Genre: middle grade historical fiction
Length: 180 pages of story, 201 pages total
Setting: Gonzales, Texas, 1836
Interest: I was looking for a book to use for American History Club as we learned about the Alamo. There weren’t many books the library had more than one copy of, so this became the default option.
Summary: Lucinda is a girl living in Gonzales, Texas. There’s lot of talk of Texians fighting Santa Anna because he’s taking away their rights. When Mexican soldiers come to take away the cannon Gonzales has to scare away Native Americans, the people of Gonzales make a stand and say no. Men of Texas and U.S. states gather to form a Volunteer force to fight the Mexicans. There’s a lot of waiting and rumors, but everything comes to a head at the Alamo.
Final thoughts: I love how the author incorporated so many historical people and events into the story. The Lawrence family is fictional, but many of the people they interact with in the book were real and were involved in the events in Gonzales and the Alamo. (You have to continually remind yourself the book is a piece of fiction, not an actual diary of a girl who was at the Alamo.)There’s quite a bit of build-up to the Alamo, and then things get really exciting at the end. We don’t actually see what happens at the Alamo since the story is told from Lucinda’s viewpoint, and she wasn’t there. She just reports rumors and what other people share with her and her family.
While the book probably had too many instances of “My friend has prettier hair ribbons than me” for the boys, I appreciated all the tidbits that described the work that went into living in Texas at the time. Books like this are a continual reminder of how easy we have it these days.
Title comes from: At two points in the book, someone drew a line in the sand and said something to the effect of “Everyone who wants to fight, step over this line.” The kids in Gonzales even started using the ploy as a game.
Reading challenges fulfilled: a G in my author Reading the Alphabet Challenge and #9 in my Maybe 100 This Year Challenge
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