Whenever picking up a history book geared towards younger readers, especially of American History, I am always cautious about how it will be handled. Too often, we seek to shield our young students from the realities of history and dangerously flirt with propaganda. When I first picked up this book, I already loved the Hazardous Tale series (check them all out!) and have even had the privilege of meeting the author and presenting with him on a panel at San Diego Comic Con. Still, judging by the cover (I know, I know!) and first few pages, I began to wonder if this might be too one-sided of a history. However, Hale interrupted his own story to bring in Mexican historical players (speaking in Spanish and English) so that we could obtain their insight into this history. Whew! Within the first few pages, the reader has already come across several maps, historical events, and a lesson in historiography! Most impressive.
The drama is set up by page 11 as we see so many viewpoints - event from rattlesnakes and armadillos - in addition to Comanche, Coahuiltecans, Lipan Apache, Karankawa, Jean Lafitte, Stephen Austin, newly independent Mexicans, and many more. Students will be drawn in during the first few pages and will want to keep reading as it reads like a story - not a heavy-handed history lesson. The illustrations add to the story in so many ways - in humor, in personalization, gepgraphic understanding, and much more. .
Throughout the book, there are man asides and questions asked - this allows students the time to fully grasp the historical events before moving on. This book is wonderfully researched and presents multiple points of view - this can be seen as a history of Texas, of Mexico, and of the Alamo.
Age recommendation - 5th grade on up. I enjoyed this as an adult and would not put any upper age limit on it as I offer it to high school students for extra credit.
Bruce Wayne as the pirate Leatherwing. Colonial America - ruled by Gar-El - great-grandfather of Kal-El - who then overthrows him. John Henry Irons is born and raised as a slave during the 1800s - successful rebellion. Harvey Dent and Bruce Wayne battle it out in Citizen Wayne.