Talking Leaves

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He made picture signs for horses and pots and every other thing he knew. In a very short time, he had so many signs that no one could remember them all. Even Sequoyah was getting mixed up. I here had to be a better way. Sequoyah thought and thought, and then one day the idea came. Of course! All words are made up of sounds. By putting the sounds together, he could make any word. Sequoyah set to work right away to find out how many sounds there were in the Cherokee language.

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His friends began to look at him strangely. Sequoyah worked night and day. At last the work was finished. Sequoyah taught his daughter, Ah-yoka, to read and write his language. But what about the others? Would they care? Would they want to learn?


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Sequoyah thought the time had come to find out if all the years of hard work had been worth it. It was , and it was time to make a test.

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Sequoyah went to the head of the Cherokee tribe, and a meeting was called. The meeting room was soon filled with excited people. Sequoyah was sent out of the room with two guards.


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  • They made sure that Sequoyah could not hear what was happening in the room. At last Sequoyah was called back into the room. It worked!

    From Talking Leaves to Pixels: Cherokee, a Case Study - Talks at Google

    Further reading. Advanced Readers Plus.

    Fing's War. For Black Girls Like Me. Secret Soldiers. Zenobia July. Noah Webster: Man of Many Words. The Crimson Cap.

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    Talking Leaves By: Joseph Bruchac. Sensitive Areas: War, Violence, Alcohol. Add to Wishlist. Advanced Readers Plus Grades Get Started. Learn More. Struggling with gossip and whispers about his father, Jesse must decide whether to embrace the vision his father has for his people or to distance himself even f [STARRED REVIEW] Bruchac has crafted a tale of depth and universal humanity in this fictionalized account of Sequoyah, the creator of the Cherokee syllabary, and his son, Jesse.

    TALKING LEAVES — SEQUOYAH by Joseph Bruchac

    Struggling with gossip and whispers about his father, Jesse must decide whether to embrace the vision his father has for his people or to distance himself even further from his heritage. With an authentic voice, Bruchac weaves details of Cherokee customs, cultural stories, and language without any heavy-handedness.

    While explaining how the Cherokee language came to be written, this work also broaches the hard lessons of growing up: What does it mean to grow separately from your friends and family? Bruchac depicts complex characters and relationships. This is a strong middle grade novel that offers a needed perspective on Cherokee history and the life of a key historical figure.

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    In the nineteenth-century culture of the Tsalagi Cherokee nation, wives could ask their husbands to leave their houses and thus divorce them. Thirteen-year-old Uwohali instead sees a father he would like to know, a father from whom he can learn.


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