Pathki Nana never felt she was as good as the other young girls in the Kootenai village.
Making her life even harder, her sister, Red Willow, seemed to do everything right. Often Pathki would go off to be by herself. Many people in her village called this eight-year-old "The Sad One."
When, according to tribal custom, Pathki's mother instructed her to go into the mountains to seek a personal guardian spirit, no one knew the child's stay there would result in a life-and-death struggle.
Pathki Nana's story is full of high adventure, Indian lore, survival skills and a special love a grandmother has for her granddaughter.
Pathki Nana is the fifth book in the Amazing Indian Children Series.
Ken Thomasma was born in Michigan in 1930, and graduated from South High School in 1948.
From 1949 through 1950, Thomasma attended Grand Rapids Junior College before enlisting in the United States Navy. During the Korean War, Thomasma served for a year. Upon his return to Michigan, he enrolled in Calvin College in Grand Rapids; he earned his A.B. in 1953. During the summer of 1952, Thomasma had his first experience as a YMCA camp counselor: a job that he would enjoy deeply, and would eventually lead Thomasma to the West. The following summer, after graduation, Thomasma was hired as the Program Director of Camp Blodgett for inner city children.
After his summer on the shores of Lake Michigan at Camp Blodgett, Thomasma began teaching sixth grade at Mulick Park Elementary School. Five years later, in 1958, Thomasma became principal of that elementary school.
During his time in Grand Rapids, Thomasma met his future wife, Barbara. On June 16, 1955, they were married. Their son, Dan, was born in December of the following year. Thomasma returned to his position Camp Blodgett during the summers of 1956 and 1957. In 1958, after completing his Masters' Degree at the University of Michigan, Thomasma left Mulick Park Elementary and took the position of principal of Ridgeview Junior High. He stayed at Ridgeview until 1964, when he accepted a teaching position at Ken-O-Sha Elementary School.
Back in Michigan, Thomasma's career in education continued to flourish. In 1969, Thomasma left Ken-O-Sha Elementary to teach as a professor for two years at Grand Valley State College.
In the summer of 1973, the Thomasma family purchased one acre of land near the southern border of Grand Teton National Park in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Thomasma continued his career in education, but this time in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. From 1977 until 1979, Thomasma taught at the Jackson Hole Middle School. In 1979, both Ken and his wife, Barbara, began teaching at Kelly Elementary School north of Jackson Hole. During his time at Kelly, Thomasma wrote his first book, Naya Nuki: Girl Who Ran. It was completed and published in 1983. In 1986, Naya Nuki was awarded the Wyoming Library Indian Paintbrush Book Award.
Since retiring from teaching, Thomasma has written nine more books: eight more titles in the Amazing Indian Children Series as well as the extremely-popular non-fiction title, The Truth About Sacajawea.