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Alamo All-Stars (Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales #6): A Texas Tale (Volume 6) Hardcover – March 29, 2016
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Nathan Hale’s 6th book, and it doesn’t disappoint. Once again, he takes a familiar backdrop and fills it with little-known (to most) and interesting details which are equal parts entertainment and education.
The historical Nathan Hale is back with his executioner and British officer to tell another tale. This time, Vicente Guerrero (and his band of executioners) join to help tell the story which, after all, mostly takes place in Mexico. This is a great touch and really helps propel the story while providing even more entertainment.
This book includes a relatively thorough (but not tedious) history of Texas before its statehood in 1845. I enjoyed feeling the sense of chaos inflicted by the politics of time. The story follows the “Alamo All-Stars” to tell the story: William Travis, Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett, and (not familiar to me) Juan Seguin. Actually, a lot of time is spent on Bowie and his many exploits which led to him being in the thick of Texas’s violent birth.
My largest gripe is with Santa Anna, who left no defenders of the Alamo alive. Thus, no reliable accounts of the defenders immediately before or during the battle. However, Nathan Hale did his best with what he had.
Also, once again, the maps and diagrams included inside the front and back covers are helpful to place the wide range of featured locations.
Full disclosure: I’m a history teacher, and I am painfully aware of how little most Americans know about their neighbors. Hopefully, this book will help fill in the blanks many have about our southern neighbor.
I got my copy of the Alamo All*Stars from Amazon yesterday and brought it to school today. Three kids have read it by lunch and I have a waiting list of ten right now -- and that's just my 5th grade homeroom.
All that said, Alamo All*Stars is a great tale, especially for Texas students. The maps are very helpful, the drawings of the Alamo spot-on accurate, and the back story and end result of the Texas Revolution are all included, giving great context. Hale gets the tone just right, without vilifying one side or creating hagiographies of the other. You just can't ask for more.
If you have a kid who loves learning and humor and you can handle having discussions about hard stuff occasionally, then I highly recommend these books.
We have loaned a couple to friends who don't love reading for pleasure, and they also LOVED these books.
I'm an adult. I have read a few Alamo books. This book is better than any of them. It is also a surpassingly good summary of the early history of the Texas project.
The graphic format is sensational -- very clear progression of the story across the pages. Amazing levels of detail and analysis. The running jokes are funny.
This is history done right. Well done, Nathan Hale. More books like this, please.
Do yourself a favor and buy all of the Nathan Hales books.