FORT WORTH, Texas -- Cherokee Nation citizen Andrea L. Rogers has announced the release of her new children's book set during the Trail of Tears.

"Mary and the Trail of Tears: A Cherokee Removal Survival Story" is about 12-year-old Mary and her Cherokee family who are forced out of their home in Georgia by U.S. soldiers in May 1838. From the beginning of the forced move, Mary and her family are separated from her father. Facing horrors such as internment, violence, disease and harsh weather, Mary perseveres and helps keep her family and friends together until they can reach the new Cherokee Nation in Indian Territory.

Featuring nonfiction support material, a glossary, and reader response questions, the story explores the tragedy of forced removals following the Indian Removal Act of 1830.

"'Mary and the Trail of Tears: A Cherokee Removal Survival Story' tells the story of this horrific chapter in our history through the eyes of the children who were affected. The reader gets a sense of the fear and horror of the Cherokee removal and the resilience of the Cherokee people in a compelling story centered on strong, young female characters," said Art Coulson, Cherokee author of "The Reluctant Storyteller."

?The events leading to the Trail of Tears were complicated, beginning prior to the passage of the Indian Removal Act. Rogers' research for her book included trips with her daughters to the Cherokee National Museum in Park Hill, Oklahoma, New Echota, Georgia, and Cherokee, North Carolina. These visits made the internment and walk even more real and devastating. "Mary and the Trail of Tears" is a work of historical fiction based on a journal kept by a missionary who accompanied the Cherokee and interviews with survivors documented in the Indian-Pioneer papers' oral history collection at the University of Oklahoma.

?This middle grade book for ages 8-12 will appeal to anyone who wants to learn more about the history of the Cherokee Nation during removal. Illustrated by New Zealand artist Matt Forsyth, the pictures accurately reflect Cherokee culture, people, and art. Appended with a glossary, author's note, and discussion questions, this story teaches many facts of the Trail of Tears and celebrates the strength of the Cherokee people.

?Rogers writes in a variety of genres featuring Cherokee people. She grew up in Tulsa within the former Indian Territory. She graduated from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with an MFA in Creative Writing. She currently lives and works in Fort Worth, Texas.

Her new book is part of "The Girls Survive" historical fiction series for ages 8-12 published by Stone Arch Books, a Capstone imprint.

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