Birth of an Artist in Texas - Leslie Hawes

Leslie's Blog
http://www.lesliehawes.com/wordpress/?p=1610 explains how she became a professional artist. And it happened in Texas - Midland of all places where they like the color green.
Leslie Hawes' first book was the 1988 issue of Two Glass Buttons: a Story of the Runaway Scrape, text by Marguerite Star Crain.
My goodness, Maggie Lambeth has a copy and she's asking $75.00 for it. Signed and in fine condition with its dustjacket. And the illustrations are really good. In a dry color medium - Leslie's favorite. http://www.texanbooks.com/si/11010.html

A good reader for girls and boys too.

See also http://www.lesliehawes.com/


Harvest of Tears - Betty Smith

Harvest of Tears
Harvest of Tears, 2nd edition. Betty Pelley Smith. Denton: Zone Press, 2007. Paperback, 399 pages. ISBN 0-9777558-5-1 $18.95  http://www.zonepress.com
Betty Pelly Smith was born in the Sherman, Texas of 1924 and subsequently lived across the nation. Two decades ago she returned to Sherman. The childhood she would like to recall would be almost
idyllic. She had kind and loving parents, watchful neighbors, a supportive faith family.
But, the social pestilence of the Depression visited the community and over-stayed its welcome.
As jobs vanished, the stark twins of reality and fear ate rough spots on the veneer of civilization.
Some folks got desperate. A deeper poison seeps to the surface. That racism scarred her soul
that happened to be sheathed in a white skin. Smith writes, "I was 5 years old when I saw the
Sherman courthouse burn and saw a body hanging from a tree. In my 5-year-old mind, I
remember thinking, I thought he was black. All I see is white, as only white bones were hanging
there. I was haunted all my life by this sight. I could not understand how anyone could do such a
horrible thing." The legacy of the Sherman Race Riots flickered more oft than it should have in
Smith's long life.
Her fictionalized account of other such days lures the reader onward as the naïve, little girl's
eyewitness account describes her experiences. In the story, Elizabeth, the substitute for Betty's
emotions, personally faces the physical violence meted out to the designated scapegoats. As for
the plot, Elizabeth's family cares for the children, while Elizabeth's African American friend, Sam, becomes the target of Sam, the malevolent bully.  Challenging to adults but could be introduced to mature teenagers.

Texana Going to the Dogs

Book Featuring Rescued Texas Dog Published

July 5, 2008 : Proceeds will help to fund various animal welfare organizations.
[Newsrelease begins]
"Dingo has traded his status from a lonely stray adopted from the Galveston Island Humane Society to a beloved family member, featured as the lead character in his own children's book, Where Do Dingos Come From. The Labrador/chow mix now has a fictional counterpart, who helps to teach children about adopting pets and kindness and compassion to animals.
Tracy and Bascom Bradshaw, authors of the book and Dingo's guardians, note, "This book is the first in a series that introduces our characters and how Dingo the dog meets Cricket and their pet-loving Mom, Sophie. Our books are really a medium for us to provide a face to our Dingo the Dog Project which funds trap-spay-neuter [TNR] programs in our Doha, Qatar neighborhood and donations to shelters, as well as the lesson plans we are developing for teaching children about responsible pet care and pet adoption.""
READ MORE ABOUT http://network.bestfriends.org/texas/news/26875.html


Texas Zip Code Lessons

Yes, you read the header correctly, "Texas Zip Code Lessons."  I found a site which quite seriously recommends we use zip codes as a medium for teaching the kids their Geography Lesson.  At first it sounds, well, snoozy, but when you consider how many parts of life can be opened when a zip code is applied, maybe there's a secret power for kids to learn.  Hey, I'm just bringing this stuff to ya.  Do with it what you will.

Water Aquifer Education

What's up, Doc? Aquifer education

Austin Business Journal reportsThe Edwards Aquifer Authority has expanded the agency's children's educational outreach program online. 

Earlier this year, the agency created the Doc Edwards' Amazing Aquifer Adventure!, a live education program hosted by Doc Edwards, a fictional explorer who teaches children about the aquifer. "

Tacky, Childish Behavior (like yours and mine)

Cowtown Pattie (Texas Trifles http://www.texastrifles.blogspot.com/)  directs our attention to an absolutely delightful recollection of Waco children (as cinema viewers) at the movies in the 1950's and 1960's.  If it doesn't bring smiles and compassion for today's youngsters, you should best go sit in a corner.  It's in Stephen Cook's blog and entitled "Natural Born Outlaws at the 25th Street Theater":

Texas Rangers - Spradlin and Roxie Munro

Book Moot offers a review for her Non-fiction Monday entry

Texas Rangers: Legendary Lawmen by Michael P. Spradlin, illustrations by Roxie Munro. Walker & Co., 2008


Story of the Alamo - Bill Hughes

Hughes, Bill.  The Story of the Alamo.  Lone Star Stories, c2003.  18 p.
            The "story" of the Alamo is told in comic book form, complete with heroic characters and absolute villains.  Readers should keep in mind that this publication is entertainment, not history.  Davy Crockett delivers his last words to Santa Anna in an entirely fictitious version of the Alamo story.  Readers who might not enjoy a book on the Alamo may be attracted to the comic version, but parents and teachers must remind students that the facts are to be found elsewhere.  [Courtesy: Lucie Olson's The Alamo and the Texas Revolution, An Annotated Bibliography. DRT Alamo Library, 2004.] 

Baby of the Alamo - Susan Hood

Hood, Susan.  Sandy Kossin, illustrator.  The Baby of the Alamo.  Leveled Books Series.  New York:  McGraw-Hill School Division, 1999.  16 p.; ISBN 0-02-185295-2.  Available in Braille.
Publisher's recommendation:  Grade 5, Unit 3.
            This novel is told from the point of view of Angelina Dickinson, who survived the battle of the Alamo with her mother, Susanna.  As the book begins, Angelina says that she, as a fifteen-month old baby, can remember the " nice man who gave me a ring with a cat's eye stone."  She relates the rest of the traditional Alamo story in a question and answer discussion with her mother.  The book is illustrated with colorful, cartoon-like drawings.  The inside back cover has five "Story Questions and Activities," and an assignment for writing an autobiographical paragraph.  This simplistic (and probably unrealistic) presentation of the Alamo story is unlikely to hold the attention of the intended Grade 5 audience. [Courtesy: Lucie Olson's The Alamo and the Texas Revolution, An Annotated Bibliography. DRT Alamo Library, 2004.] 
Other info:  Accelerated Reader Quiz Level is 5.2


Weeds in South Texas and Northern Mexico - James Everitt

Jane Manaster in the Dallas Morning News recommends weeding with young adults and children
Weeds in South Texas and Northern Mexico A Guide to Identification James H. Everitt, Robert I. Lonard and Christopher R. Little (Texas Tech University Press, $19.95, paperback)

Austin's Texas Book Festival - also for kids

Ki Gray in the American Chronicle describes the festival and includes a particular paragraph regarding children.
EXTRACT: "The Texas Book Festival has raised over two million dollars for Texas Public Libraries, and their commitment to children is clear. With one tent dedicated to children´s authors, one to children´s entertainment, and one to activities for the little ones, this festival is a perfect way to combine books and literacy with a fun and exciting event. Storytimes abound throughout the festival, and activities can include hula dance, puppet shows, drawing, and sing-alongs. When children´s authors are in town for the festival, they often take part in "Reading Rock Stars," an affiliated program that brings them to public schools to read their works."
READ MORE http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/66431

Underneath - Kathi Appelt

A review from the Washington Post:
THE UNDERNEATH By Kathi Appelt, Illustrated by David Small | Atheneum, $16.99; ages 10 and up
The Review begins:  "Known for charming picture books ( My Father's House, Piggies in a Polka), Kathi Appelt borrows from Native American lore and the East Texas bayou to create The Underneath, a uniquely American tale."

Texas Forest Service Connects Kids Caretakers

Texas Forest Service logoThe Texas Forest Service actively provides workshops for children to re-connect to nature.  The Marshall News Messenger ran an article on such, 'Nature Realized' seminars planned" Sunday, July 06, 2008
EXTRACT:  " "We will be delivering this program state-wide through out the year," Ms. Soldinger added.
"'Nature Realized' is a seminar series consisting of six themes developed for parents, grandparents and adults who impact children ages 0-18," the TFS agent said. "Participants learn how to utilize local resources that provide opportunities for connecting children to the land."
The various themes include:
Emotional and Spiritual Connection; Physical and mental health.
Free Play vs. Structured; Time and Technology.
Dangers and Fears; Plugging into Local Resources."
If you are interested in your childrens health and development in this area, contact
Ms. Soldinger at 979-458-6649; Wes Moorehead, Marshall District Forester, at 903-938-8712; or Michelle Gonzales at 979-458-6650.


Texas History Movies comic book

Scoop Logo Here's a review of Texas History Movies from the perspective of a Scoop reader, http://scoop.diamondgalleries.com/public/.  (By the way the book of acquied by the Texas State Historical Association, not the Texas Historical Society).
"Comics in the classroom… in the Platinum Age?
A 1970s hardcover reprint collection of Texas History Movies, a Platinum Age comic strip and school text book 

"The Eyes of Texas are upon you..." echoes the old refrain, and for collector Weldon Adams it seems particularly true. Though he started collecting in the '70s and places a high value on many of today's titles, in recent years he's found himself inexorably drawn to a little-documented series from the Platinum Age.

His enthusiasm for a collection of newspaper strips dating from 1926 was nothing he planned, though.

"I'm as surprised as anyone else that this is where I've ended up for the moment," said Adams, who counts JSA, Teen Titans and Noble Causes among his current favorites. "But this stuff is too cool!"

"My interest in the history of the industry started very early on," he said. "When I first discovered that there was an entire generation of superheroes that predated the ones that I knew about, well, I just had to know what that was all about! Those early JLA/JSA crossovers just set me on fire! And since there were no comic shops available to me in the early 70's, I had to hit the libraries and look for reference books on the industry. So I learned about the old characters and the people who created them at the same time. It seemed like every decade has it's own thing that made it fascinating to read about. The late '30s saw the creation of the true 'Superhero.' The '40s sent that hero to war. The '50s had a poor man's version of the McCarthy hearings that lead to the creation of a self-imposed regulating committee. The '60s saw both the rebirth of the superhero and his attempt to be relevant to the modern world. It was all fascinating to me. My interest in the history of the medium eventually lead me to an unusual find. At a yard sale, I found a small digest size paperback book that was a 1927 collection of newspaper strips. It was called Texas History Movies. My curiosity lead me to start research on this book that I am currently still working on.""

Texas Biographical Sit-down Contest

A "Sit-down Contest" a panel of contestants stand in a row or circle, each receiving a question, remaining standing for correct, sitting down for incorrrect.
While in the 5th grade a claim to my personal fame became being the winner in Mrs. Burnsed's class "Biographical Sit-Down Contest."  My winning question was the name of Alexander the Great's horse - Bucephalus.  The questions then continued to me along when finally, I did not know the full name of the guy who invented the Morse code - Samuel Finley Breeze Morse.
Should you wish to conduct a "Texas Biographical Sit-Down Contest" and need a list of name go to http://www.biography.com search the term "Texas" and you'll have a list of 394.

Texas history classroom

Coming soon to a website near you.  Partially funded by Summerlee.
"TEXAS STORIES is a fun, engaging new way to learn about and teach Texas history – at home and in the classroom.
We'll soon be working with educators to develop an ongoing series of classroom resources that are simple to use, easy to access and incorporate technology. They are being designed as supplemental learning activities for 4th and 7th grade Texas History classes, librarians and homeschool parents. Sample Activities will be posted on this web site – soon!
Each month we will select two TEXAS STORIES and develop one or more companion Activity Guides for 4th and/or 7th grades.
The 4th Grade Guides will emphasize one or more of the following: Listening, Reading, Observation and/or Computer skills, and incorporate graphic organizers, maps and historic documents. They will be developed by an Elementary Curriculum Specialist in cooperation with the Education Director of the Texas State History Museum.
The 7th Grade Guides will emphasize Online Research, Interpretation, and Computer skills, and feature Study/Discussion Questions with links to articles in The Online Handbook of Texas. The questions will be developed by the Education Coordinator for the Texas State Historical Association in cooperation with the Education Director of the Texas State History Museum.
TEKS: Each Guide will have the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) identified for 4th or 7th grade Social Studies. "

Texas Bedtime Picture Books

B e d t i m e Picture Books
Dromgoole, Glenn. Good Night, Cowgirl illus by Barbara Clack. Albany: Bright Sky Press,
2006. Same as Good Night Cowboy. http://www.brightskypress.com/
Dromgoole, Glenn. Good Night, Cowboy illus by Barbara Clack. Albany, Texas: Bright Sky
Press, 2006. A charming book of simple captions with gentle pastel drawings. It's
"Good night" to the boat, the tractor in the shed, and sunset in the western sky, and such,
Eilenberg, Max, Cowboy Kid. / illus by Sue Heap. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press, 2000.
Gamble, Adam. Good Night, Texas illus by Red Hansen. South Korea: Our World of Books,
2007. A "board book" of "greetings" with hello, good mornings, ahoys, good afternoons,
good evenings, and, of course, good night. "Ahoy there fisherman, out on the Gulf of
Mexico. Outdoors is the dominant setting. Traditional and fresh material. Ends with a
scene of sleeping around a campfire. (This is not the recent novel of the same name.)
Heap, Sue. Cowboy Baby / Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press, copyright 1998.
(from Children's Texana Picture and Easy Books of Recent Interest:A Casual Bibliography of150 titles, Compiled by Will Howard)

Voices of the Alamo - Sherry Garland

Garland, Sherry.  Ronald Himler, illustrator.  Voices of the Alamo.  New York:  Pelican Publishing Company, 2004.  40 p.; hardcover ISBN 1-58980-222-5 $15.95; New York:  Scholastic Press, c2000.  40 p.; hardcover ISBN 0-590-98833-6.  Picture Book.
Pelican Publishing Company recommendation:  ages 5-8; School Library Journal recommendation:  Grades 3-6.
            This imaginative, pleasantly illustrated interpretation of Texas history begins with the thoughts of a Payaya maiden in 1500.  As time progresses, other people who participated in the making of Texas describe themselves and share their thoughts.  A Mexican peasant forced into the army, a settler in Austin's colony, William Barrett Travis, and General Sam Houston are some of those portrayed in this vision.  A two-page historical note at the end of the book explains the text for the teacher.  There is a pronouncing glossary of 13 words, a selected bibliography of seven books for adult readers, and six suggestions for further reading for juveniles. [Courtesy: Lucie Olson's The Alamo and the Texas Revolution, An Annotated Bibliography. DRT Alamo Library, 2004.] 
Other info:

A Line in the Sand - Sherry Garland

Garland, Sherry. A Line in the Sand: The Alamo Diary of Lucinda Lawrence, Gonzales, Texas, 1835. Dear America Series, no 11. New York: Scholastic Press, c1998. [206] p.; ISBN 0-590-39466-5. School Library Journal Recommendation: Grades 5-8.

Through the eyes of a thirteen-year-old girl, the reader experiences the Runaway Scrape, hears cannon fire from the Alamo, and learns about the outcome of the battle at San Jacinto. Lucinda Lawrence begins her diary on September 9, 1836, in Gonzales, Texas. Each entry portrays early Texas life as a young girl might have lived it, complete with a teenager's crush and the dissolution of her secure life caused by wartime experience. An epilogue describes Lucinda's life in her later years. "Life in America in 1836," beginning on page 181, provides a historical background for Lucinda's story. Ten pages of black and white illustrations resemble a publication that might have appeared during the time frame of the diary. Guides are available online for parents and teachers. [Courtesy: Lucie Olson's The Alamo and the Texas Revolution, An Annotated Bibliography. DRT Alamo Library, 2004.]

Other info:


Suzanne Crowley Interview by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Author Interview:
Suzanne Crowley on The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvelous

Patience in Courage - Beth Fehlbaum

East Texas Author Pens Novel Speaking Out Against Abuse
By LAUREN KEATON Staff Writer Tyler Morning Telegraph
Thousands of children are sexually abused in America every year.
The National Resource Council estimates the percent of the U.S. population which has been sexually abused to ranges from 54-62 percent.
Beth Fehlbaum was one of them. "Almost four years ago, I went into recovery for sexual abuse," she said. Ms Fehlman is a teacher in Athens Independent School District and author of a debut novel "Courage in Patience."
Although she said she was abused in her adolescence, she has only been dealing with the pain for a short time.
"I just pushed it back," she said. "I tried to deal with it in my early 20s. I weighed 100 pounds more than I do now. I was trying to hide behind my weight. I just stuffed myself and constantly had a feeling of anxiety and didn't know why. I just went from one thing to another."
READ MORE from the Tyler Morning Telegram's Tylerpaper.com
Her blog at http://courageinpatience.blogspot.com/
Publisher http://www.kunati.com/courage-in-patience
Should be considered for Young Adult Reading, main character is 14-years-old


McKinney Cotillion for Youngsters

Thursday, July 17, 2008, 9 a.m. to noon
North Texas History Center, 300 East Virginia Street, McKinney
$125 - $150 - All ages

"The North Texas History Center is pleased to announce its first summer mini-cotillion. Young ladies and gentlemen are invited to participate in this week long summer camp where they will learn etiquette, proper table manners and basic dance steps. Your children will also play games, make arts and crafts and learn about McKinney history. On the final day of camp, parents and guardians are invited to attend a graduation ceremony where they will get a chance to see what their young ladies and gentlemen have been up to all week; grown ups may even learn a thing or two!"

Readers may wish to contact the NTHC and inquire about how they prepared for their program. Could be a way to plan for next summer. Or maybe something similar could be used in a school setting for extra credit.

Sparking Fort Worth Historical Interest

In Millard Fillmore's Bathtub there's a splash about "Weird History in Fort Worth."
Actually, Texas or other history teachers may wish to deliberately collect such weird history, country legends, and urban legends as a flint to spark interest in history in general.  Aside from talking to your local County Historical Commissioners, there are volumes on weird things Texan - ask your local weird librarian.


Ten Cows to Texas - Peggy Mercer, Bill Crews

 Ten Cows to Texas. By Peggy Mercer and illus by Bill Crews.  Brooklyn:  Handprint Books, 2005. Ages 4-7.    http://www.handprintbooks.com
 The 10 lovelies (count them) from Lonesome Cow, Georgia are out to win a beauty contest in El Paso. The leader Mimi manages to "acquire" a truck and they're off on a road trip.  They dodge deer, get pursued by the police, join a parade, eat in Mississippi, avoid alligators in Louisiana, and highball it across Texas despite the police, bluebonnet distractions, a thunderstorm, and other hurdles.  Mimi does get the tiara!

Burning the Children in the Mansion

I've not said much about the burning of the Texas Governor's Mansion; it's a shame, accidents happen, bad people do bad things, and all that. But it wasn't an accident.  An arsonist burned it after Governor Perry repeatedly refused to advocate an adequate budget for the Department of Public Safety.  Now I suppose keeping a financial halter on Big Brother can be a fine task, but somewhere, it would be good if we had sufficient public monies to keep the government from burning itself down. 
What's ticked me off is the "Plan."  Yes, we all knew we'd need a plan to restore the mansion - and it may take an additional $40 million beyond the current $10 already earmarked for its previous re-modeling.  We've all been quietly accepting the inevitable price tag.  But the Austin Spin Society has tricked the Governnor's wife into asking the school children of Texas to re-build her home (for which her husband wouldn't support adequate security) while the Perrys live off an extra $10,000 a MONTH stipend to live elsewhere.  My Gawd, Anita, tell those folks to go sit behind the barn in this steam oven weather and cook themselves a new brain?
I say the big rich folks who've crammed the "no new taxes" down everybody's throat ought to just plainly pony up for the needed cash.  Somebody oughta shake down the housing, construction, insurance, and security industries that pay for Perry's campaigns.  If they don't have it fixed by the next campaign, it'll be the biggest, most photographed, plainest indictment of the current party's tenure.
Now having said that, our children do need to be proud of the mansion.  But they shouldn't be made to feel guilty about fixing it.  Besides, haven't you heard, most school children are from poor families.  Adults burned it, adults should fix it -  FOR the children.  It's called being the adult.
Here's a few recent links from my feed:
Texas' first lady rallies for Mansion restoration effort
Houston Chronicle, United States - Jul 15, 2008
It's important to get schoolchildren involved because "this is their history," she said. The Legislature will have to appropriate funding next year as part ...
Fund created to restore Texas Governor's Mansion 12:57 PM CT Dallas Morning News
First Lady Anita Perry's fund won't be enough to restore the Texas ... Austin American-Statesman
Fund Set Up To Help Rebuild Governor's Mansion WOAI
all 64 news articles
[Now I'll return to my usual, quietly taken milk toast and gruel in a cardboard bowl.]

Anastasia Suen tips her hat

Anastasia Suen took Tea at the Adolphus at the last TLA, so she's returned the favor by making her picture book of the day The Great Hamster Drive


In the Shadow of the Alamo - Sherry Garland

Garland, Sherry.  In the Shadow of the Alamo.  San Diego:  Harcourt, 2001.  282 p.; hardcover ISBN 0-15-201744-5 $17.00.
ShadowAlPublisher's recommendation: ages 10 and up.
      "Even though fifteen-year-old Lorenzo Bonifacio lives only in this novel, the young reader will find his life convincing and believable.  The author draws from first-hand accounts by Mexican soldiers to write imaginatively about Lorenzo's village in Mexico, his conscription into the Mexican army, and his experiences in the Texas revolution.  Young boys will identify with Lorenzo's adventures, and young girls will appreciate the drama of the story.  A glossary of Spanish words is provided, but no pronunciation guide is given.   [Courtesy: Lucie Olson's The Alamo and the Texas Revolution, An Annotated Bibliography. DRT Alamo Library, 2004.] 
Other Info:  Paperback planned for 2007
Included on Reforma Children and Young Adults Service Comm. Latino Bibliography http://www.reforma.org/YA%20Latino%20Bibliography%20revised%201-2-2008.pdf
Not to be confused with Clara Driscoll's 1906 collection of short stories In the Shadow of the Alamo, now available online, full text.
Sam Ratcliffe in his Painting Texas History to 1900, T.. Gentilz is reported to have once painted a scene that became the illustration of the sheet music to "In the Shadow of the Sacred Alamo."

Texas Children's Authors and Illustrators - Daisybell

Amazon.com offers the option for surfers to create their own list of books from the Amazon inventory and to post that list within Amazon's Listmania option.
Daiseybell has compiled a list of 25 children's titles by Texans, some of the titles are Texana.  Children's librarians will be familiar with most of the authors.  See Daisybell's list.

Texas Theme Books For Children - Vanessa Levin

Amazon.com offers the option for surfers to create their own list of books from the Amazon inventory and to post that list within Amazon's Listmania option.
Vanessa Levin of Dallas chose to compile a list of 14 titles, most being for the very young reader.  See them at Levin's list.

Amazon Search

Amazon.com was searched under the option of "Children's Books" for the term "Texas."  Up shot a list of 9,530 citations.

Texas Alphabet Books

Boettcher, Cindy King.  A is for Aggie: A book of traditions illustrated by Benjamin C Knox. Brenham, Tex.: Beraam Pub. Co., 1998, 2004.  It's Aggie, Bonfire, Corps, Degree Elephant Walk, Fightin' Texas Aggie Band, Gig 'em, and so forth with notes.  Most pages are not football related.  Warm, inviting watercolors.  http://www.cindysbooks.com/AboutCindy.aspx   http://www.benjaminknox.com/books_more.asp
Bustard, Anne.  T is for Texas / Stillwater, MN, U.S.A.: Voyageur Press, 1989.  http://www.voyageurpress.com/    http://www.annebustard.com/work1.htm
Crane, Carol.  L is for Lone Star: A Texas Alphabet and illus by Alan Stacy.  Chelsea, Mi:  Sleeping Bear Press/Thomson Gale, 2001.  A good standard alphabet, but the paring of Sam Houston and Lyndon Johnson on the H page will require some intuitive leading by the parental reader.  The pairing of Scott Joplin and jalapenos works well.  http://www.sleepingbearpress.com/              http://www.carolcrane.org   http://www.alanfstacy.com
Howard, Will.  Arthur's Austin ABC: Arturo en Austin, un abecedario, illus by Ben Sargent and translated by Maria Isabel Jofre. Austin:  Winter Wheat House, dist by Will's Texana, 1980. Arthur the Armadillo tours Austin's landmarks and culture in lightly ploted episodes. Bi-lingual.  http://youngtexasreader.blogspot.com/
Parker, Laurie, writer and illustrator.  Texas Alphabet /  Brandon, Ms:  Quail Ridge Press, 2000.  Rhyming text with supplementary information on each page.  Each page is framed with the names of cities and towns whose names begin with the proper letter.  Traditiona scenes of cowboy life, nature, and some technology.  http://www.quailridge.com/  http://www.shs.starkville.k12.ms.us/mswm/MSWritersAndMusicians/writers/Parker.html
Rice, James. Texas Alphabet / Gretna: Pelican, 1999.  Texas Jack the jackrabbit colloquially takes yongsters from the Alamo to Sam Houston to oil to Lorenzo de Zavala. http://www.pelicanpub.com/  http://www.pelicanpub.com/Biog.asp?artist=James+Rice
Wade, Mary Dodson.  T is for Texas / illustrated  by Virginia Roeder. St. Charles, MO: GHB Publishers, 2000.  Wade interview at http://ravenstonepress.com/mdwade.html http://www.pelicanpub.com/Biog.asp?artist=Virginia+Marsh+Roeder
Whitney, Louise Doak.  B is for Buckaroo and by  Gleaves Whitney and illus by Susan Guy.  Chelsea, Mi:  Sleeping Bear Press/Thomson Gale, 2003.  An alphabet, pages designed in 4 parts:  large letters, rhymed caption, paragraph extending the information, and illus. Besides the usual, cowgirls, Pecos Bill, Will Rogers, and Zane Grey are included. Glossary of Spanish words.  Watercolors.  http://www.sleepingbearpress.com/  http://www.susanguy.com
[Extract from Children's Texana Picture and Easy Books … 150 titles. Compiled by Will Howard]

Will Howard 12618 Ashcroft, Houston Tx 77035 Cell:832-633-0595 Home:713-728-1981
Publisher, Wills Texana Monthly, subscribe at willstexana@yahoo.com
Host, Texas Parlor, a blog at http://texasparlor.blogspot.com/
Host, Texas Bookshelf, a blog at http://texasbookshelf.blogspot.com/
Who is Will Howard? http://texasparlor.blogspot.com/2006/07/who-is-will-howard-texas-bibliographer.html


Humanities Workshop

Teachers attend Humanities Texas Institute
(Created: Friday, July 11, 2008)
"Angela Geiger, Kimberly Pope and Melanie Ringman of Coppell Middle School North joined outstanding teachers from across the state earlier this month at "From Disunion to Empire: The United States, 1850-1900," a pair of institutes exploring U.S. history in the second half of the nineteenth century.
Organized by Humanities Texas, the University of North Texas (UNT) and Trinity University, "From Disunion to Empire" drew 82 teachers to the UNT and Trinity campuses for four days of seminars, lectures, workshops and visits to local cultural institutions.
"I attended to get a deeper understanding of humanities to use in my classroom to become a better teacher for my students," said Ringman, who teaches humanities, history, and language arts. "I am so excited for next year."
Could be good for teachers to plan for next summer.

Dark Water Rising - Marian Hale

In the Mike Davis' "BOOKS AND MORE: The Becker Library Blog" is Cynthia Bartek's review of this historical novel   
Dark Water Rising - Marian Hale
It begins"Here's another current Lone Star selection… Dark Water Rising by Marian Hale. This one surprised me quite a bit. The straightforward and simple narrative lulled me at first with its description of a circa-1900 Texas family moving from Lampasas to Galveston in search of a more prosperous life. Told from the point of view of Seth, a 17-year old young man with many pressing decisions and responsibilities, this historical novel does a good job of establishing a realistic picture of daily life on the island, familial relationships (including heavy expectations placed upon Seth), and social mores of the time"

Babe Didrikson Zaharias - Russell Freedman

Literature for Children and Young Adults - 5603: Book Reviews This blog was created as a requirement for a graduate course at Texas Woman's University with a review on

Freedman, Russell. 1999. Babe Didrikson Zaharias: The Making of a Champion. ISBN 0-395-63367-2



Warriors - Jim Eldridge

Eldridge, Jim. Paul Fisher-Johnson, illustrator. Warriors! True Stories of Combat, Skill and Courage. New York: Scholastic, Inc., 2001. 128 p.; paperback ISBN 0-439-29650-1 $4.99.
No reading level available.
Six types of real and fictional warriors are included in this book. For this bibliography, only the section on the Alamo is of importance. The battle is portrayed in a ten-page, fictionalized section as having been fought exclusively by American and British settlers against the Mexican army. Weapons used in the battle are mentioned; the Texan defenders are given a rating based on code of honor, ruthlessness, weaponry, tactics, and courage. Samurai and U.S. Special Forces have higher ratings.
[Courtesy: Lucie Olson's The Alamo and the Texas Revolution, An Annotated Bibliography. DRT Alamo Library, 2004.]
Other info: Amazon reading level: ages 4-8. Chicken House is also cited as a frequent source.

DRT Alamo and Revolution Juvenile Bibliography

The Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library issued back in 2004 a juvenile bibliography on the Alamo and the Texas Revolution. It consists of about 60 titles, 1/3 fiction and 2/3 non-fiction. The YTR thanks them for allowing the posting of those individual citations and annotations and thanks to the Library staff, especially, Elaine Davis and the list's compiler Lucy Olson. Those postings will often be supplemented with other information on the title. The bibliography's full title and introduction appears below.
An Annotated Bibliography for Parents and Teachers
Kindergarten through Grade 8
"This bibliography is intended to be a guide for parents and teachers who are teaching the history of the Alamo and the Texas Revolution. Books are the only media contained in the list, and most of them were published between 1995 and 2004. Currently available, in-print books are the focus of the bibliography; out-of-print books are included when a topic is not covered by an in-print equivalent. Features that may be of use to teachers are indicated and points that may distract from the study of history are mentioned."
Compiled by Lucie Olson, Reference Librarian
Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library at the Alamo
San Antonio, Texas
Revised May 2004


Tomas and the Library Lady - Pat Mora

Mora, Pat. Tomas and the Library Lady. Raul Colon (illustrator). 1997. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
Review extract "Tomas and the Library Lady took place in Iowa and contained the recurring theme among Mexican American children's literature: migrants. The story and illustrations provided the readers with a glimpse into the lives and experiences of the children of migrant workers. "The light of the full moon followed the tired old car. Tomas was tired too. Hot and tired. He missed his own bed, in his own house in Texas."
Review at

Will Howard 12618 Ashcroft, Houston Tx 77035 Cell:832-633-0595 Home:713-728-1981
Publisher, Wills Texana Monthly, subscribe at willstexana@yahoo.com
Host, Texas Parlor, a blog at http://texasparlor.blogspot.com/
Host, Texas Bookshelf, a blog at http://texasbookshelf.blogspot.com/
Who is Will Howard? http://texasparlor.blogspot.com/2006/07/who-is-will-howard-texas-bibliographer.html

Trino's Choice - Diane Bertrand

Bertrand, Diane Gonzales. Trino's Choice. 1999. Pinata Books.
An extract states "The setting of Trino's Choice took place in a small hot town in Texas (city unknown). Most of the story took place at school, the trailer park where Trino lived, and a hot humid town with a large Mexican population."
Review at

Will Howard 12618 Ashcroft, Houston Tx 77035 Cell:832-633-0595 Home:713-728-1981
Publisher, Wills Texana Monthly, subscribe at willstexana@yahoo.com
Host, Texas Parlor, a blog at http://texasparlor.blogspot.com/
Host, Texas Bookshelf, a blog at http://texasbookshelf.blogspot.com/
Who is Will Howard? http://texasparlor.blogspot.com/2006/07/who-is-will-howard-texas-bibliographer.html

Sports Reading Club

The Texas Hall of Fame in Waco brings to your attention their "Sports Reading Club."

The introduction reads:
"The Sports Reading Club (SRC) is a unique incentive program designed by the Texas Sports Hall of Fame to encourage elementary through high school students to read. The SRC booklist features Texas athletes and professional teams based in Texas. This program uses a specific interest (sports) to help students, who may not have been otherwise motivated, set reading goals.
The SRC book list focuses on Texas' regional sports heritage. For example, while most school libraries have books on baseball great Babe Ruth, we believe that it is also important that students in Texas learn that Andrew "Rube" Foster, the founder of the Negro National League, was born in Calvert, Texas. Click here to see book list!
Students who read five books during the school year will earn membership into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame Sports Reading Club. Their membership includes a free admission to the museum, a congratulatory certificate, and their name listed on the Texas Sports Hall of Fame website."

Read more about it at http://www.tshof.org/education/reading/
And see an associated bibliography in the following posting.

High School Football Bibliography

bibliography.jpgThe Texas Sports Hall of Fame pays special attention to high school sports and Jay Black has compiled a bibliography of almost 50 titles on football.
Curator Jay Black's introduction reads:
"The following is a list of books about Texas High School Football that are contained in the museum's collection. I hope that it proves useful as a starting point for research on the subject. I'm sure that there are plenty of team histories that have been written that I am not aware of. If you know of a book that should be included in this list please contact me at jay@tshof.org."
The first few titles are
Ball, Jim. Thundering Herd, Arlington High School Colts Football: The First Half-Century. Arlington : Jim Ball, 2002, 190pp., wraps.
Bedichek, Roy. Educational Competition: The Story of the University Interscholastic League. Austin : University of Texas , 1956, cloth.
Benne, Bart. The Best High School Football in the Country, A History of Plano , Texas , high school football from 1900 to the present. Dallas : Taylor Publishing Company, 1989, 220 pp. cloth.
Bissinger, H.G. Friday Night Lights, A Town, A Team, and a Dream. New York : Addison-Wesley, 1990, 355 pp., cloth.
Blount, R.E. "Peppy". Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Play Football. Austin : Eakin Press, 1985, 292 pp., cloth.
Breazeale, George. Tops in Texas , Records and Notes on UIL State Football Champions, 1920-1992. Austin :  Martin Communications, 1993, wraps.
Bynum, Mike.  King Football, Greatest Moments in Texas High School Football History.  Epic Sports Classics, 2003, 672 pp., cloth.


Texas Historical and Literary Blogs Project

We're compiling a list of "Texas Historical and Literary Blogs," because there appears to be no such bibliography now.  To date we have about 60, adding one or two each week or so.  I'm guessing the total may be about 75.  Searching methodology has been diverse.  The picking has been odd at times and refreshing at times. 
The list has gotten long enough to be more convenient by category so the categories at present are
Wills General History, Literature, and Reference
Agents, Editors, Publicists, Consultants, etc.
Architectural Preservation
Classroom Experiments
Commercial Expressions
Culturally Merging / Verging on Historical or Literary Historical Interests
Literary Interests & Writers
Reading Clubs
Adapted Format
The final work will be released in August as a monothematic issue of Will's Texana Monthly.  The final work will invclude some annotation for each and possibly a graphic from each blog if the imagery does not add too much to the file size.
Do please feel free to suggest blogs.

Teachers Change Things

Two Texas teachers are spotlighted on this short list of teachers who drastically changed the world
Lyndon Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson: Lyndon B. Johnson was often harshly criticized for his handling of the Vietnam War as President of the United States, but before he even made it to Washington, LBJ was a teacher in South Texas. Johnson attended the Southwest Texas State Teachers College and served as principal at a Mexican-American school during a brief break from college. After graduating, Johnson taught at Pearsall High School in Pearsall, TX, and led his debate team to to win the district championship when he taught at Sam Houston High School in Houston.
Melvin Tolson
Melvin B. Tolson: Melvin B. Tolson has been named the poet laureate of Liberia, and was a scholar of the Harlem Renaissance, but many people today recognize him as the character played by Denzel Washington in the 2007 film Great Debaters. That movie portrays Tolson's life when he was a speech and English teacher at Wiley College in Marshall, TX. Tolson challenged his students to break with convention and led them to the national debate championship at Harvard. His group organized the first debate team at Wiley College and were some of the first black students to compete against white students in the same championships.