As a child in Oklahoma, Wilma Mankiller experienced the Cherokee practice of Gadugi, helping each other, even when times were hard for everyone. But in 1956, the federal government uprooted her family and moved them to California, wrenching them from their home, friends, and traditions. Separated from her community and everything she knew, Wilma felt utterly lost until she found refuge in the Indian Center in San Francisco. There, she worked to build and develop the local Native community and championed Native political activists. She took her two children to visit tribal communities in the state, and as she introduced them to the traditions of their heritage, she felt a longing for home.Returning to Oklahoma with her daughters, Wilma took part in Cherokee government. Despite many obstacles, from resistance to female leadership to a life-threatening accident, Wilma's courageous dedication to serving her people led to her election as the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation. As leader and advocate, she reinvigorated her constituency by empowering them to identify and solve community problems.This beautiful addition to the Big Words series will inspire future leaders to persevere in empathy and thoughtful problem-solving, reaching beyond themselves to help those around them. Moving prose by award-winning author Doreen Rappaport is interwoven with Wilma's own words in this expertly researched biography, illustrated with warmth and vivacity by Linda Kukuk.
Wilma's Way Home Review
- January 1, 1970Meredith SpidelWow! Hearing and learning the truth of our nation's history can be so very poignant--thankful for this book from Disney Books for making it real in a relatable way for our kiddos. Cheering them on for these star efforts in educating all of us!
- January 1, 1970Aliza WernerThis biography of Wilma Mankiller, a Cherokee woman, became a courageous leader and advocate for her community and nation. Interspersed with her quotes and illustrated by Linda Kuluk, who is Choctaw, we learn of a resilient life led by a woman facing many obstacles.more
- January 1, 1970Krissy NeddoI enjoyed learning about Wilma. We need more diverse books, but this one did not appeal to my students. While they were impressed with her tenacity, it was just a bit too long for a class read aloud. Best for parent/child read.
- January 1, 1970BonnieDefinitely for elementary students who are more advanced readers or to be read aloud only a few pages at a time. Too much information at one time and you will lose their interest.
- January 1, 1970EarlI'm a fan of Doreen Rappaport's Big Word Biographies but I was surprised that there was a new one in the series. While I appreciated learning about Wilma Mankiller, her struggles, and her accomplishments, I felt a slightly more comprehensive look into her life (even if only in the back matter) would have made me like this book more.more
- January 1, 1970NickThis short book about an amazing woman is one that should be included in school and library collections. Wilma Mankiller and her family faced very modern, very understandable problems in life, but they were combined with bad government policies and petty bigotry at all levels. She fought against those things, and for a better life for her family and not only the Cherokee, but all of the people in her home state of Oklahoma. From little things like providing running water to people who had never This short book about an amazing woman is one that should be included in school and library collections. Wilma Mankiller and her family faced very modern, very understandable problems in life, but they were combined with bad government policies and petty bigotry at all levels. She fought against those things, and for a better life for her family and not only the Cherokee, but all of the people in her home state of Oklahoma. From little things like providing running water to people who had never had it to bigger things, like trying to raise people up out of abject poverty, her goals were important ones. Since this was also set in the context of regaining the rights of Cherokee women, in a time when women's rights in general were being argued, this was extra important. Once the Cherokee saw who she was and what she could do, her final election was a landslide in her favor.The amazing thing is that she did this with major illness and serious injuries from a traffic accident, ones that required the then-newish kidney transplant operation to replace her non-working ones. Highly recommended, and a very quick read in this format, basically a longish picture book.more
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