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Sequoyah Book Awards
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Sequoyah Book Awards LogoWith this award, Oklahoma honors the Native American leader Sequoyah, for his unique achievement in creating the Cherokee syllabary. Sequoyah chose eighty-five symbols to represent all spoken sounds of the Cherokee language. In so doing, he created a way to preserve his people's language and culture.

Sequoyah Masterlists for 2021

Each masterlist is created to appeal to children in a variety of situations, interests and reading levels.  The books on the masterlists are not intended to be an automatic recommendation of the books.  Since selection policies vary, one should apply the specific guidelines to each title and purchase those titles that meet individual selection policies.  The masterlists are not to be taken as recommendations that children be encouraged or required to read every title on a particular list. Teachers and other group leaders should carefully read and consider a title before reading a masterlist title to a class or group, or  assigning a title as required reading.  It is not the intention of the committees that every student must read every book on each masterlist.

2021 Promotional Materials are here!

Reading Certificate

Suitable for all years and awards.

Get involved!

Volunteer for a OLA Sequoyah Reading Team. The Sequoyah Administration Team appoints volunteers to reading teams in the fall of each year. Fill out the OLA Sequoyah Volunteer Form. Interested volunteers must fill out the form every year.  Applications for consideration for next year’s teams are due by Oct 25.

Sequoyah Book Award Voting

Voting for the 2020 Sequoyah Book Awards has been extended until April 10.

Sequoyah Book Award Reservations

The Oklahoma Library Association Sequoyah Book Award Author Celebrations honoring Kristin O'Donnell Tubb for her book A Dog Like Daisy (the 2019 Children's Award winner) and Alan Gratz for his book Refugee (the 2019 Intermediate Award winner), will be held during the 2020 OLA Annual Conference at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Tulsa. Both authors will receive their awards on Wednesday, April 22 from 10-12 at the Central Library, Downtown Tulsa. To make reservations, please complete the reservation form.

2019 Sequoyah Book Award Winners

The Sequoyah Committees are pleased to announce the winners of the Sequoyah Book Awards for 2019:

  • Children’s: A Dog Like Daisy by Kristin O'Donnell Tubb
  • Intermediate: Refugee by Alan Gratz
  • High School: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Donna Norvell Award winner is Can I Be Your Dog? by Troy Cummings.

Complete information about both the Sequoyah and Donna Norvell Book Awards is available in the Policies and Procedures Manual.

About the Award

The first Sequoyah Children's Book Award was given in April, 1959, making the award the third oldest children's choice award in the nation.

In 1988, the first Sequoyah Young Adult Book Award was given. Twenty years later the YA book award was changed to “Intermediate Award” and a High School award was created and was first awarded in 2010.

The awards are given annually, usually as an event at the Oklahoma Library Association's Annual Conference.

The Oklahoma Library Association honors Sequoyah for his unique achievement in creating the Cherokee syllabary, the 86 symbols representing the different sounds in the Cherokee language.

His statue is one of the two representing Oklahoma in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

The son of a Cherokee mother and a white trader father, Sequoyah, Cherokee for "Lame One," was also known by his English name, George Guess.

A cabin built by Sequoyah as part of a United States government grant still stands near Sallisaw. This grant was the first given for literary achievement in the United States. 

Photo of the first Sequoyah Award presentation

Above: Photograph of the first Sequoyah Book Award presentation on April 11, 1959.  Originally published in the Oklahoma Librarian, July 1959, vol. 9, no. 3, p. 57.

All graphics are copyright 2002-2019 by the Oklahoma Library Association. Permission is granted for Schools and Libraries to use them when promoting the Sequoyah Book Awards. For all other uses, written permission from the Oklahoma Library Association is required.

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