A Glance Into the Cherokee Alphabet’s Creation


Talking Leaves, a novel by Joseph Bruchac is not all that it seems, it’s a novel that goes far deeper in meaning than expected. Talking Leaves is about a 12 year-old Cherokee boy named Uwohali whose father is Sequoyah. He is a skilled blacksmith who is alienated by the Cherokee society and assumed to be a deranged man due to the outlandish and unconventional symbols he illustrates. Uwohali eventually realizes that the odd symbols represent sounds in the Cherokee alphabet. He tries to show the members of the Cherokee community the ingenuity and brilliance behind these symbols, but not everyone is convinced. Uwohali ventures out on a journey to spread the usage and genius of the symbols to others.

Talking Leaves develops new perspectives and knowledge of Cherokee origins and culture. This novel defies socially accurate limits for the Cherokee community because of Uwholi and his father’s new ideas of exploring the Cherokee culture more in depth. It informs and elucidates the importance of the Cherokee alphabet. Although the meaning and morals in Talking Leaves are the epitome of an image portraying open-mindedness innovation impacting the community by refining the dynamics of perception, through the robust morals and ideas in this novel, there are just as many flaws matching the eloquent cascade of finesse. The introduction hastily brings in an overwhelming influx of information crucial to the storyline, but then leaves out some crucial information. In truth, it was a tad disappointing because of the lure/teaser in the inner booksleeve, expected a story that really packed a punch, but Talking Leaves lacked that lasting impact on the reader. It did provide congenial, important information, but it gave more of a soft thud than a punch. Through this Talking Leaves’s defective storyline, the idea and concept of the story shine through giving this novel 3.5 leaves out of 5 leaves.