Kelley Weitzel

Book Reviews and Awards

*Winner of the Florida Historical Society 2003 Charlton Tebeau Award

*Winner of the Florida Writers Association 2003 Royal Palm Award

Children’s Bookwatch, January 2003 “A very strongly recommended addition to both school and community library Native American Studies collections for young readers. Journeys with Florida’s Indians is enhanced with maps and historical engravings amplifying the lively and accessible text, which blends archaeology and history for a very readable and enjoyable experience.”

Florida Monthly, January 2003 “This book sends young readers into an adventure into Florida’s past. They will learn about historic and prehistoric cultures in the state. It combines fact with fiction, providing an entertaining, yet educational tool for children in grades four through eight.”

Tampa Tribune, January 5, 2003 “The tale begins with the adventures of a boy on his first mammoth hunt and goes on to tell of the development of the Timucua, Calusa, and Apalachee Indians and their encounters with European explorers. Weitzel uses fictional tales to enliven the historical facts. While it is written for grade school children, anyone interested in Indians culture and Florida’s past will find the book enlightening.”

Jerald T. Milanich, Florida Museum of Natural History “A marvelous account of Florida’s Indians for young readers.”

Louise Brewer, 4th Grade Teacher “Dear Ms. Weitzel, In March of this year we met briefly at the Lake Helen book fair, where I purchased your book, Journeys with Florida’s Indians. I fell in love with it when I read the first page. As a fourth grade teacher at St. Barnabas Episcopal School of DeLand, I am always looking for new sources of information on Florida and its early people. My partner and I especially like the manner in which you have integrated language arts with social studies, and we would love to pilot your book as a classroom text during the 2003-2004 school year.”

Journeys with Florida's Indians

Explore prehistoric Florida through stories and facts - meet the Timucua, the Calusa, the Apalachee, and Florida's earliest Paleohunters!


“There it is!” Calos yelled. A hundred footsteps from the canoes, a gray fin cut the surface of the water then disappeared. A boy in each canoe scooped fish entrails into the water, leaving a bloody trail to draw the shark. Every man and boy stood ready, a tethered spear or rope lasso in hand. The fin came nearer, then disappeared again.

A chilly wind blew, rippling the surface of the water. Then the ripples dissolved, split by a dark gray fin. “Look!” Calos shouted. The boy pointed as the fin passed a nearby canoe, then he scooped more entrails into the water. The shark turned quickly and swam towards the bait. Calos threw his lasso, then pulled the palm rope to tighten it around the shark’s tailfin. A man lassoed the shark’s head while other hunters attacked the shark with spears.

Suddenly, the water erupted. The shark thrashed against the men’s lassoes and spears, splashing saltwater and spray in every direction. Calos’s canoe rocked sharply. He fell backwards into the water….

Find out what happened to Calos by reading this book!

Selected Works

Teacher Resource Guide
Want to teach science and social studies while building literacy? This CD Teacher Resource indexes children's books set in Florida according to time in history, geographical location, culture, social isssues, science concepts, and more!
Books for Kids
Archaeology is a Detective Science! Learn about Florida's early Timucua People by challenging yourself with more than 40 fun Detective Directives! What can you discover?
Explore prehistoric Florida through stories and facts - meet the Timucua, the Calusa, the Apalachee, and Florida's earliest Paleohunters! Fictional chapters allow you to experience mammoth and shark hunts, a shipwreck at sea, and an Apalachee ball game called "The Little Brother of War"!