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Written and illustrated by S. D. Nelson
Growing up on the Gila River Indian Reservation in Arizona, Ira Hayes was a quiet, shy boy. He never wanted to be the center of attention, and at school, he felt lonely and out of place.
By the time Ira was in his late teens, World War II was raging. When the United States called its men to arms, Ira answered by joining the Marine Corps. He believed it was his duty to fight honorably for his country, and with his Marine buddies by his side, Ira finally felt as if he belonged. Eventually they were sent to the tiny Japanese island of Iwo Jima, where a chance event and an extraordinary photograph catapulted Ira to national awareness and transformed his life forever.
Filled with all the patriotism and tragedy of wartime and its afteraffects, Quiet Hero is the story of one person's courage in the face of both military and personal battles. It is a poignant tribute to Ira Hayes.
Booktalk with author/illustrator S.D. Nelson
Distinguished Children's Biography List
Cleveland Public Library
- Interest Level
- Grades 2 - 8
- Reading Level
- Grade 4
- Biography, Heroism, Historical Interest, Native American Interest, War, Nonfiction
S. D. Nelson collaborated with Joseph Bruchac as illustrator of Crazy Horse's Vision and Jim Thorpe's Bright Path. He is also the author and illustrator of two picture book stories inspired by the traditions of his Lakota heritage — Gift Horse, winner of the Parents' Choice Award, and The Star People, an Oppenheim Gold Award winner. Nelson's lifelong interest in Ira Hayes inspired him to tell the story of this American hero for children in Quiet Hero: The Ira Hayes Story. A former middle school art teacher, Nelson is now a full-time artist. He is of Lakota (Sioux) descent and lives with his wife in Chandler, Arizona. Visit him online at sdnelson.net.