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

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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  • Available:
    always available
  • Library copies:
    always available
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    6.0
  • Lexile:
    880
  • Interest Level:
    MG
  • Text Difficulty:
    4 - 5

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About the Author-
  • As a freelance artist, Gina Capaldi has both written and illustrated books that range from nonfiction, educational, and picture books. Her favorite published works are her historical nonfiction, such as A Boy Named Beckoning: The True Story of Dr. Carlos Montezuma, Native American Hero. One of Gina's earlier books on American Indians has been recommended for elementary school social studies curriculum in the Virginia School systems. Gina Capaldi attended Malibu's Pepperdine University; Art Center & College of Design in Pasadena, California; and Pitzer College in Claremont, California.

Reviews-
  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from March 1, 2008
    Gr 2-5-Capaldi uses Montezuma'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. MontezumaThe 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 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from March 15, 2008
    In her authors note, Capaldi calls the story of Carlos Montezuma, a testament to the character, heart, and human spirit. And so it is. As a child in 1866, Carlos (then called Wassaja), a Yavapai Indian living in the Arizona territory, was kidnapped by an enemy tribe. Luckily he was purchased by Italian photographer Carlo Gentile, who renamed him and raised him as his son. Together, they travelled the West taking pictures. After settling in Chicago, Carlos proved himself so bright that he went to college at the age of 14, then attended medical school, eventually returning to Arizona to help his people and find his family. Drawing on a letter to the Smithsonian Institution and incorporating information from interviews, articles, and speeches, Capaldi uses Carlos own words to draw the reader close. Attractive watercolor paintings in desert colors are the backdrop for the text, but the design cleverly uses photographs placed in the margins, which make a strong visual counterpoint to the art. An extensive afterword, a source note, and a bibliography add much for researchers. Fresh and fascinating.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2008, American Library Association.)

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    Lerner Publishing Group
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  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

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