cover image of Red Bird Sings

Red Bird Sings

The Story of Zitkala-Ša, Native American Author, Musician, and Activist · Exceptional Social Studies Titles for Intermediate Grades

by Gina Capaldi Author · Q. L. Pearce Author

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   Not today

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.

At school she missed her mother and her traditional life, but Zitkala-Ša found joy in music classes. "My wounded spirit soared like a bird as I practiced the piano and violin," she wrote. Her talent grew, and when she graduated, she became a music teacher, composer, and performer.

Zitkala-Ša found she could also "sing" to help her people by writing stories and giving speeches. As an adult, she worked as an activist for Native American rights, seeking to build a bridge between cultures.

The coauthors have told about 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."

Publication Details

Publisher:
Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint:
Carolrhoda Books ®
Publication Date:
2011
Series:
Exceptional Social Studies Titles for Intermediate Grades

Format

  • OverDrive Read
  • Adobe PDF eBook 20.6 MB

Gina Capaldi (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....

More about Gina Capaldi

Gina Capaldi (Illustrator)

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....

More about Gina Capaldi

Q. L. Pearce (Author)

Q. L. Pearce is the author of more than 100 nonfiction books for children on the subjects of science, literature, history, and values. Her published fiction includes more than a dozen collections of scary stories and mysteries. Q is the Assistant ...

More about Q. L. Pearce
Red Bird Sings
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