A Boy Named Beckoning: The True Story of Dr. Carlos Montezuma, Native American Hero

A Boy Named Beckoning: The True Story of Dr. Carlos Montezuma, Native American Hero

by Gina Capaldi
     
 

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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…  See more details below

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
AGERANGE: Ages 8 to 12.

Using a combination of beautifully-drawn illustrations and actual photographs taken by Montezuma's adopted father, Carlo Gentile, author and illustrator Gina Capaldi combines the visuals with a detailed text that tells the story of Wassaja, later known as Carlos Montezuma. This sensitive rendering of the story of an Arizona Apache child who becomes a leading advocate for all Native Americans across the United States is inspired by an actual letter written by Montezuma to Professor H. W. Holmes of the Smithsonian Institution in 1905. Further research from magazine and newspaper articles and interviews provide the rest of the backdrop for this biography. The story of Wassaja is truly inspiring as the author takes us through the child's kidnapping by the Pima Indians when he was five years old to his fostering by the photographer Gentile and, later, his life in Chicago. Montezuma eventually becomes a medical doctor and spends the majority of his adulthood working for the rights of Native American. This is a beautifully-done book that is a must-read for those interested in the history of civil rights and Native Americans in this country. Reviewer: Jean Boreen, Ph.D.

School Library Journal

Gr 2-5- Capaldi uses Montezum's own words to tell this gripping story of a Yavapai boy who was captured by the Pima in 1871 and grew up to become a prominent doctor and Native American spokesperson. Solidly researched, the well-written text follows Wassaja (later renamed Carlos Montezuma) as he was sold into slavery and purchased by a kind Italian photographer. He demonstrated such a gift for learning that he graduated from the University of Illinois at 17. After becoming a doctor, Montezuma searched for his parents and siblings and learned the sad truth about their lives and deaths. A full-page author's note addresses "Dr. Montezuma-The Activist," including his "Let My People Go" speech to the U.S. Senate in 1916. The illustrations are stunning, with multiple perspectives and rich gold and brown tones. Superimposed over basket imagery, side panels feature photographs and supplemental information. The detailed bibliography lists books, Web sites, letters, and speeches. This title should be promoted for Native American, multicultural, and biography units.-Barbara Katz, Parish Episcopal School, Dallas, TX

Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822576440
Publisher:
Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/28/2008
Series:
Exceptional Social Studies Titles for Intermediate Grades
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
1,136,232
Product dimensions:
9.80(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
NC880L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 6 Years

Meet the Author

Gina Capaldi studied fine arts and illustration at Pepperdine University, Pitzer College, and the Art Center College of Design and has written or illustrated nearly thirty childrens books. She lives with her family—and their menagerie of animals—in the foothills of the San Gabrielino mountains in San Dimas, California.

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