Quiet Hero: The Ira Hayes Story

SKU: 9781600604270

S. D. Nelson
Grade Levels:
Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight
Pima, Southwest
Book Type:
Lee & Low Books
Copyright Data:

Sale price$16.75


Quiet Hero: The Ira Hayes Story is the story of the remarkable Pima soldier Ira Hayes and his life. Born in 1923 Ira Hayes grew up on the Gila River Reservation in Arizona with his parents and brothers. Life on the reservation was hard but Ira and his family made a living as cotton farmers. As a teen Ira was sent to Phoenix Indian School in 1940. This was a boarding school (residential school) run by the government. The regimented living conditions at the school made an impression on the shy youth. While he attended the boarding school, America declared war following the attack on Pearl Harbor. Many of the teens attending the school decided to join the military to fight for their country. Ira joined the Marine Corps in 1942. Boot camp reminded him of the regimentation of the Phoenix Indian School and he found friendship and camaraderie among his fellow recruits. Because he was a Native American, the military thinking of the day viewed Indians as fierce warriors and Ira was allowed to train for combat. Ira and his fellow marines engaged the Japanese in the Pacific. He often wrote to his family at home telling them how proud he was to fight with brave soldiers during the battles. He wanted to bring honour to his family and people. In 1945 a defining moment in United States military history occurred when Ira Hayes and his battalion was sent to gain control of a tiny island known as Iwo Jima. This key location proved to be challenging for the marines. Eventually the Americans prevailed and a small group of men planted a small United States flag. A commander decided that a larger flag could be seen at a distance and sent Ira and five other men to raise the flag. As a result six soldiers erected a huge flag on Iwo Jima. News photographer Joe Rosenthal took one memorable photograph that has come to represent American heroism and victory. As part of the war effort Ira and two other soldiers went on a recruiting trip across the states. Following the war, Ira's life turned to despair and the loneliness returned. To cope with all the horror of war he turned to alcohol. Buried in Arlington National Cemetery in 1955, Ira Hayes died as a quiet hero of World War Two. The author and illustrator has created a sensitive picture book that recounts the life story of this Native American soldier whose life was one of courage, bravery, and quiet strength. Included at the end of the story are numerous black and white photographs from Ira's life and a brief synopsis of his military career. This book discusses patriotism and what it means to be a Native American soldier and hero. Highly recommended. DRA: 38; Guided Reading: Level P; Intervention: 24. Study Guide: https://www.leeandlow.com/books/2435/teachers_guide

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