Ahyoka--daughter of Sequoyah, inventor of the Cherokee alphabet--is credited with ""enter[ing] into the genius of his labors."" Adapting and filling out the historical record, the Roops depict their determination to find a way for Cherokees to read and write like whites, despite the antagonism of their family and tribe. In initial attempts, the two try drawing a picture to represent each word; then Ahyoka discovers the concept of symbols for sounds, and the result is a workable syllable alphabet. Oddly enough, the epilogue here is more interesting than the slender story, which lacks any real sense of time and place; it provides information on the period and mentions the novelty of an alphabet being created rather than evolving. It also implies historical fudging: History has Ahyoka helping to construct the syllabary, not producing the pivotal brainstorm. Not the best place to look for information on the Cherokees. Appealing b&w watercolors; bibliography.