Uleyli- The Princess & Pirate (A Graphic Novel): Based on the true story of Florida's PocahontasUleyli: The Princess & Pirate (A Graphic Novel)

Based on the True Story of Florida’s Pocahontas

Written by G.C. Daniels; Illustrated by Santanu Mitra

Available in Hardback & Kindle editions

Age Range: 09-12 ; Grade Range: 03-06

$9.99 Kindle E-Book   $19.99 Hardback(coming soon)


She is a princess who longs to escape.

He is a conquistador looking for adventure.

Life in the village will never be the same.



“We enjoyed the book very much. It was right on target with our Native American Unit and the students were very interested and engaged. It gave them more insight as to what life was actually like then …. especially as Uleyli is a child around their age.” –Kerri Stolz, Fifth Grade Teacher, Celebration K-8, Celebration, Florida (The Town That Disney Built)

strong female protagonist in a coming of age story for girlsDescription:

Uleyli is a princess–but she isn’t happy with all that comes with it. She’d rather daydream and create art than learn how to rule her people. When a Spanish boy, Juan Ortiz, is captured by Ulelyi’s father, she intervenes on his behalf and begins to plot her escape from her village. As she dreams of a new life in Cuba, Uleyli encounters a series of problems that put her dreams at risk. To solve her problems she will need to use the power of her creativity to help save her new friend, her village, and herself.

This graphic novel was inspired by the true story of a young Native American woman, Ulele, known as Florida’s Pocahontas. The beautiful full-color illustrations and simple text paint a picture of life in 16th-century Native American villages in what is now the southeastern United States. This is a story celebrating Ulele’s creativity and non-violent heroism.

Perfect for young fans of graphic novels (ages 9 – 12) who are interested in learning more about US history.Also available as an illustrated chapter book, perfect for classroom reading.

fun graphic novel for kids

If you are looking for the following, you might like Uleyli: The Princess & Pirate!

  • Native American stories/fiction for kids
  • Graphic novels for kids
  • Coming of age stories for readers 9-12
  • Historical fiction for kids
  • Strong female protagonist for young readers

There’s More Than One Way to be a Hero


“This was a real treat–an exciting story with a powerful message, what’s not to love? It’s always a pleasure to read a children’s book with a female main character who uses her brain to solve her problems (Uleyli’s passion for art is really inspiring). Plus, the Native American history in the book was all new to me and very interesting. This would be a great gift for kids–or adults, honestly–who love art, adventure, or history.”-Amanda Lee, Toronto, Ontario

“We enjoyed the book very much. It was right on target with our Native American Unit and the students were very interested and engaged. It gave them more insight as to what life was actually like then …. especially as Uleyli is a child around their age.”Kerri Stolz, Fifth Grade Teacher, Celebration K-8, Celebration, Florida

Author Bio:

G.C. Daniels is a researcher, writer, TV Producer, explorer, and dad in Florida. He has crouched, crawled, and climbed his way around ancient sites in ten countries on three continents. He began researching Native American history in the Southeast United States during college and launched dedicated websites, including LostWorlds.org and TheNewWorld.us, to share his research. After years of research, he decided to create a graphic novel for his daughter to share his passion for ancient worlds and local cultures.  Inspired by the idea that you have to put your art out there and ultimately your social networks make it succeed, he believes Uleyli’s story will inspire creators, makers, and artists.

Author Note:

Uleyli- The Princess & Pirate (A Graphic Novel): Based on the true story of Florida's PocahontasI started researching ancient civilizations and the histories of native people in what is now the Southeastern United States about eighteen years ago in graduate film school in Atlanta. The result of this research was a multimedia Master’s Thesis project that included a website, LostWorlds.org, and DVD, Lost Worlds: Georgia. For this work, I won a Roger K. Warlick “Best Media Project” award from the Georgia Historical Society.

I have always been fascinated by history and the details of little-known stories. I grew up with family stories that always maintained (and DNA testing has confirmed) that my ancestry included both Native American and Spanish ancestors from Florida. After graduation I moved to Florida to begin work as a TV & video producer at Duval County Public Schools, where I produced an Emmy-nominated TV show for the local PBS affiliate and historical documentaries for district teachers under the Department of Education’s Teaching American History grant. It was during this time that I stumbled upon the story of Uleyli and Juan Ortiz, Florida’s very own Pocahontas and John Smith.

My first child, a daughter, was born soon after and I became immersed in children’s books and movies. For years I wondered why nobody ever wrote a children’s book about the amazing and wonderful story of Uleyli and Juan Ortiz. In fact, only two Native American women over the past 500 years had been written about at all: Pocahontas and Sacagewea. Believing it better to light a candle than to curse the darkness I decided, “Well, I’m somebody so I’ll write it.”

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, strong female characters seem to be as violent as their male counterparts in today’s media landscape so I decided to take the opposite approach. My character would not be a destroyer but a creator and peacemaker. This also fits with the historical accounts of Ulele saving a stranger from execution.

Making Uleyli a creator-princess allowed me to combine my love of Native American history and art from the Southeastern U.S. with my daughter’s love of art, adventure stories, and graphic novels into Uleyli: The Princess & Pirate. This historical fiction 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.

For Librarians:

Uleyli- The Princess & Pirate (A Graphic Novel): Based on the True Story of Florida’s Pocahontas/ written by G. C. Daniels; illustrated by Santanu Mitra.

Summary: fictionalized biography of the American Indian Princess Ulele of Hirrihigua, emphasizing her saving of Spanish teen Juan Ortiz from death by her father Ucita, and her relationship with neighboring Timucuan chief Mocoso.

Story Summary: When Princess Uleyli’s constant scheming to avoid her responsibilities leads to the death of her mother and destruction of her village, she must learn to surrender to her fate in order to fulfill her destiny. To do so Uleyli must learn what it means to grow up, to grow wise, and to take control of her own destiny.

ISBN 13: 978-0-9774189-4-7
Library of Congress Control Number: 2018957035

[1. Princess– Fiction. 2. Pirates– Fiction. 3.Native American– Fiction. 4. Ulele– ca. 1517-1585– Juvenile Literature. 5. Juan Ortiz– d. 1537– Juvenile Literature. 6. Ucita Indians–Juvenile Literature. 7.Tocobago Indians– Juvenile Literature. 8. Timucua Indians– Juvenile Literature. 9. Mocoso Indians– Juvenile Literature. 10. Tampa (Fl.)– History– Juvenile Literature. 11. Florida– History– Colonial Period, ca. 1517-1719– Juvenile Literature. 12. Indians of North America- Biography. 13. Ucita, ca. 1550-1618– Juvenile Literature. ]

  • Native American history books for kids
  • female protagonist
  • fun graphic novels;
  • coming of age;
  • Florida history for kids;
  • Native American comic books;
  • books for girls;
  • strong female children’s book;
  • historical fiction for children;
  • native books for girls;
  • Native American children’s books;
  • Native American history for kids;
  • coming of age books for girls;
  • Native American books;
  • Native American history;
  • Native American children’s books;
  • Native American graphic novels;
  • Native American books for kids;
  • historical fiction

Juvenile (Child 0-12)
Age Range: 09 – 12
Grade Range: 03 – 06

JUV008090 : JUVENILE FICTION / Comics & Graphic Novels / Historical

JUV012080 : JUVENILE FICTION / Legends, Myths, Fables / Native American

JUV034000 : JUVENILE FICTION / Royalty

JUV011040 : JUVENILE FICTION / People & Places – United States – Native American

JUV039230 : JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Bullying

Regional Subject:Florida
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