I Am Osage: How Clarence Tinker Became the First Native American Major General (Hardcover)

I Am Osage: How Clarence Tinker Became the First Native American Major General By Kim Rogers, Bobby Von Martin (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Kim Rogers, Bobby Von Martin (Illustrator)
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(Child Biog)


This informative and inspiring picture book by acclaimed author Kim Rogers (Wichita), with striking artwork by debut illustrator Bobby Von Martin (Choctaw), celebrates the achievements of Clarence Tinker, a member of the Osage Nation who became the first Native American major general.

Clarence Tinker always knew that he wanted to do something extraordinary. Something adventurous. Something that made a difference in the world.

But as a member of the Osage Nation at the turn of the twentieth century, there were a lot of obstacles that he had to face to achieve his dreams. When he was a child, Clarence was taken away from his family and community. He was forced to attend a prisonlike boarding school, like many other Native children of his generation. There, he wasn’t able to speak his language or practice his Osage customs.

Still, Clarence kept his dream close to his heart and joined the US Army with the goal of becoming an officer. Though he was treading an unfamiliar path, he worked hard and never forgot his Osage values and traditions that, ultimately, paved his way to success.

I Am Osage, the first nonfiction project from the Heartdrum imprint, combines gorgeous, vibrant artwork with a stirring text that celebrates an unsung hero while also shedding light on significant American history.

Features an author’s note and timeline.

About the Author

Kim Rogers is the author of Just Like Grandma, illustrated by Julie Flett. She is an enrolled member of Wichita and Affiliated Tribes and is a member of the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition. Much of her writing highlights her Wichita heritage. Kim lives with her family on her tribe’s ancestral homelands in Oklahoma. 

Bobby Von Martin is an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Born into a family of professional artists, he fell in love with art from a very young age. He is passionate about including cultural influences and historical subject matter in his paintings to inspire children and adults in Native American communities, and he volunteers as an art teacher for Native youth. He lives in Fresno, California.

Praise For…

The incredible life story of Clarence Tinker...one of the power of resilience, honor, and duty. Von Martin’s illustration glow with the radiance of oil paintings, drawing the eye to key moments in Tinker’s life and highlighting aspects of Osage culture. An excellent addition to nonfiction collections for young readers. — School Library Journal (starred review)

“Von Martin’s bold, photorealistic images complement the text. Rogers’ storytelling brings to life a kindhearted, resilient historical figure who was devoted to his community.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Rogers celebrates the way [Clarence Tinker] held onto his Indigenous roots through Indian boarding school, military academy training, and afterward. [A] proud remembrance.” — Booklist

Product Details
ISBN: 9780063081161
ISBN-10: 0063081164
Publisher: Heartdrum
Publication Date: February 6th, 2024
Pages: 40
Language: English