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Nancy Kelly Allen

Nancy is surrounded by children’s books, and that’s how she likes it. Her former profession as a primary school librarian together with her evening ritual of writing or ‘pondering’ her next children’s story has provided the perfect creative atmosphere. She fondly recalls childhood evening story times and credits her father’s never-ending supply of humorous stories for her love of reading and writing.

She has a master’s degree in Elementary Education from Morehead State University and a master’s in Library and Information Science from the University of Kentucky. Nancy lives in Kentucky, in the very log cabin in which she grew up in Knott County. She shares this home with her husband Larry and two canine writer assistants, Jazi and Roxi.

In writing First Fire, Nancy learned more about her Cherokee ancestry and paid tribute to her Cherokee great-grandmother.

First Fire: A Cherokee Folktale
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Native American; Cherokee;
Grade Levels: Kindergarten; 1; 2; 3;

Why are ravens black? Why do screech owl eyes look red in light? How did we get fire? You’ll find the answers to those questions in this retelling of a Cherokee pourquoi folktale. The earth was cold and dark but the animals could see fire coming from the tree on the island. They tried to fly or swim to the island to bring back the fire heat and light. What happened to some of the animals? Which animal brought it back and how?

First Fire is vetted by experts and designed to encourage parental engagement. Its extensive back matter helps teachers with time-saving lesson ideas, provides extensions for science, math, and social studies units, and uses inquiry-based learning to help build critical thinking skills in young readers.

Educator Information
Ages: 5-8
Grades K-3
Lexile: 730
F&P: M

Additional Information
32 pages | 10" x 8.5"

Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork