Being Home

by Traci Sorell (Author) Michaela Goade (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

From Sibert Honor-winning author Traci Sorell and Caldecott Medal-winning artist Michaela Goade comes a heartwarming picture book about a Native American family and the joy of moving back to their ancestral land.

Today is a day of excitement--it's time to move! As a young Cherokee girl says goodbye to the swing, the house, and the city she's called home her whole life, she readies herself for the upcoming road trip. While her mother drives, the girl draws the changing landscape outside her window. She looks forward to the end of the journey, where she'll eat the feast her family has prepared, play in the creek with her cousins, and settle into the new rhythm of home.

With warm, expressive artwork and spare, lyrical prose, the story of a young girl's move toward rather than away from home unfolds.

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Kirkus Reviews

An evocative, heartwarming testament to the power of home and community.

Publishers Weekly

An Indigenous child narrator looks forward to adjusting "our tempo" in this expansive portrait of a family's move away from metropolitan surrounds and to "our ancestors' land/ and to our people." As the move progresses, enrolled Cherokee Nation citizen Sorell (At the Mountain's Base) uses spare, rhythmic language to capture the child's glad readiness: "See you later house./ Gotta go, swing.// Time to head home/ and change our tempo." Caldecott Medalist Goade, a member of the Tlingit and Haida tribes, begins by showing the family's cool-toned, hard-edged city surroundings, where "cars rush,/ crowds collect." As they travel, the child's pink-inked sketches permeate the passing landscape until they arrive at the Cherokee Nation Reservation, depicted in soft-edged organic forms shown in pinks and greens. There, "everyone's here to help" the two unpack, and there's "room to run, ride, or roll along" as well as loved ones "close enough to gather, eat,/ laugh, dance, and share." It's a joyful image of a family embracing change that examines "the rhythm of being home." Background characters are portrayed with various abilities, ages, body types, and skin tones. Ages 4-8. Author's agent: Emily Mitchell, Wernick & Pratt. Illustrator's agent: Kirsten Hall, Catbird Productions. (May)

Copyright 2024 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Traci Sorell
Traci Sorell writes fiction and nonfiction for children featuring contemporary characters and compelling biographies. She is the author of Powwow Day, We Are Still Here!, We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga, and coauthor of Mascot. She is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation and lives in northeastern Oklahoma, where her tribe is located.

Joseph Erb is a computer animator, film producer, educator, language technologist and artist enrolled in the Cherokee Nation. He earned his MFA degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Erb created the first Cherokee animation in the Cherokee language, "The Beginning They Told." He has spent many years working on projects that will expand the use of Cherokee language in technology and the arts. He teaches at the University of California Santa Cruz. He has spent his life in the continued dedication to continue Indigenous stories and language.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
May 07, 2024
BISAC categories
JUV013030 - Juvenile Fiction | Family | Multigenerational
JUV023000 - Juvenile Fiction | Lifestyles | City & Town Life
JUV011040 - Juvenile Fiction | People & Places | United States - Native American
Library of Congress categories

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