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To Fly With The Swallows: A Story of Old California
To Fly With The Swallows: A Story of Old California
(Dana Catharine De Ruiz, Alex Haley, Debbe Heller)

To Fly With The Swallows: A Story of Old CaliforniaTo Fly With The Swallows (October 1992)
To Fly With The Swallows is a biography of the woman who became California's first native-born nun, describing a life that spanned the transitional period from Spanish rule to American statehood.
In the early 1800s, California is a quiet outpost of the Spanish Empire in America. It is too quiet for Doña Concha, the teenaged daughter of California's acting-governor. She longs for the excitement of distant lands. But an unexpected visitor brings romance and a surprising challenge to Concha.
In 1806, Concha lived with her family in California where her father was commander of the presidio defending Spain's New World Empire. Nikolai Petrovich Rezanov arrived from St. Petersburg requesting supplies for his ship. He stayed long enough for Concha and him to want to marry, but Rezanov was not Catholic. He left, as requested, to get the permission of the czar. the King of Spain, and the Pope in Italy. Concha waited, but after five years she received word of his death. She never married but spent her life dedicated to Saint Francis and helping those who needed her.
Dana Catharine De Ruiz is a published author of several children's books. Some of her credits include: To Fly With The Swallows: A Story of Old California (Stories of America) and LA Causa: The Migrant Farmworkers' Story (Stories of America).
Debbe Heller is a published author and an illustrator of several children's books. Some of her credits include: To Fly With The Swallows: A Story of Old California (Stories of America), Building A Dream: Mary Bethune's School (Stories of America) and Tales From The Underground Railroad (Stories of America).
Alex Haley, as General Editor, wrote the following introduction:
Introduction By Alex Haley, General Editor
Spanish colonial history is often ignored when we study the history of our nation. The focus is always on the English and the Thirteen Colonies. But there were other European colonies in America before the English, and most of them were Spanish.
The Spanish stamp was placed not only on Mexico and the countries farther south in Central and South America but on a large part of what is now the United States as well. The Carolinas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Colorado, Arizona, and California all began their colonial history with Spanish explores and, in most cases, Spanish settlers.
Other books in this series tell the story of Spanish exploration and Settlement. To Fly with the Swallows tells a different story. It provides a glimpse of Spanish life in colonial America. It also tells the story of how a young girl built a new dream from the ashes of an old one. ~ Alex Haley.
(The above Foreword by Alex Haley is presented under the Creative Commons License. © 1993 Dialogue Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved.)
To Fly With The Swallows: A Story of Old California • Reviews
"To Fly With The Swallows is a biography of Concha (María de Argüello y Moraga) who became California's first native-born nun and whose life spanned the period from Spanish rule to American statehood." - Cambium Learning.
"This is the biography of Doña Concha, the daughter of the commandante of San Francisco Presidio, in the early 1800s. After a tragic love story, this woman became California's first native-born nun. Her story describes a life that spanned the transitional period from Spanish rule to American statehood." - California Online Resources For Education.
"The story of Concha, her courtship by Count Rezanov, and her "second life" became very popular in the years after her death. In the second half of the 1800's, her story was celebrated throughout California in books, poems, songs, and legend. To Fly With The Swallows is based on several of these sources. However, because these sources focus more on Concha's romance with Rezanov, routine details of her daily life are scarce. ~ The Editors.

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