Monday, July 9, 2007

7. Voices of the Alamo
Nonfiction book annotation
By: Angela Wilcox

This is a short picture book with no page numbers.

Garland, S. (2000). Voices of the Alamo. New York: Scholastic Inc.

Author Creditability: Garland’s interest of the Alamo goes back to her years in high school where she entered an essay contest and started it out with “I’ve never seen the Alamo.” She as always been intrigued by here home state of Texas and found it an honor to write this book. There is a bibliography page where there are several texts that she and Ronald Himler (the illustrator) used to research and compose this book. She also acknowledges Dr. Richard Bruce Winders the Historian and Curator of the Alamo for reviewing the text and illustrations to make sure it was historically accurate.

Summary: Garland allows the reader to go on a chronological tour of the Alamo from 1500 up until today through different characters speaking of their encounter of the Alamo. She takes a neutral stand of the Alamo and allows the reader to hear from all parties involved including the: Spanish, Tejanos, Texians, Mexicans, and Americans. By doing this Garland helps the reader to understand how everyone felt during this time frame. She then continues up until today where tourists tour the Alamo and she vows to remember those of the Alamo.
Most Important Access Features: The end pages of this book are done in a crimson red which I said could symbolize the blood shed at the Alamo. There is a glossary of Spanish words along with their meanings and pronunciations. The historical note in this book contains the whole history of the Alamo which could easily help the reader to understand where is person is coming from.

Description of Illustrations: Ronald Himler illustrated this book. He used watercolors and gouache. I found the illustrations to really aid the person speaking at the time. They are all dual spreads and really help to capture the reader into the book and visually help one to understand what is taking place.

Grade Level & Uses: Grades 2-7; I would use this book to teach about US history, the Alamo, Texas’ history, and on people who influenced things in history.

Standards: Social Studies Curriculum Standards: 1 Culture; 2 Time, Continuity, and Change; 6 Power, Authority, and Governance

Related Texts & How Related: These books could be used along with Voices of the Alamo to discuss history.

Susanna of the Alamo: A True Story by John Jakes
The Boy in the Alamo by Margaret Cousins
Inside the Alamo by Jim Murphy

Quality/Awards: NCTE Orbis Pictus recommended book; San Antonio Conservation Society Award

Personal Response to Book: I found this book to be very interesting and eye opening to see everyone’s perspective about the Alamo. I like how the author was not bias and provided the reader with enough information to understand everyone’s views, but it was still kept short and easy to read for children.


I love nonfiction said...

Good job on the credibility of the author!

Interesting comment about the use of red as symbolizing the blood shed at the Alamo.

Allison Fielder said...

I want to read this. I've always been interested in the Alamo and I think this would be a fun and easy way to incorporate my learning about it in a classroom with students learning about it as well!