Red Bird Sings: The Story of Zitkala-Sa, Native American Author, Musician, and Activist

Red Bird Sings The Story of Zitkala Sa Native American Author Musician and Activist I remember the day I lost my spirit So begins the story of Gertrude Simmons also known as Zitkala Sa which means Red Bird Born in on the Yankton Sioux reservation in South Dakota Zitkala Sa wi

  • Title: Red Bird Sings: The Story of Zitkala-Sa, Native American Author, Musician, and Activist
  • Author: Gina Capaldi
  • ISBN: 9780761352570
  • Page: 465
  • Format: Hardcover
  • I remember the day I lost my spirit So begins the story of Gertrude Simmons, also known as Zitkala Sa, which means Red Bird Born in 1876 on the Yankton Sioux reservation in South Dakota, Zitkala Sa 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 m I remember the day I lost my spirit So begins the story of Gertrude Simmons, also known as Zitkala Sa, which means Red Bird Born in 1876 on the Yankton Sioux reservation in South Dakota, Zitkala Sa 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 Sa 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 Sa 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 tell Zitkala Sa 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 Sa, a frightened child whose spirit would rise again, stronger and wiser for the wounds it had suffered.
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      Published :2019-06-21T10:57:54+00:00

    130 Comment

    • Katya says:

      A very sweet, very humane story of a girl being taken away from her land and learning to cope. The story of Zitkala-a is one of loss, but also of tremendous hope, of progress and tradition. It's inspirational, which is why it's so good to make it into a picture book and make it more accessible to everyone. The artwork is good, focusing more on colour to convey emotions rather than on anatomic accuracy and perspective. All in all, it adds up to good effect.Note: A copy of this book was provided b [...]

    • Dianna says:

      I am so happy to have learned about Zitkala-a, the Native American violinist and orator. Although this is a picture book, I wouldn't recommend reading it aloud—too much text. I enjoyed reading this one myself. Minus half a point for the violin picture on the cover: violin strings run over the bridge, not under it. But I do like how she's holding the violin—looks pretty good.

    • Alice says:

      A very interesting story about Zitkala-sameone I had no idea who they were. Such an interesting story! There are lots of resources in the back for more details. Now to find the song she wrote

    • Melissa Mcavoy says:

      Despite being only 32 pages this picture book biography manages to pack in a lot of valuable information and raise many important issues. An author's note at the beginning informs us that the text: in the voice of Zitkala-Sa is based on an abridged version of three semi-autobiographical stories she wrote. The length of the text an the complexity of those issues, cultural genocide, artistic calling versus cultural identity, political activism, make this book best suited for fourth and fifth grade [...]

    • Brenda says:

      I found out about Gertrude Simmons (aka Zitkala-Sa) through a list of recommended reading for Women's History Month. I was unfamiliar with her story, born into the Sioux tribe in South Dakota, relocated to an Indiana school. She later became an author, musician and activist, successfully bringing awareness and positive change for the lives of Native Americans throughout our country. A great woman! This picture book is a great introduction to her life and work, and makes me want to read more in d [...]

    • Liliya Rubanenko says:

      Beautifully written biography of Zitkala-Sa, native american author, musician, and artist, with wonderful illustrations. This book perfectly captures how the white people broke her spirit and placed her in a world so different from the one she was used to. Years later, stuck between two worlds, Red Bird learns to use her talents to speak out for her people. I would use this in the classroom to teach about native Americans and their culture and how american culture has influenced and affected the [...]

    • Robin Raines-Bond says:

      I had never heard of Zitkala-Sa or Gertrude Simmons Bonnin. What a fascinating story of a Native American Woman who embraced the best of two worlds and fought against the injustices of those same two worlds. Wonderful illustrations and references accompany this story. I am excited to learn more about her and read her writings and hear her music. Very well done Gina Capaldi!

    • Karen Hughes says:

      “The Red Bird Sings – The Story of Zitkala-Sa, Native American Author, Musician and Activist”, adapted by Gina Capaldi, is the story of Gertrude Simmons. Gertrude Simmons, also known as Zitkala-Sa which means Red Bird, was born in 1876 on the Yankton Sioux Indian reservation in South Dakota.When she was eight years old, she left the Indian reservation to go to a boarding school in Indiana. Indian children were taken from their families and sent far away to boarding schools to learn the whi [...]

    • Katie Fitzgerald says:

      SubjectZitkala-Sa (1876-1938) was a Sioux writer, activist, and violinist.ScopeThe text of this book features slightly edited versions of monthly first-person articles Zitkala-Sa wrote for the Atlantic Monthly during the early 1900s. About the IllustrationsSome of the pictures are better than others. Faces convey much of the story, and the illustrations are kid-friendly, as they fill the page with color. The book is not as much about music as the cover image suggests, and worse, on pages where Z [...]

    • Erin says:

      Audience: ages 6-10, those closely related with Native American culture, all bicultural students and minority groups, students that like history, both boys and girls (but especially girls because of her work with women's rights)Appeal: strong narrative, inspirational, written in a diary-like style (with larger vocabulary words), and there's a red bird on every page so it was fun to look for thoseApplication: I would use this as an introduction to the "dark side" of American history, I would use [...]

    • Christine Turner says:

      Subjects"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 [...]

    • Crystal says:

      I really appreciated finding this biography of a Yankton Sioux woman. It is great to see her strength, persistence, and her contributions to the world. Through this book, readers learn a bit about what it was like for Zitkala-Ša to be separated from her family and culture while she was educated at a residential school. We see the conflict as she learns the white ways and begins to lose her feeling of belonging with her family and culture. Books, music and writing were places that she found comf [...]

    • Kelsey says:

      Age: 3rd-5th gradeZitkala-Sa, or Gertrude Simmons, was born in 1876 on the Yankton Sioux reservation in South Dakota. Her youthful curiosity gets the better of her at eight years and she begs her mother to go with visiting Quaker missionaries to distant and mysterious lands out east. In the Anglo world, Zitkala-Sa becomes passionately involved with two things: music (violin, piano, voice) and oration. Throughout her story, Zitkala-Sa pursues her two passions with a fierceness challenged and admi [...]

    • Kym Winchester says:

      Audience: I feel this book is best for older grade school children, in grades 3rd-5th, 6th graders may still enjoy it, too. This is due to amount of text in the book and also subjects such as children being taken away from home at an early age and sent to school far from home. The book also deals with children being called names(savages) that would be better understood by older children. Appeal: Readers looking to learn about a strong, female, Native-American student would really enjoy this book [...]

    • Michael Fitzgerald says:

      If you are going to do a picture book about a violinist, learning how to draw a violinist's hand positions would seem to me to be a very high priority. Apparently not for Gina Capaldi, who doesn't even bother to separate any left hand fingers. Right hand is slightly better, but still not good. The musicians depicted on page 27 are no better - clarinetist has hands reversed and seems to be playing some kind of mutant vuvuzela or something. The violins appear to be lacking bridges. I give up. Othe [...]

    • Audra Rowell says:

      Red Bird Sings is an absolute gem. Capaldi and Pearce have done an excellent job of introducing the reader to not just an outstanding and accomplished human being, but this individual is also a Native American. And for so long, Native Americans haven't been given the recognition and respect they deserve. Born Gertrude Simmons Bonnin, Red Bird grew up to become an accomplished artist and political activist; quite the feat considering most Native Americans were being denied the most basic of educa [...]

    • Brianna says:

      Audience: 2-3rd graders, boys and girls with an interest in Native American history.Appeal: An account of real Native American Zitkala Sa, a woman that believed and stood up for her culture. It has beautiful illustrations from Zitkala Sa’s actual writings. Illustrations layered with maps, magazines, and pictures. Application: This would be a great opportunity to use the Know, Want, Learn strategy to see what your students’ conceptions are about Native Americans. You could use this time to di [...]

    • Allison James says:

      "Red Bird Sings", written by Gina Capaldi and published in 2011 tells the tale of a Sioux girl taken from her family and forced into a home for Native American children. The girl, Zitkala-Sa grows to be a talented musician and voice for her community. Text to Text: This book reminds me of the Kaya American Girl series. The texts pair well together for reasons beyond that they both tell the tales of Native American tribes, rather, both characters are determined women who are trying to find their [...]

    • Amy says:

      Audience: 1st-3rd graders (younger ages may be able to enjoy the story with additional help from older readers, but subject matter and writing style may take a lot of explaining); readers with an interest in Native American history and cultureAppeal: It tells the story of a wonderful defender of women's and Native American's rights with colorful and expressive illustrations that almost tell the story by themselves. Because the story is drawn from and inspired by Zitkala-Sa's actual writings, it [...]

    • Krehauna Dotzler says:

      Multicultural Picture Book #1: Red Birds Sings: The story of Zitkala-Sa, Native American Author, Musician, and ActivistAuthors: Gina Capaldi and Q.L. PearceIllustration by: Gina CapaldiGenre: Historical Fiction and Autobiography Target Audience: I would say this is for 3rd-5th graders Text-to-Text: This book reminds me of the books we read about Indians and what they wear and how they act. How they have tribes and the different culture they have then others. Text-to-Self:Red Birds Sings reminds [...]

    • Brittany Church says:

      This book tells the story of Zitkala-Sa, a Native American author, violinist, and activist. At eight years old she left her family to be educated at White's Manual Labor. She falls in love with learning and music. She becomes a strong writer and speaker and fights for the equality of women and the rights of her people. The book is written using her own adpated stories as well as additional sources. I would recommend this book for third grade students. In my classroom I would use this book to int [...]

    • Katelyn Tschida says:

      Audience: boys and girls, grades 2-4th (there is some vocabulary that students would understand at a younger age), would be good to students who are interested in musicAppeal: tells a great and educational story, includes many pictures, musically oriented for those who enjoy musocApplication: This book would really good for vocabulary, you could go as surface level or as in-depth with this content. It could be good in a music class or if you are on a unit of different cultures. Also the question [...]

    • Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance says:

      In this paraphrase of original texts by Red Bird, author Gina Capaldi retells the stories of this Native American girl who grew up between the world of her native people and the white people. “It was night when we reached the school grounds and were led toward an open door. The noisy hurrying of hard shoes upon a bare wooden floor whirring in my ears frightened me, and I began to cry. The Angos could not understand the cause of my tears and placed me at a table loaded with food. Because of my [...]

    • Ashley Steffen says:

      Audience: This would be good for girls, especially, to show them a powerful female figure. It would be good for third or fourth graders because of some more complex issues and situations that a first or second grader might not grasp. Appeal: The intricate drawings, maps, etc would grab the students attention and help them to really picture what it was like for this girl. Application: We could talk about what it would be like for us if we had to experience some of the things she did. We could tal [...]

    • Meagen Farrell says:

      I read this book aloud with my preschooler and first grader. They were engaged by the visual and textual details (sorry, no spoilers!), and wanted to read more of the books and websites listed at the end. They loved that it was a true story. Even though they were disappointed that they can't meet Red Bird today, we were able to follow up with connections to current people and places. I appreciated that the story depicted Red Bird's talents and struggles based on her own writings. While it was a [...]

    • Lin Lin says:

      The biographical account celebrates remarkable achievements of Gertrude Simmons Bonnin, also known as Zitkala-S�a, which means Red Bird. She became the first Native American writer to receive national acclaim. She was also the first Native America violinist to perform before a U.Sesident (McKinley), and the first Native American to write an opera and have it staged. The book conveys a melancholy sense of loss about her Yankton Sioux culture as a result of the white westward expansion in the la [...]

    • Jesse says:

      I am in love with the illustrations by Gina Capaldi in this book. The story is one that needs to be shared with the next generation of readers, as well, so this one was a win-win for me. I wish there'd been more explanation about her two names, as well as why she returned to the school when she was so miserable there. I'm sure it's very hard to balance a person's life to fit in a children's picture book. Perhaps I'll have to read Zitkala-Sa's writings myself.

    • Michael Moriarty says:

      Audience: 3rd through 5th grade.Appeal: The illustrations are colorful and bright with examples of music and nespaper/magazine articles incorporated. Even though Zitkala-Sa learns the white way of living, she discovers an inner music talent as well as a gift of oration to help achieve equality for her people. She overcomes barriers and gains a number of firsts, before firsts were popular, with her talents. An inspiring story about overcoming adversity. Awards: Carter G. Woodson Book Award 2012, [...]

    • Jordyn Braun says:

      Audience: The audience for Red Bird Sings is most likely readers between the grades of 2nd-5th. Anyone who loves music, studying Native Americans, or interested in reading a biography about a Native American would be interested in this book.Appeal: This book has great pictures that go along with the story of Zitkala-Sa's life. The book may be at a more advanced level for some elementary students, but the story of Red Bird's life is easily capture in the pictures of this book as well.Carter G. Wo [...]

    • Hillary says:

      Beautifully written story about Zitkala- Sa and her struggles to become a famous musician and orator/writer. She is taken from her tribe when she is little and lives with with the white Quaker settlers who teach her how read and write as well as play music where she earns the nickname Red Bird. She grows up even stronger becoming the first Native American to write and perform an opera. She even has the opportunity to perform for the President of the US. Based on a true story.

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