Meet Kaya: An American Girl (American Girl Collection)

by Janet Beeler Shaw

Hardcover, 2002




Amer Girl Pub (2002), 80 pages


In 1764, when Kaya and her family reunite with other Nez Percé Indians to fish for the red salmon, she learns that bragging, even about her swift horse, can lead to trouble. Includes historical notes on the Nez Percé Indians.

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½ (87 ratings; 3.9)

User reviews

LibraryThing member t1bclasslibrary
Kaya is a Nez Pierce Native American Girl who loves her horse. She also has a habit of boasting. When boasting gets her racing and makes her forget about her little brothers, she and the other children are punished, and they nickname her magpie. She gets past the nickname by rescueing her blind
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sister, Speaking Rain, from the river.
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LibraryThing member al04
This Historical fiction series is a great way for young readers to learn about history with characters that most interest them. The details about Maya's life are very realistic to what an Indian girl would deal with such as bathing in the stream water every morning and learning to become friends
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with nature but the characters are not real.
The introduction, climax and conclusion were excellent leaving the plot to be rated highly. The story kept the reader interested by leaving them hanging at the end of each chapter. Each section was separated clearly and the illustrations gave more detail to what the author was discussing.
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LibraryThing member the1butterfly
This book is also part of my classroom library. Kaya is a Nez Pierce Native American Girl who loves her horse. She also has a habit of boasting. When boasting gets her racing and makes her forget about her little brothers, she and the other children are punished, and they nickname her magpie. She
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gets past the nickname by rescueing her blind sister, Speaking Rain, from the river.
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LibraryThing member xxgonecrazyxx
I haven't read this book yet, but I have the doll.
LibraryThing member rheasly
The tale of family and friendship told in this book is nothing particularly revolutionary. It is a fine story, and brings readers into the world of the Nez Perce in 1764. It is informative, with an "appendix" at the end that talks about the history of the Nez Perce, which is highlighted with
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photographs. The story is also filled out nicely with pictures that can help readers visualize specific events. Meet Kaya is a great way to help readers begin to think about how important history is. It is also a great opener to talking about how different people live. Age 8-13. Some words and concepts having to do with Nez Perce language make this a read that might be harder for some in this age range. Also, this book is the first in a series which is great for anyone that becomes enthralled with this book.
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LibraryThing member RebeccaStevens
This is one of a series of books about American Girls. This book is about a Native American girl named Kaya. It tells about her life, family, chores, hopes and dreams. Her sister is blind so Kaya helps her. She has a pony that she loves to race.

I read this book aloud to my daughter. It was barely
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in her reading level, but by the time we finished, she was excited enough to work on the next books in the series. I enjoyed the glimpses of "Indian" life.

This book would work well in an historical theme about Native Americans. It also would work well in a multi-cultural theme. Since it is part of a series, it gives the interested reader more books to enjoy about the same character. There is a doll available that matches the character in the book, so the teacher could set up a thematic display if desired.
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LibraryThing member aelucas
Grade: 3rd and up

Genre: Historical Fiction

Series: American Girl Kaya

Concept: U1.1 American Indian Life in the Americas
Describe the life of peoples living in North America before European exploration.
5 – U1.1.1 Use maps to locate peoples in the desert Southwest, the Pacific Northwest, the
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nomadic nations of the Great Plains, and the woodland peoples east of the Mississippi River (Eastern Woodland). (National Geography Standard 1, p. 144)

5 – U1.1.2 5 Compare how American Indians in the desert Southwest and the Pacific Northwest adapted to or modified the environment. (National Geography Standard 14, p. 171)
5 – U1.1.2 5 Describe Eastern Woodland American Indian life with respect to governmental and family structures, trade, and views on property ownership and land use.
(National Geography Standard 11, p. 164, C, E)

Summary: The American Girl Series usually pick a time period and creates a historical fiction story around a girl. In the Kaya Series, The chose a Nez Percae Indian as the main character. Kaya lives the life of a Nez Percae child and manages to get herself into trouble. It reflects the life of this tribe and also includes historical notes. This book has a bit of a boring start to it and it would be good to go over some of the culture before reading this book. In this book we are introduced to Kaya and her family. She loves her horse Steps high but gets into trouble when she decides to take on a challenge to a race. Her young twin brothers wander off during the race and even though they are found safe, all children involved must be punished. How will Kaya get her friends back?
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LibraryThing member danaenicole
I've decided to re-read/read the American Girl series. At the age of 25, I'm sure it's been more than a decade since I've read any of them. I loved these books so much as a kid and Kaya is one of the dolls that I own.

I didn't like this book as much as I did all those years ago,
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mostly because of how abrupt the ending was. Speaking Rain almost drowns, but is saved by Kaya and the book almost immediately ends. I just wanted to see Speaking Rain again (even briefly) to be assured she's okay. There's no closure; it doesn't feel like an ending.

I also had a problem with Kaya's punishment. I understand the logic behind switching all of the children; I'm not complaining about that. I don't like the nickname that the whipping woman gives to Kaya. She was practically telling the children to bully Kaya. I do like the way that Kaya is taught to handle the nickname (i.e. to rise above it and become a person who no longer deserves the comparison), but it didn't sit right with me that the adults were totally fine with the cruel things the children were saying to Kaya. Kaya gets one good lesson out of it, but all of the children, including Kaya, are learning that it's okay to be so mean-spirited to each other.

On the other hand, I love how educational these books are, how the culture is exhibited throughout the story and then is shown in a more concentrated form at the end. And the illustrations have always been a high point for me. Especially the gorgeous horse Steps High.
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LibraryThing member towngirl
it's realy good!.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

9 inches




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