Tsali: Legendary Hero of the Eastern Band Cherokee by Gail Cartee


Review by Janice D. Green

TSALI: Legendary Hero of the Eastern Band Cherokee

  • Tsali: Legendary Hero of the Eastern Band Cherokee
  • Author: Gail Cartee
  • Illustrator: Frances Espanol
  • 30 pages, paperback
  • ISBN 978-1-5144-8455-5 Softcover
  • ISBN 978-1-5144-8454-8 EBook
  • SRP $21.99 Paperback and $3.99 Kindle

Rating: :) :) :) :) :)

Why did John Charley’s mother hide black wax beans in her hair? Who were those men around the strange campfires? What did they want? Where is the land called Oklahoma? Would Tsali and his sons agree to the soldiers’ unthinkable offer for the sake of the members of his tribe who were still hiding out in the mountains?

Tsali: Legendary Hero of the Eastern Band Cherokee is a fictionalized account of the legendary hero of the Eastern Band Cherokee. Tsali and his son John Charley were an indigenous Cherokee father and son who resisted resettlement on an Oklahoma reservation. Tsali will resonate with children age 8 and up as they seek to understand the plight of the Cherokee people. The engaging text handles the Native American voice skillfully as the two main characters, Tsali and John Charley take turns telling the story.

The illustrations by Frances Espanol are simple, yet colorful and expressive. They serve the story well.

Author Gail Cartee includes her extensive bibliography lending authenticity to her account as well as additional places to learn more about the events surrounding the legendary Tsali. I contacted the author to ask if her account followed the plot of the “Unto These Hills” drama that includes the story of Tsali and is presented regularly in Cherokee, NC, and she responded that it did not. Rather, it followed more closely the book Tsali by Denton Bedford, a historical novel about the final months of the life of Tsali, who, with a brother and two sons, was martyred during the Cherokee Removal of 1838.

What do I like best about this book? The voice is strong and the setting and portrayal of the feelings the Native Americans had to struggle with in these dark times come across vividly.

What do I like least about this book? It was a little hard for my ADHD mind to keep up with who was speaking, especially on my first reading of the book, although the author kept it clearly identified throughout. It was only tricky for me.

I purchased this book from the author because the title intrigued me, and I was in no way disappointed.


Read to Me Outing at Laumeier Sculpture Park

I love to hear about families who plan day trips. The trips don’t have to be far away. They don’t have to cost money, but the results are timeless memories.

Often the destinations become so close to the heart of the family that they are visited again and again.

The Laumeier Sculpture Park in St Louis, Missouri lends itself to a great family experience.

Things to Take to the Park

  • Comfortable walking shoes (for the walking trails)
  • WaterRicardo the Cat - Photo by Carol McAdams Moore 2016
  • A picnic meal or snack
  • A quilt for sitting
  • Books to read aloud or quietly as a group
  • A camera

As soon as I saw Ricardo Cat by Niki de Saint Phalle and the glittery bench inside the sculpture, knew that little girls and boys would LOVE to read there. What fun to pack a few read aloud books for reading to others!

Eye by Tony Tasset - Photo by Carol McAdams Moore 2016What about the older kids in the fam? Check out the Eye by Tony Tasset. What an awesome place to read a devotion about God’s creation!

As much as I love this park, a family reading outing can be any place that lends itself to family fun and sharing books and God’s Word.

Where has your family enjoyed a Read to Me Outing?



Never Fear Aging

Never fear aging. Isa 46.4

I love this New Living Translation of Isaiah 46:4. So many people fear getting old. There are so many questions that can accompany aging. Will I have enough money? Will I be lonely? Will I be able to care for myself? Will anyone visit me? Will I have pain or bad health?

This verse puts all those fears to rest. We don’t have to worry about our old age because God is going there with us. He’ll take care of us and even carry us along and save us. Has God been faithful to you in your younger years? Do you have stories of Him providing for you in ways you didn’t expect?

I remember when I was pregnant with my second child and going through a divorce. I had many worries and concerns. Where would I live? How would I manage two children all by myself? Should I call my estranged husband when I went into labor? Wait until the baby was born? What was the right thing to do? How would I manage financially?

I didn’t need to worry about a thing. God had His eye on me and was looking out for me. I lived with my parents to finish out my pregnancy. I went into labor one night and my mom drove me to the hospital. My son was born so fast, we didn’t have time to call anyone, including my husband. So I didn’t have to wonder what the right thing to do was.

Mom and sleeping newborn

As to where I’d live, a two-bedroom townhouse that a couple from my church owned became vacant when I needed it. I had prayed for a place with a washer and dryer in the unit, which was hard to come by in my price range. I knew it would be difficult to haul a laundry basket, a 3-year-old, and a newborn to a laundry facility. The townhouse, which was right across the street from my church, had a stacked washer and dryer. Another blessing from God.

I feared I couldn’t manage two children on my own because my first baby had been so fussy as an infant that I couldn’t even put her down. She wouldn’t sit in an infant seat or play on the floor. I prayed for an easy baby this time and that’s exactly what I got. My new baby boy was content to lie on the floor and watch the ceiling fan go round and round, laughing and cooing like it was the best toy around.

I share these things so you’ll see how faithful God is. He knows our needs before we even ask and has more resources at His disposal than we can even imagine. He’s always working things out for our good.

So aging? No sweat. God’s got this. Isaiah knew what he was talking about.

What fears do you have? Have you found God to be faithful in the past?

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