The Bookshelf, The Parlor, The Young Texas Reader, and the Monthly

The Texas Bookshelf is different from the The Texas Parlor, . The Texas Parlor carries "general" bookish information and non-book information and even different Texana news and notes of use to the bibliographically challenged and other nosey folks intersted in historical, literary, and cultural observations. Will's Texana Monthly may carry material from either blog, but extends itself beyond those, especially for longer compilations or treatments. The Monthly, the Bookshelf and the Parlor are all companions. So, is the Young Texas Reader which specialized on books and such things for the youngest to the teenagers.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Journey to the Alamo - Melodie Cuate

Journey to the Alamo.

By Melodie A. Cuate. Lubbock: Texas Tech University Press, 2007. 144 pages, 5 x 7, 18 illustrations, ISBN 0896725928 $17.95 cloth. First in the new “Mr. Barrington's Mysterious Trunk Series.”

Seventh-grader Hannah, her pesky brother Nick, and her best friend Jackie Montalvo are mysteriously transported from modern Austin, Texas to the Battle of the Alamo in 1836 for an “excellent adventure,” something Hannah needs. Melodie A. Cuate, a McAllen teacher of several years, tinkers with the tale telling device of Texas history teacher Mr. Barrington’s mysterious teaching trunk of artifacts and a clapping thunder storm to trip the trio through time to San Antonio. Hannah quickly finds herself under Susannah Dickinson’s care and fixing a ham sandwich for Colonel Travis, consoling the ailing Jim Bowie, and finding fascination with David Crockett (who looks like Mr. Barrington).

Hannah almost jumps the gun after she hears Travis famous speech before the legendary line in the dirt. The threesome do their part in maintaining the Defenders’ siege posture, dodging cannonballs, bickering a little among themselves, protecting one another, worrying about getting home, and finding their way back with Esparza’s and Bowie’s assistance. The kids’ souvenirs include a wooden cross for Hannah and a light bayonet scar for Nick. The youngsters are engaging, and the history is blessedly light but balanced and worthwhile. The brief Spanish glossary is a nice touch. Melodie Cuate’s story is readable and suspenseful.

The next in the series will be “Journey to San Jacinto.”