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A Boy Named Beckoning

This story reveals the remarkable life of a Native American boy named Wassaja, or "Beckoning," who was kidnapped from his Yavapai tribe and sold as a slave. Adopted by an Italian photographer in 1871 and renamed Carlos Montezuma, the young boy traveled throughout the Old West, bearing witness to the prejudice against and poor treatment of Native Americans. Carlos eventually became a doctor and leader for his people, calling out for their rights. Gina Capaldi's exquisite paintings bring to life excerpts from Dr. Carlos Montezuma's own letters describing his childhood experiences. The culminating portrait provides an inventive look back into history through the eyes of a Native American hero.

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  • Honor Book- Carter G. Woodson Honor Book Award, National Council for the Social Studies 

  • Gold Medal (Multicultural Picturebook) Independent Publisher Book Award 

  • Gold Medal- Eureka! California Reading Association

  • Gold Medal-Skipping Stones Honor Award

  • Honorable Mention-Book of the Year, ForeWord Magazine

  • Honor Award- PEN Center West Children’s Literature,                                 

  • Nominated as 'finalist' in the Western Writers of AmericaSpur Awards competition for the Juvenile Nonfiction.

  • Orbis Pictus Award- National Council of Teachers of English and the Children's Book Council

  • PEN Center West Children’s Literature Honor Book

  • Starred Reviews from School Library Journal, Booklist, Junior Library Guild, and Rutgers University

  • 'Book of the Month’ from Rutgers University                                      

  • Named 'Best New Book for Classroom' from Book Links

  • Nominated for 'Book of the Year', Arizona Library Association

  • Bank Street College of Education, insertion into 100th Anniversary Edition of The Best Children’s Books of the Year

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Red Bird Sings

"I remember the day I lost my spirit." So begins the story of Gertrude Simmons, also known as Zitkala-Ša, which means Red Bird. Born in 1876 on the Yankton Sioux reservation in South Dakota, Zitkala-Ša willingly left her home at age eight to go to a boarding school in Indiana. But she soon found herself caught between two worlds―white and Native American.

The coauthors tell Zitkala-Ša’s life by weaving together pieces from her own stories. The artist's acrylic illustrations and collages of photos and primary source documents round out the vivid portrait of Zitkala-Ša, a frightened child whose spirit "would rise again, stronger and wiser for the wounds it had suffered."


  • National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), Non-fiction Book List for Young Readers (Ages 9-13)

  • Gold Medal- Carter G. Woodson Award, National Council for the Social Studies

  • Honor Book- Society of School Librarians International          

  • Silver- Honor Book- Eureka! Honor Book, 2012- California Reading Association

  • Gold Medal (Multicultural Picturebook)- Moon Beam Award-Independent Publisher                

  • Amelia Bloomer Book List-American Library Association

  • California Reading Association Booklist

  • SCBWI RAM Grant

  • Starred Reviews from School Library Journal, Book List, Junior Library Guild

  • California Readers-California Collections: Elementary and Middle Grades lists   

Additional Books

Julia: Secret Angel to the Poor. MAGNIFICAT /Ignatius Press. 

On Peters Rooftop. Ascension Press.

The Real Presence. Ascension Press. 

The Littlest Shepherd. Our Sunday Visitor.

By a Charcoal Fire. St. Paul Center.

Passover Cowboy. Behrman Press. NJ.

The Race to the White House. Garlic Press, ID.

Open Journey-Real Offerings. Kid’s Activity Book. Pomona, CA.

The Story of Joseph. Concordia Press.  

Kid’s Constitution. Innovative Kids, Inc.

Letters of Freedom. Revolutionary War. Innovative Kids, Inc.

Engage the Brain: Games, Social Studies Grades 6-8. Corwin Press. CA.

Champion of IDEAS. Ballard & Tighe, Publishers. Brea, CA.

Aaron Burr and the Stable Boy. The Savvy Reader Series/SFA.

The Legend of Penelope Spencer:  The Voyage of the Antelope.  The Savvy Reader Series/SFA.

Three Little Kids.  Harcourt Educational/Silver Burdet.

Hurricane on the Way. Harcourt Educational/Silver Editions.

John White’s Lost Colony. Harcourt Educational/Silver Editions.

What Anna Loves. Heyday Press, Berkely, Ca.

Molly Pitcher: Heroine of the Revolutionary War. National Geographic Books for Young Readers.

For the Love of the Game.  Harcourt Educational.

States Crafts Co-authored with Douglas Rife. Teacher Learning Materials.

Arie’s Journey.  Quarsan Press. Chicago, IL.

Bethlehem Nights  Concordia Press, St. Louis, MO.

Occupations, ABC’s . Ballard & Tighe Publishers, Brea, CA.

Squirrel’s Party. Perfection Learning, Logan, Iowa. 

One Day in June. Perfection Learning, Logan, Iowa. 

Snail Mail. Perfection Learning, Logan Iowa.

The Missions.  Rourke Publishing.

Vicky and Rick.  I Knew That, Inc., Seattle, WA.

Ducky. I Knew That, Inc., Seattle, WA.

Noses. I Knew That, Inc., Seattle, WA.

Explore the Ancient Worlds.  Ballard & Tighe Publishers, Brea, CA.

Explore the Ancient Worlds (Teachers Aid). Ballard & Tighe, Brea Ca.

Idea Proficiency Test Pictures.  Ballard & Tighe Publishers, Brea, California.          

Explore America.  Ballard & Tighe Publishers, Brea, CA. 

Explore World History.  Ballard & Tighe, Brea, CA. 

McGraw Hill Publ.(formerly Frank Schaffer Publishing, Good Apple Imprint),

              *  Pilgrims: Garments, History, Legends and Lore.  

              *  Civil War: Garments, History, Legends and Lore.

              *  Africa: Customs, Cultures, Legends and Lore.            

              *  Native American Indians: Customs, Costumes, Legends and Lore. 

                  (Adopted by the Arlington, VA school district as a part of their curriculum)

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