Author Visit with Traci Sorell Recap + Resources

Posted & filed under Blog, Youth & Teen.

We were honored to host a collaborative author visit with Evanston Public Library to virtually welcome Cherokee Nation citizen and award-winning author Traci Sorell to our libraries! Traci shared an informative and insightful talk about her works such as We Are Grateful: Ostaliheliga and We Are Still Here! Native American Truths Everyone Should Know, her writing process, where she gets her ideas, and inspiration. I love how Tracy began our evening by asking our audience for their words to describe books for kids, which sparked an excellent discussion about how books can be “life-changing, eye-opening, formative, good, awesome, and great,” which is especially affirming to hear from young people attending. Traci shared how books for children now are “simply the best writing that’s out there” – and we couldn’t agree more, especially about Traci’s books 🙂

It was fascinating to learn about the background process of creating each of her books and why she wrote them. We especially appreciated learning more about Native Sovereignty. As Traci shared, “everyone in this country needs to know this information to be informed community members.”

Traci answered our many questions and we all learned so much from our time with her. I loved learning about Traci’s experience casting the narrators and producing the brilliant audiobook of We are Still Here!: Native American Truths Everyone Should Know, which you can even buy from the Cherokee Nation shop! You can also borrow our copy that includes the CD with the book!

We were so engaged in our conversation, we didn’t want our visit to end!

Please purchase Traci’s books from Booked in Evanston or your local independent bookstore.

Check out this booklist of books that Traci has written, anthologies she has contributed to, and readalikes. You can place holds at our libraries or stop by to check them out.

We are eager to learn more, so make sure to sign up for this incredible webinar on November 3 at 12:00 PM: Rethinking Thanksgiving: History, Holidays, and Gratitude – A Virtual Author Visit with Kate Messner & Traci Sorell.This webinar is designed for readers in grades 3-7 learning with teachers at school or with caregivers at home. We’re really excited to attend this webinar here at the library.

Thank you so much to Traci Sorell for visiting our virtual library and sharing your stories, knowledge, and heart! We loved hosting you! Traci also graciously sent us several giveaway books including the We Are Grateful: Ostaliheliga board book, Wonderful Women of the World, and One Land: Many Nations: Vol 1, to raffle off to our participants – so thank you for these amazing books! We also raffled off a copy of Classified: The Secret Career of Mary Golda Ross, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer and a copy of We Are Still Here! Native American Truths Everyone Should audiobook.


We provided Grab & Go Kits for this program that could be picked up at Lincolnwood Library. Based on popular demand, I’m also sharing the resources we included in the physical kit, so you can print them out and access these incredible resources.

Traci Sorell’s website

Listen to the readalong audiobook from Live Oak Media of We Are Grateful Otsaliheliga on Hoopla with your library card.

Traci shared the data and infographic of Diversity in Children’s Books in 2018. You can stop by the library for a print postcard with this infographic.

We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga Teacher’s Guide

We Are Still Here! Native American Truths Everyone Should Know Educator Resources

At The Mountain’s Base Poster in Cherokee & Educator Resources, created by Disrupt Texts

Indian No More Teacher’s Guide

Classified: The Secret Career of Mary Golda Ross, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer Educator’s Guide

Listen to the Dial a Story recording of Classified, read by Eti by calling our Dial-a-Story line at 847-999-7600 and press 5.

Check out the Indigenous Peoples’ Day Toolkit from Illuminative.

A huge thank you to Mr. Brian from Evanston Public Library for collaborating with us for this visit. Thank you so much to everyone who joined us for this wonderful author visit with Traci Sorell! We hope you will join us for future events are our libraries. Please feel free to share your feedback about this experience – we love hearing from you! Feel free to fill out our evaluation form here and get entered to our monthly prize drawing.

Author Visit with Cozbi A. Cabrera Community Quilt Project

Posted & filed under Blog, Youth & Teen.

Join award-winning author, illustrator, & artist Cozbi A. Cabrera for this unique program that blends story, reflection, & making.

Youth & Teen Librarian Eti shares what to expect at our virtual visit with Cozbi A. Cabrera in this video:

We are so excited to invite our community to participate in an incredibly special experience. In collaboration with Evanston Public Library, we are honored to host award-winning author/illustrator Cozbi A. Cabrera, creator of books such as My Hair Is a Garden, Me & Mama and Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks (written by Suzanne Slade). She will join us virtually on Sunday, October 24 at 3:00pm – 4:00pm CT. Enjoy a chance to hear Cozbi talk about her art, read from her stories, lead a writing activity, and share her love for quilting and crafts. We recommend inviting friends, grandparents, grandchildren, & neighbors to this accessible, intergenerational program. Cozbi will lead participants through a special craft project that is perfect for the whole family! Register here!

Please visit Booked, Evanston’s very own independent bookstore, to order books by Cozbi A. Cabrera! You can order Cozbi’s books here

Stitching Time with Cozbi Project 

We will work together to create a community quilt that we’ll display in the library. During our virtual visit, Cozbi will guide us how to reconstruct a meaningful personal memory onto the quilt square.

We are grateful to Sally and Linda at Evanston Public Library who taught us how to make the Program Kits and supported us through this process, and Cozbi who kindly donated the fabric and will teach us all how to make our quilt squares.

We will provide program kits that have mostly everything you need to participate.

Each Program Kit includes: 2 quilt squares, fabric scraps, needle, thread, craft glue, a response form, and instructions. PLEASE NOTE: Kit contains a sharp needle and thread. Please supervise children. You will also need a pair of scissors that can cut fabric; these have not been provided.

Register for our author visit with Cozbi A. Cabrera and then we’ll contact you to come pick up your program kit at the library.

You can also check out our display Cozbi’s books and readalikes. You can also put books on hold here.

Project Directions

Think about a memory that’s important to you and using these materials, reconstruct it on the quilt square.

You can plan your design using the template we’ve provided.

You can also create a paper quilt square using your own drawing supplies. 

Use the fabric scraps we’ve provided to depict your memory. You can sew them on using the needle and thread or use the fabric glue to attach them. You can also use your own fabric scraps you may have at home. 

Once you’re finished creating your quilt square, return it, plus your enclosed response form, to the library at the Youth and Teen Services desk to add to our community quilt by November 1. You can also email a picture of your square to our librarians to be added to our digital quilt at

A huge thank you to Brian, Sally, and Linda at Evanston Public Library for all of their support and guidance to join them in this special visit and project. Special thanks to St. Mary’s Quilters for their assistance. Thank you to Ann and Lisa at Lincolnwood Library, and our community partner, Carey Petersen, who will be helping us make our quilt. And of course, to Cozbi A. Cabrera, for bringing us all together to share in this wonderful experience!

Please contact Eti at with any questions.

We can’t wait to see you at our author visit with Cozbi A. Cabrera!!!

We love collaborating with our friends at Evanston Public Library!

Curious to learn more about Cozbi A. Cabrera? Here are a bunch of resources we recommend to prepare for our visit and continue learning.

Cozbi’s website

Suzanne Slade and Cozbi A. Cabrera on Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks

The Picture Book Buzz – Interview with Cozbi A. Cabrera and Review of Me & Mama

Author Talk for Kids: Cozbi Cabrera (Me and Mama) PBS Books

Process Piece Podcast Episode 31: Cozbi A. Cabrera – Living Enriches the Art, and the Entry Point is the Heart