Kelley Weitzel

Book Reviews and Awards

*Winner of the Florida Historical Society’s 2001 Charlton Tebeau Award

*Chosen for the 2001 "Best of the Best" from the University Presses, Books You Should Know About

St. Augustine Archaeological Association, May 2000
“This 119 page story tells the young reader everything, and more, that he ever wanted to know about Timucua Indians. An additional 30 pages give the answer to the detective questions asked throughout each of the 14 chapters, as well as further reading lists for children and adults, and excellent glossary, and the index…overall, children will find the book very interesting and informative. I did.”

About.com Archaeology Book Reviews “An engaging book, The Timucua Indians – A Native American Detective Story, is an exploration of Native American history and prehistory in Florida geared for 7 – 12 year olds…. As the student reads along, s/​he is challenged by what the author calls “Detective Directives,” puzzles more or less, to engage the reader and allow him or her to pursue some of the ideas more fully…. Weitzel’s writing is brisk and informative, but also personal and personable, drawing the reader in...."

Shannon M. Rawls, reader May 2000 “I have always believed that learning can be fun. The Timucua Indians: A Native American Detective Story is a perfect example of educating young people without them knowing it. This book explores the Timucua natural environment from a child’s perspective. The page by page activities makes reading this story fun. My 10 year old daughter loves these types of books. I am glad we found this one. We are from Jacksonville, Florida and the book has opened her eyes to a culture that existed long before we ever did and now, hopefully won't be forgotten.”

The Timucua Indians - A Native American Detective Story


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? Try one below!


Learn to Speak Timucua - 3 Language Rules

1)The Timucua language added many meanings to the end of words. For example, instead of saying “his corn,” they said, “corn-his” (tapola-si).

2)To say "the," they added "-ma" to the end of a word. sun = ela, the sun = ela-ma. “-ma” always goes at the very end of the word.

3)To make a word plural, we add “-s.” The Timucua added “-care.” (ka-reh) alligator = itori, alligators = itori-care. [Answers at bottom of page.]

Vocabulary List With Pronunciation Guide

Daughter = amita (ah-me-ta)
Deer = honoso (hoe-no-so)
Dog = efa (eh-fa)
Grape = bihi (be-he)
Happy = isaco (ee-sa-ko)
His/​Her = -si (see)
I am = hontala (hone-ta-la)
Teacher = quachi (kwa-chee)
The = -ma (ma)
Plural = -care (ka-reh)

Try to translate these words into Timucua!

1) Deer ____________________________
2) The deer ________________________
3) Her daughter ____________________
4) Daughters _______________________
5) Grapes __________________________
6) The grapes ______________________
7) His dog _________________________
8) The dogs ________________________
9) I am happy. _____________________
10) I am his teacher. ______________

ANSWERS: 1) Honoso, 2) Honoso-ma, 3) Amita-si, 4) Amita-care, 5) Bihi-care, 6) Bihi-care-ma, 7) Efa-si, 8) Efa-care-ma, 9) Hontala isaco. 10) Hontala quachi-si.

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"!