Adopted by Indians: A True Story

An incredible, true boyhood adventure

The children’s version of our best-selling title Indian Summer, this book gives younger readers a close-up view of traditional California Indian life and early California.

Thomas Jefferson Mayfield kept a wonderful secret for almost sixty years; the secret of his childhood among the Choinumne Indians of California’s San Joaquin Valley. For twelve years he played and slept alongside Choinmune children, he hunted and fished with them, ate their food and wore their clothes. Adopted by Indians is the story of a boy who had an adventure that we can only dream about and it is absolutely true.

Adopted by Indians has been approved by the California Department of Education and is listed in the Instructional Materials Approved for Legal Compliance Catalog.

About the Author

Thomas Jefferson Mayfield was born in Texas in 1844 and moved to California at the age of six. In 1862, he moved to Visalia, California to attend school. After retirement, Mayfield returned to the San Joaquin Valley and spent his last years in the small town, Tailholt. He died in 1928.
Malcolm MargolinMalcolm Margolin is the publisher emeritus of Heyday, an independent nonprofit publisher and unique cultural institution, which he founded in 1974. Margolin is author of several books, including The Ohlone Way: Indian Life in the San Francisco–Monterey Bay Area, named by the San Francisco Chronicle as one of the hundred most important books of the twentieth century by a western writer. He has received dozens of prestigious awards among which are the Chairman's Commendation from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fred Cody Award Lifetime Achievement from the San Francisco Bay Area Book Reviewers Association, the Helen Crocker Russell Award for Community Leadership from the San Francisco Foundation, the Carey McWilliams Award for Lifetime Achievement from the California Studies Association, an Oscar Lewis Award for Western History from the Book Club of California, a Hubert Bancroft Award from Friends of the Bancroft Library, a Cultural Freedom Award from the Lannan Foundation, and a Distinguished Service Award from the Society of Professional Journalists. He helped found the Bay Nature Institute and the Alliance for California Traditional Artists.