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Author of Seminole fiction book visits Pemayetv Emahakv students

PECS third- through fifth-grade students meet with Edwina Raffa, author of “Escape to the Everglades” at school Feb. 17. (Contributed photo)

BRIGHTON — Pemayetv Emahakv Charter School third- through eighth-grade students were treated to a visit by local author Edwina Raffa, co-author of “Escape to the Everglades” on Feb. 17. The students are reading the book in class this year.

A retired educator and graduate of Florida State University and Florida Atlantic University, Raffa spoke to the students about the book, her writing techniques and what it takes to be an author of historical fiction. She and co-author Annelle Rigsby used the drama of Osceola’s capture to highlight the moral dilemmas of the Second Seminole War. The book addresses the coexistence of the Native and white cultures in Florida during the 1830s.

The story is told from the perspective of Will Cypress, a young Seminole boy whose late father was white. The conflict is how he can honor both his heritage and his dream. He joins Osceola and his followers as they battle white soldiers. A chance meeting with his white father’s relatives causes Will to question his loyalties, according to the publisher’s summary of the story.

PECS culture teacher Jade Osceola with author Edwina Raffa in the classroom Feb. 17. (Contributed photo)
Beverly Bidney
Beverly Bidney has been a reporter and photographer for The Seminole Tribune since 2012. During her career, she has worked at various newspapers around the country including the Muskogee Phoenix in Oklahoma, Miami Herald, Associated Press, USA Today and other publications nationwide. A NAJA award winning journalist, she has covered just about everything over the years and is an advocate for a strong press. Contact her at