Cover image for We asked for nothing : the remarkable journey of Cabeza de Vaca
We asked for nothing : the remarkable journey of Cabeza de Vaca
Waldman, Stuart, 1941-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Mikaya Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
46 pages : color illustrations, maps ; 27 cm
An account of the travels of the Spanish explorer Cabeza de Vaca through Texas and Mexico from 1528 through 1536, looking particularly at his relations with the native people with whom he shared his journeys.
Reading Level:
1020 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 6.5 1.0 77554.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E125.N9 W35 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography

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The explorer who discovered his own humanity.

In 1528, the conquistador Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca escaped a hostile reception in Florida only to be shipwrecked off the coast of Texas. For the next eight years, he lived among the native tribes of the Southwest while he journeyed towards the safety of the Spanish settlements in Mexico. He and three companions survived starvation, sickness and slavery thanks to the generosity of native peoples along the way.

When Cabeza de Vaca finally reached the Spanish, he was a changed man and led the struggle against the feudal-like exploitation of the New World populations. Stuart Waldman tells the fascinating story of two journeys: one covering 2,500 miles through unexplored territory, the other the transformation of a man's heart.

Excerpts from Cabeza de Vaca's journals make the reader's immersion into this mystifying world complete. The gatefold map allows the reader to follow the journey while reading.

Author Notes

Stuart Waldman is an editor of children's books.

Tom McNeely 's watercolors are both unflinching and stunningly gorgeous.

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8-Conquistador Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca and his men were shipwrecked on an island off the shore of Texas in 1528. Seeing how emaciated the Spaniards were, local Indians brought them food and water and cared for them. Cabeza de Vaca lived among the native tribes in the southwest for eight years, as he and three others walked toward the Spanish settlements in what today is Mexico. Enduring starvation, illness, and enslavement, they survived largely through the kindness of the Indians they met along the way. When the explorer finally reached the Spanish settlers, he tried to change their feudal-like treatment of indigenous people. Waldman's recounting is engaging, straightforward, and clear. Much of the text is based on Cabeza de Vaca's writings, which are frequently quoted in boxed insets, greatly enhancing readers' understanding of events. An epilogue explains what happened to the individuals mentioned in the narrative. A foldout map traces the journey on sea and land. McNeely's full- and double-page paintings capture the landscapes better than the people, who often look stiff. Most of the men's facial expressions appear as grimaces, and do not effectively portray their emotions. An absorbing story of adventure and self-discovery.-Peg Glisson, Mendon Center Elementary School, Pittsford, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.