Cover image for The spirit catchers : an encounter with Georgia O'Keeffe
The spirit catchers : an encounter with Georgia O'Keeffe
Kudlinski, Kathleen V.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Watson-Guptill Publications, [2004]

Physical Description:
165 pages ; 23 cm.
During the Great Depression, fifteen-year-old Parker finds himself homeless and traveling across New Mexico's desert, when a shepherd leads him to the artist Georgia O'Keeffe who teaches him photography and gives him a new perspective on life.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.4 6.0 85686.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



The new Art Encounters series was created as a platform for young readers to develop an appreciation for the work of the great masters. Each book is a piece of historical fiction based on a single painting from one of the great masters and set at the time in which that work was painted. This series gives readers an inside look at the artist, their techniques, style and inspiration. The first title, The Spirit Catchers, is based on Georgia O'Keeffe's Deer Skull with Pedernal. History and fiction merge in this uplifting novel about a boy whose artistic talent awaits a great mind to uncover it. O'Keeffe by stealing her property, notably a camera. She is prepared to let him rot in jail when she develops the photos he has taken with the stolen camera and recognizes the boy's raw ability. Set against the backdrop of New Mexico's stark beauty, Parker's struggle to find his artistic vision clashes with O'Keeffe's fierce independence and private nature.

Author Notes

Kathleen Kudlinski is the author of numerous books, including Sojourner Truth (0-689-85274-6) and Facing West (0-140-36914-7). Her work has been repeatedly chosen as selections of the Weekly Reader Book Club and Scholastic Book Clubs. She lives in
Guilford, CT.

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6-9-The Great Depression and the world of Georgia O'Keeffe are subject and setting in this entry in a new art historical-fiction series. Parker, 15, loses his family during the Texas dust storms of the '30s, so he sets out for greener pastures in California. Months of walking, thirst, and hunger nearly finish him off, but encounters with an employee of the Ghost Ranch in New Mexico, a Native American spirit, and the famous artist offer a glimmer of hope. Kudlinski evokes the extremes of desert life, from desolation to sun-baked beauty, and then depicts the environment's mesmerizing effect on her characters: e.g., Parker's thirst-inspired hallucinations and O'Keeffe's focused awe. Parker ultimately becomes the painter's photographic assistant, a device offering ample opportunity for describing her home, methods, paintings, and personality-all well researched. The author does not shy away from controversial topics, such as the eroticism of O'Keeffe's art noted by critics. There are enough surprises to keep the pages turning, despite the obvious intent of the book. The notion of "spirit" is woven effectively into a variety of contexts. While teens may not find this title on their own, it would certainly breathe life into a number of curricular-content areas.-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
1 Dust Boyp. 1
2 Thirstp. 11
3 O'Keeffep. 21
4 Click!p. 29
5 Carrot Juicep. 34
6 Bonesp. 43
7 Shadep. 51
8 Fansp. 59
9 Kachinap. 68
10 Miragep. 77
11 Whitep. 85
12 Blackp. 92
13 Rainp. 98
14 Ruinp. 107
15 Greenp. 115
16 About Facep. 123
17 Facesp. 131
18 Follow Mep. 137
19 Clydep. 146
20 The Showp. 154
Georgia O'Keeffe's Life and Artp. 159
A Timeline of O'Keeffe's Lifep. 162