Masks are required in the Library and on the Bookmobile following guidance from the Johnson County Public Health Department.


BookWalk is an interactive way for readers of all ages to enjoy a story and the outdoors. Watch for a new story each month throughout the summer and fall months.

BookWalk is a collaboration between the Iowa City Public Library, the Iowa City Public Library Friends Foundation, and City of Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department.

Current BookWalk

We Are Grateful : Otsaliheliga

By Traci Sorell
Illustrated by Frané Lessac

The Cherokee community is grateful for blessings and challenges that each season brings. This is modern Native American life as told by an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation.

The word otsaliheliga (oh-jah-LEE-hay-lee-gah) is used by members of the Cherokee Nation to express gratitude. Beginning in the fall with the new year and ending in summer, follow a full Cherokee year of celebrations and experiences. Written by a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, this look at one group of Native Americans is appended with a glossary and the complete Cherokee syllabary, originally created by Sequoyah.

2019 Sibert Honor Book
2019 Orbis Pictus Honor Book
NPR's Guide To 2018’s Great Reads
2018 Book Launch Award (SCBWI)
Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2018
School Library Journal Best Books of 2018
2018 JLG selection
2019 Reading the West Picture Book Award

From the Author's Note
Cherokee culture places a strong emphasis on expressing gratitude to unelanvhi (oo-NEH-la-nuh-hee), literally “the one who provides all,” or God. We also show gratitude for one another, animals, birds, plants, fish, the cosmos, water, and land. Cherokee people believe that recognizing and honoring the ways that the sacred and the duties of daily life are interwoven requires effort, ritual, and awareness, but above all, gratitude. I am grateful for the opportunity to provide a contemporary view of Cherokee culture in this book...

Many of us still observe the ancestral and ceremonial ways of life. We also live and work in the modern non-Cherokee world. Cherokee people are citizens of our tribal nation and of the United States. There are many distinct laws and responsibilities applied to us because of that dual status. We work to maintain a balance between these two worlds.

Otsaliheliga for all who came before us, those here now, and those yet to come.

Borrow the story from the Library: We Are Grateful : Otsaliheliga

Find it at...

Willow Creek Park, 1117 Teg Dr, Iowa City, IA 52246

Other resources

We Are Grateful : Otsaliheliga book cover