Congress passed a law to divide up the tribe’s reservation. Each Cherokee person received land. That is how Pearl’s grand- father received the land where his family lived.

But originally, all Cherokee people lived on the tribe’s lands in the Southeast, not on the reservation within what would later become northeastern Oklahoma.

In 1838, the US government rounded up Cherokee people like Pearl’s ancestors at gunpoint to force them to move west. They couldn’t pack up their homes or bring their animals. Over four thousand Cherokee young and old—died during the roundup before the forced march and also along the way. That means one-fourth of the tribe’s population died. Lots of children became orphans. Many Native Nations also suffered similar removals from their own homelands and a horrific loss of lives.

Pearl learned some of this difficult history while growing up on Mankiller Flats. This is what people called the land that her grandfather andothers in his family had been assigned to live on.

Just like her ancestors’, Pearl’s life wasn’t always easy while she was growing up. The tiny tin-roofed house her father built had no running water or electricity. That meant no flushing toilet, no sink with running water, and no television to watch. This was normal for homes in that area in the 1940s and 1950s.

Many Cherokee people at that time found it hard to find regular work. The rocky soil was not good for farming. Pearl’s dad and oldest brother went all the way to southeastern Colorado each summer to work, harvesting crops to earn money.

Everyone had chores to do at home, from chopping wood to hauling water. Pearl and her sisters hauled water from a cold spring a quarter mile away to their house for cooking, cleaning clothes and baths. Pearl worked hard to get out of hauling water. She preferred to play in the woods instead.

The Mankiller home lacked many features that most people regularly use today. Their heat came from a wood-burning stove, which was where they made their meals too. Cutting and hauling wood for the stove was critical. Instead of electricity, they used coal-oil lamps after sunset to see each other and read books.

And Pearl and her family wore hand-me-down clothes or shirts and pants their mother made from large flour sacks. They didn’t have a washing machine or a dryer, so they cleaned their clothing outside in a tub and hung it up to dry. Before winter, each child would get a coat and a pair of leather shoes.

But nothing was unique about how the Mankiller family lived. Most of the Cherokee families around them lived just like they did. They also grew their own food as well as hunted, fished and gathered plants growing in the woods, just like their ancestors. Pearl always had enough to eat, even if her family did not have modern conveniences.

Outside of chores at home and attending school, the Mankiller family enjoyed visiting with other families at their homes and occasionally at church or at Cherokee ceremonial grounds. Often the Mankillers had guests at their house too. Many of the people spoke Cherokee, including Pearl’s father.

Storytelling and visiting were a big part of Pearl’s childhood. She and her siblings loved their father’s stories. Her house was always full of books, which fostered a love of reading in Pearl.

Pearl attended first through fifth grade in a small schoolhouse, full of mostly other Cherokee children. She and her siblings walked three miles each way to school no matter the weather. There was no school bus. At school, Pearl learned that others lived differently than her family. The female teachers wore lipstick and dressed more formally than most women in the Rocky Mountain community. One of the male teachers even had a television in his house!

All in all, Pearl’s childhood was a happy one.

But as much as Pearl loved life in Mankiller Flats, some parts of her life were out of her—and her family’s—control. The US government, which had treated her people so terribly decades earlier, would again cause turmoil and heartbreak for her family.
  • HONOR | 2024
    AILA - American Indian Youth Literature Award

About

Inspired by the #1 New York Times bestseller She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton and Alexandra Boiger, a chapter book series about women who spoke up and rose up against the odds--including Wilma Mankiller!

A 2024 American Indian Youth Literature Honor Book!


The descendant of Cherokee ancestors who had been forced to walk the Trail of Tears, Wilma Mankiller experienced her own forced removal from the land she grew up on as a child. As she got older and learned more about the injustices her people had faced, she dedicated her life to instilling pride in Native heritage and reclaiming Native rights. She went on to become the first woman Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.

In this chapter book biography by award-winning author Traci Sorell, readers learn about the amazing life of Wilma Mankiller--and how she persisted
 
Complete with an introduction from Chelsea Clinton, black-and-white illustrations throughout, and a list of ways that readers can follow in Wilma Mankiller's footsteps and make a difference! A perfect choice for kids who love learning and teachers who want to bring inspiring women into their curriculum.
 
And don’t miss out on the rest of the books in the She Persisted series, featuring so many more women who persisted!

Covers may vary.

Author

Best-selling author Traci Sorell writes inclusive, award-winning historical and contemporary fiction and nonfiction in a variety of formats for young people. She is a two-time Sibert Medal and Orbis Pictus honoree and an award-winning audiobook narrator and producer. Eight of her books have received awards from the American Indian Library Association, including At the Mountain’s Base, Contenders: Two Native Baseball Players, One World Series and She Persisted: Wilma Mankiller. A former federal Indigenous law attorney and policy advocate, Traci is a Cherokee Nation citizen and first-generation college graduate. She lives within her tribe’s reservation in northeastern Oklahoma. View titles by Traci Sorell
© Photo courtesy of the author
Chelsea Clinton is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World; She Persisted Around the World: 13 Women Who Changed History; She Persisted in Sports: American Olympians Who Changed the Game; She Persisted in Science: Brilliant Women Who Made a Difference; Don't Let Them Disappear: 12 Endangered Species Across the Globe; Welcome to the Big Kids Club; It's Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired & Get Going!; Start Now!: You Can Make a Difference; with Hillary Clinton, Grandma's Gardens and Gutsy Women; and, with Devi Sridhar, Governing Global Health: Who Runs the World and Why? She is also the Vice Chair of the Clinton Foundation, where she works on many initiatives, including those that help empower the next generation of leaders. She lives in New York City with her husband, Marc, and their children. You can follow Chelsea Clinton on Twitter @ChelseaClinton or on Facebook at facebook.com/ChelseaClinton. View titles by Chelsea Clinton
© Vanessa Blasich
Alexandra Boiger grew up in Munich, Germany as the youngest of seven children. She studied Graphic Design at the Fachhochschule Augsburg before working in Feature Animation at Warner Brothers and Dreamworks. After working in animation, Alexandra decided to pursue a lifelong dream of becoming a children’s book illustrator. She has illustrated many picture books, including She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World. Max and Marla was her debut as both author and illustrator. Alexandra now lives in Northern California with her husband and daughter. View titles by Alexandra Boiger

Excerpt

Chapter 1
A Girl Called Pearl


Wilma Pearl Mankiller led the Cherokee Nation as its first female chief. But before she visited with US presidents and met with world leaders, she was known by family and friends as a girl called Pearl.

Pearl arrived in late autumn on November 18, 1945. Born at the old Hastings Hospital in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, she already had five siblings waiting at home for her. Her father, Charley, was a Cherokee Nation citizen living in the nearby Rocky Mountain community. Irene, her mother, was a white woman whose family had moved to the area. Her parents grew up around each other and married young. When Pearl was three, Charley built a four-room wood home for the family on land owned by his father.

Traditionally, Cherokee individuals did not own land on the tribe’s reservation. The Cherokee Nation, meaning all the people in the tribe, shared the land together. Families owned their homes, gardens and crops, but not the land itself. But the US government did not want the Cherokee people to continue living together and sharing land this way. So the US Congress passed a law to divide up the tribe’s reservation. Each Cherokee person received land. That is how Pearl’s grand- father received the land where his family lived.

But originally, all Cherokee people lived on the tribe’s lands in the Southeast, not on the reservation within what would later become northeastern Oklahoma.

In 1838, the US government rounded up Cherokee people like Pearl’s ancestors at gunpoint to force them to move west. They couldn’t pack up their homes or bring their animals. Over four thousand Cherokee young and old—died during the roundup before the forced march and also along the way. That means one-fourth of the tribe’s population died. Lots of children became orphans. Many Native Nations also suffered similar removals from their own homelands and a horrific loss of lives.

Pearl learned some of this difficult history while growing up on Mankiller Flats. This is what people called the land that her grandfather andothers in his family had been assigned to live on.

Just like her ancestors’, Pearl’s life wasn’t always easy while she was growing up. The tiny tin-roofed house her father built had no running water or electricity. That meant no flushing toilet, no sink with running water, and no television to watch. This was normal for homes in that area in the 1940s and 1950s.

Many Cherokee people at that time found it hard to find regular work. The rocky soil was not good for farming. Pearl’s dad and oldest brother went all the way to southeastern Colorado each summer to work, harvesting crops to earn money.

Everyone had chores to do at home, from chopping wood to hauling water. Pearl and her sisters hauled water from a cold spring a quarter mile away to their house for cooking, cleaning clothes and baths. Pearl worked hard to get out of hauling water. She preferred to play in the woods instead.

The Mankiller home lacked many features that most people regularly use today. Their heat came from a wood-burning stove, which was where they made their meals too. Cutting and hauling wood for the stove was critical. Instead of electricity, they used coal-oil lamps after sunset to see each other and read books.

And Pearl and her family wore hand-me-down clothes or shirts and pants their mother made from large flour sacks. They didn’t have a washing machine or a dryer, so they cleaned their clothing outside in a tub and hung it up to dry. Before winter, each child would get a coat and a pair of leather shoes.

But nothing was unique about how the Mankiller family lived. Most of the Cherokee families around them lived just like they did. They also grew their own food as well as hunted, fished and gathered plants growing in the woods, just like their ancestors. Pearl always had enough to eat, even if her family did not have modern conveniences.

Outside of chores at home and attending school, the Mankiller family enjoyed visiting with other families at their homes and occasionally at church or at Cherokee ceremonial grounds. Often the Mankillers had guests at their house too. Many of the people spoke Cherokee, including Pearl’s father.

Storytelling and visiting were a big part of Pearl’s childhood. She and her siblings loved their father’s stories. Her house was always full of books, which fostered a love of reading in Pearl.

Pearl attended first through fifth grade in a small schoolhouse, full of mostly other Cherokee children. She and her siblings walked three miles each way to school no matter the weather. There was no school bus. At school, Pearl learned that others lived differently than her family. The female teachers wore lipstick and dressed more formally than most women in the Rocky Mountain community. One of the male teachers even had a television in his house!

All in all, Pearl’s childhood was a happy one.

But as much as Pearl loved life in Mankiller Flats, some parts of her life were out of her—and her family’s—control. The US government, which had treated her people so terribly decades earlier, would again cause turmoil and heartbreak for her family.

Awards

  • HONOR | 2024
    AILA - American Indian Youth Literature Award

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