Recommended Reads #13

Thanksgiving

Books can help to foster empathy and understanding in students, and to validate the experiences of those who don’t always see themselves reflected in the culture or the curriculum. If you would like to borrow any of these books, just email me and I will bring them to you. - Maya

We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga, by Traci Sorell

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The word otsaliheliga (oh-jah-LEE-hay-lee-gah) is used by members of the Cherokee Nation to express gratitude. Beginning in the fall with the new year and ending in summer, follow a full Cherokee year of celebrations and experiences. Written by a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, this look at one group of Native Americans is appended with a glossary and the complete Cherokee syllabary, originally created by Sequoyah.

Around the Table that Granddad Built, by Melanie Heuiser Hill

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In a unique take on the cumulative classic “This Is the House That Jack Built,” a family gathers with friends and neighbors to share a meal around a table that brims with associations: napkins sewn by Mom, glasses from Mom and Dad’s wedding, silverware gifted to Dad by his grandma long ago. Not to mention the squash from the garden, the bread baked by Gran, and the pies made by the young narrator (with a little help). Serving up a diverse array of dishes and faces, this warm and welcoming story is poised to become a savored part of Thanksgiving traditions to come.

My Heart Fills With Happiness, by Monique Gray Smith

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The sun on your face. The smell of warm bannock baking in the oven. Holding the hand of someone you love. What fills your heart with happiness? This beautiful board book, with illustrations from celebrated artist Julie Flett, serves as a reminder for little ones and adults alike to reflect on and cherish the moments in life that bring us joy.

Duck for Turkey Day, by Jacqueline Jules

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It's almost Thanksgiving, and Tuyet is excited about the holiday and the vacation from school. There's just one problem: her Vietnamese American family is having duck for Thanksgiving dinner - not turkey! Nobody has duck for Thanksgiving - what will her teacher and the other kids think? To her surprise, Tuyet enjoys her yummy thanksgiving dinner anyhow - and an even bigger surprise is waiting for her at school on Monday. Dinners from roast beef to lamb to enchiladas adorned the Thanksgiving tables of her classmates, but they all had something in common - family! Kids from families with different traditions will enjoy this warm story about "the right way" to celebrate an American holiday.