375: Bringing Omitted BIPOC History to Light through Middle Grade Picture Books – Interview with Traci Sorell and Carole Boston Weatherford

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Traci Sorell and Carole Boston Weatherford.

Traci is the author of the critically acclaimed book We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga. She is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation and lives in northeastern Oklahoma, where her tribe is located. Today we’re talking about her picture book Classified: The Secret Career of Mary Golda Ross, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer (Illustrated by Natasha Donovan).

Carole is the author of numerous award-winning books including the Newbery Honor book Box: Henry Brown Mails Himself to Freedom (illustrated by Michele Wood), and R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (illustrated by Frank Morrison). Today we’re discussing her picture book Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre (Illustrated by Floyd Cooper).

When she’s not traveling or visiting museums, Carole is mining the past for family stories, fading traditions, and forgotten struggles. She lives in North Carolina.


In this episode Traci, Carole and I discuss:

  • Why they each decided to tell these forgotten stories as middle grade picture books.
  • The deliberate and unique choices they made in structuring their narratives.
  • How they created a distinct sense of time and place to ground their books.


Plus, their #1 tip for writers.

For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/375

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