Book cover of At The Mountain's Base

At The Mountain’s Base



Publisher & Publication Year

Kokila, 2019

Publisher's Book Page


Traci Sorell (Cherokee Nation)

Author's Website 


Weshoyot Alvitre (Tongva/Scots-Gaelic)



Inspired by the true story of Ola Mildred “Millie” Rexroat, a WWII Native woman pilot, this is the tale of a family, separated by duty and distance, waiting at their home at the base of a mountain for their loved one to return from war. We see both the family at home, comforting each other, and the pilot in her plane, hoping for peace and to be reunited with her family. The threads of the grandmother’s weaving link the family together in Alvitre’s illustrations.

In circular prose, the story shows the bonds between family members and the support they offer one another, and also celebrates the traditions (such as weaving and cooking) that sustain the family as they wait.

Notable Achievements

American Indian Youth Literature Award: 2020 Picture Book Honor; American Library Association Notable Children's Book 2020; Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 2020; Rise: A Feminist Book Project: Top Ten List 2020; Notable Books for a Global Society Award List 2020; Notable Children's Recordings List 2022 State Book Lists; 2020 Wisconsin State Reading Association Recommendation List; 2021-2022 The Great Texas Mosquito List


Publishers Weekly: “Sorell honors an Oglala Lakota pilot and holds up her courage in this expansive, intimate picture book.”

Kirkus Reviews: “The meditative text is lovely, and the artwork brings the small Cherokee abode to life with warmth and love. Children will find comfort in the story’s repetition as well as its message of prayer and peace.”

School Library Journal: “Accessible to a wide range of young audiences and military families, this picture book is also a unique and specific recognition of the strength and courage of Indigenous women. A first-purchase for any library.”

The Horn Book: “The book captures the emotions of families separated by war while introducing the reader to a part of history that is often erased.”

Educator Guide

This guide was created by the educators at Disrupt Texts and includes: key vocabulary and concepts, discussion questions, lesson ideas, journal prompts, and extension activities.

Link to Guide

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