I started researching ancient civilizations and the histories of native people in what is now the southeastern United States about eighteen years ago. I have always been fascinated by history and the details of little-known stories. Those years of research inspired me to explore the story of Uleyli and Juan Ortiz, Florida’s very own Pocahontas and John Smith.
As a father raising a young girl, I am always on the lookout for stories that are educational and that have strong female characters. Sadly, my daughter has read through most of the books out there, so I decided to combine my love of history and research with her love of graphic novels into Uleyli: The Princess & Pirate. This book celebrates a young native woman whose bravery and resourcefulness inspired an enduring legend. It is my hope that boys and girls alike will enjoy learning about Uleyli’s strength and importance in history and take away positive messages about non-violence, creativity, and kindness.