The Esselen Tribe lived in southern Monterey County near the headwaters of the Arroyo Seco River for many thousands of years. As with most of California's Native Americans, their way of life disappeared - along with most of them - in the 19th and early 20th Centuries. Flower Tumbles is set before the great disruptions and attempts to offer a glimpse of Esselens as they once were. Its unlikely hero is a young boy who confronts one of the greatest dangers to his small tribe - an engraged grizzly bear. This story is a great supplement to studies of early California history and the Missions.
Flower Tumbles won the Salinas Californian’s 1981 John Steinbeck Award for best fiction.