The Flight of the Cliff Bird

Author: Wyatt, Leslie J.

Subjects: Historical Adventure; Girl Hero; Pueblo Indians

Age: 10, 11, 12

Grade: 4, 5, 6

ISBN: 978-0-89824-493-9

Order code: 4939

Price: $14.99
Website price: $10.00

Also an iBook from iTunes

The Flight of the Cliff Bird Cover

Bringing the ancient cliff dwellings to life

High on the Colorado Plateau, “halfway between earth and sky,” the ancestors of the Pueblo people lived in precarious cliff dwellings and worked the arid land. What it was like for them more than 700 years ago can only be imagined and deduced from the artifacts they left behind.

Author Leslie J. Wyatt has brought The Long Ago People to life with the story of Cliff Bird, a young orphaned girl who is skilled in pottery and basket-making...and can run like the wind. Only Cliff Bird is fast enough to bring the warning of an attacking tribe. Her running saves the village and gains respect from her adoptive family and elders. Throughout the story there is an element of threat: a lack of rain, lurking raiders, internal conflicts of jealousy and resentment, prejudice, and the ever-present danger of accidents on the steep rocks.

Readers can never again look at the remains of cliff dwellings and see just empty ruins. Wyatt shows us that the cliffs were once home to people who farmed, traded, had hopes and fears, and loves and losses.

Author Leslie J. Wyatt was born in Utah, grew up in Montana, and lived with her husband Dave for many years in Missouri. They now reside in Redding, California, back among the mountains Leslie enjoys exploring on horseback. After 24 years of homeschooling their six children, she is now pursuing a degree in graphic arts as well as thinking about her next book.

Wyatt says about writing The Flight of the Cliff Bird: “Ever since I gazed across the canyon to the ancient homes nestled beneath the cap rock, the cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde, Colorado, have captured my heart and my imagination. As a child, I wanted to live there under the wide sky, to sit for long hours with my back against the warmth of the sandstone, to be one small being in the greatness of the canyon. Writing Cliff Bird’s story was an unfolding of that dream.” And about the people: “The Hitsatsinom—The Long Ago People—never returned to farm the high green mesa where the sky was wide and blue or to live in their well-crafted dwellings under the canyon rims. Yet over the centuries, and still to this day, their descendants come back to Mesa Verde to visit the sacred sites and to pay homage to those who came before, for in this place their roots run very deep.”

Her previous book for Royal Fireworks Press is River Rats, set in 1940s rural Missouri. 

Bringing the ancient cliff dwellings to life

High on the Colorado Plateau, “halfway between earth and sky,” the ancestors of the Pueblo people lived in precarious cliff dwellings and worked the arid land. What it was like for them more than 700 years ago can only be imagined and deduced from the artifacts they left behind.

Author Leslie J. Wyatt has brought The Long Ago People to life with the story of Cliff Bird, a young orphaned girl who is skilled in pottery and basket-making...and can run like the wind. Only Cliff Bird is fast enough to bring the warning of an attacking tribe. Her running saves the village and gains respect from her adoptive family and elders. Throughout the story there is an element of threat: a lack of rain, lurking raiders, internal conflicts of jealousy and resentment, prejudice, and the ever-present danger of accidents on the steep rocks.

Readers can never again look at the remains of cliff dwellings and see just empty ruins. Wyatt shows us that the cliffs were once home to people who farmed, traded, had hopes and fears, and loves and losses.

Author Leslie J. Wyatt was born in Utah, grew up in Montana, and lived with her husband Dave for many years in Missouri. They now reside in Redding, California, back among the mountains Leslie enjoys exploring on horseback. After 24 years of homeschooling their six children, she is now pursuing a degree in graphic arts as well as thinking about her next book.

Wyatt says about writing The Flight of the Cliff Bird: “Ever since I gazed across the canyon to the ancient homes nestled beneath the cap rock, the cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde, Colorado, have captured my heart and my imagination. As a child, I wanted to live there under the wide sky, to sit for long hours with my back against the warmth of the sandstone, to be one small being in the greatness of the canyon. Writing Cliff Bird’s story was an unfolding of that dream.” And about the people: “The Hitsatsinom—The Long Ago People—never returned to farm the high green mesa where the sky was wide and blue or to live in their well-crafted dwellings under the canyon rims. Yet over the centuries, and still to this day, their descendants come back to Mesa Verde to visit the sacred sites and to pay homage to those who came before, for in this place their roots run very deep.”

Her previous book for Royal Fireworks Press is River Rats, set in 1940s rural Missouri.

The Flight of the Cliff Bird Cover

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