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Anne Broyles

Anne Broyles is the author of many books, including Shy Mama's Halloween, a Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People. She lives in North Andover, Massachusetts.

Anne Broyles has Cherokee heritage, tracing her ancestors back to Elizabeth Coody, a full-blood Cherokee of the Long Hair Clan born around 1700. Anne says the following of her Cherokee heritage:

"When I was in first grade, my teacher told us about the Pilgrims coming to America. I raised my hand and quoted Cherokee humorist Will Rogers, who said: “My ancestors didn’t come over on the Mayflower, but they were there to meet the boat.” The teacher marched to my desk, grabbed my arm and told me, “That is nothing to be proud of. Don’t mention it again!”

I was confused. My mother had taught me respect and appreciation for my Cherokee heritage. I had a “Certificate of Indian Blood” card and could trace my Cherokee ancestors back to Elizabeth Coody, a full blood Cherokee of the Long Hair Clan born around 1700. Although I wasn’t raised within the Cherokee community, I was fascinated with that side of my history. Today I am a registered member of the Western Cherokee Band, read The Cherokee Phoenix newspaper, and vote in tribal elections."

Priscilla and the Hollyhocks
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Native American; Cherokee;
Grade Levels: 1; 2; 3; 4;

Priscilla is only four years old when her mother is sold to another master. All Priscilla has to remember her mother by are the hollyhocks she planted by the cow pond. At age ten, Priscilla is sold to a Cherokee family and continues her life as a slave. She keeps hope for a better life alive by planting hollyhocks wherever she goes. At last, her forced march along the Trail of Tears brings a chance encounter that leads to her freedom.

Includes an author's note with more details about this fascinating true story as well as instructions for making hollyhock dolls.

"While researching the Cherokee Trail of Tears for a novel she was writing, Anne Broyles discovered Priscilla’s story. Priscilla and the Hollyhocks offers a somewhat different story of slavery in America, a story unknown to many — or at least to me, anyway — African slaves who were not owned by whites, but by Native Americans." - Don Tate for The Brown Bookshelf

"When Priscilla's mother is sold to a new owner and the two are separated, the young slave girl finds solace in her mother's hollyhock patch. As she grows older, the kind words of a white businessman, Basil Silkwood, instill in Priscilla a desire to attend school, but she is soon sold to a Cherokee family, and her life of servitude continues. As her Native American owners embark on the grueling journey west, known as the 1838 "Trail of Tears," she again meets the compassionate Silkwood, who purchases her freedom.... Based on real events, Broyles' poetic and colloquial narrative, voiced by a grown Priscilla, ends with the girl sowing the seeds of her mother's hollyhocks near her new home with the Silkwoods and an author's note detailing the historical basis of the story." - Kristen McKulski, Booklist 

"This is a well written story based on facts. Anne Broyles takes us on a journey into Priscilla’s childhood as she is sold from one family to another until she found Massa Silkwood who set her free and adopted her into his family of fifteen. Priscilla was not only saved by Mr. Silkwood but also by hollyhocks. Old Sylvia told her how her mother will make hollyhock dolls and set it to sail on the cow pond. When she watches her flower dolls float on the cow pond she felt her mother’s smile. Is show how the flowers represented a strong memory of her mother who was sold when she was a very young child. Priscilla always had a hand full of seeds with her and planed them where ever she went. She was sold to a Cherokee family when her master died. Read about the brief history of the Cherokee as they were told to leave their homes and lands. Priscilla found freedom and a happy life thereafter. Great illustrations by Anna Alter which capture the story. I highly recommend this book for every schools and libraries." - Mymcbooks

Educator Information
Recommended for ages 6 to 9.

Additional Information
32 pages | 8.56" x 11.06"

Authentic Indigenous Text