Make Way for Sam Houston

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Overview

Colorful Sam Houston leaps to life in the pages of this fresh and funny biography, set against the story of Texas's fight for independence from Mexico. Lively, readable, and solidly researched, this is the kind of biography every child needs. - Booklist, starred review Jean Fritz has done it again..Her writing turns this larger-than-life character into a very real person.- School Library Journal, starred review Young readers will find the book fast-paced and fact-packed. - The New York Times Book Review Jean ...
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Overview

Colorful Sam Houston leaps to life in the pages of this fresh and funny biography, set against the story of Texas's fight for independence from Mexico. Lively, readable, and solidly researched, this is the kind of biography every child needs. - Booklist, starred review Jean Fritz has done it again..Her writing turns this larger-than-life character into a very real person.- School Library Journal, starred review Young readers will find the book fast-paced and fact-packed. - The New York Times Book Review Jean Fritz lives in Dobbs Ferry, New York.

Traces the life of the soldier who led the fight for Texas' independence from Mexico, served as governor and senator, and opposed secession during the Civil War.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Fritz's wit, sensitivity and understanding of the young reader have won her numerous awards and honors. They have also granted her the ability to make history and historical figures come alive. Her new book chronicles the colorful life of Sam Houston from his boyhood in Virginia to his death in Huntsville, Texas. While this biography is not easy reading, and a knowledge of the Civil War is helpful in understanding Houston's story, Fritz tempers the complicated background material with amusing anecdotes, such as the time one of his children interrupted a senate session while Houston was the governor of Texas, by locking the senators in the meeting room. Fritz's thoroughly researched narrative is supplemented by writings and quotes by Houston and his acquaintances. Involving reading for biography and history buffs. (10-up)
Children's Literature - Kristin Harris
Sam Houston was a man, bigger than life, who lived with a bravado that still resonates today. Born in 1793 in Virginia, his family soon moved to the wilds of Tennessee. His father was in the militia and with four older brothers, Sam soon had military heroes to inspire him. Not cut out for farm life, he ran away and lived with the Cherokees for three years-an experience that would mold his later years. Sam then began a military/political career that spanned many years, and that included fighting Indians as well as being their sponsor/champion, and forging the state of Texas. Sam Houston was prone to flamboyant costumes and behavior, which makes his story even more interesting. All in all, a very entertaining and informative biography.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6 Jean Fritz has done it again. In her tightly woven, well-researched biography of the Texas hero, she has demystified Sam Houston by presenting the facts of his life and providing interpretations. Her writing turns this larger-than-life character into a very real person. Houston was a self-educated man who fought in the War of 1812, served as a congressman and governor of Tennessee, fought for Texas independence, served as its first president and later as governor and senator after Texas joined the union. Much of his life was influenced by his boyhood reading of hero stories, especially those of Caius Marius, a Roman general and statesman. Fritz does not glide over Houston's weaknesses such as his problem with alcohol and his marriage to an Indian woman when still married to another woman. She delights in recounting Houston's dramatic flair. He stole the show from Mirabeau B. Lamar, elected to replace him as president of Texas, on his inauguration day by arriving dressed as George Washington and proceeding to give a three hour farewell address to the extreme consternation of Lamar. Other biographies of Houston have joined the ranks of o.p., but even collections that still have them should make room on their shelves for this splendid biography.Therese Bigelow, Hampton Public Library, Va.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780606009218
  • Publisher: San Val, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/1/1986
  • Format: Library Binding

Meet the Author

"The question I am most often asked," Jean Fritz says, "is how do I find my ideas? The answer is: I don't. Ideas find me. A character in history will suddenly step right out of the past and demand a book. Generally people don't bother to speak to me unless there's a good chance that I'll take them on." Throughout almost four decades of writing about history, Jean Fritz has taken on plenty of people, starting with George Washington in The Cabin Faced West (1958). Since then, her refreshingly informal historical biographies for children have been widely acclaimed as "unconventional," "good-humored," "witty," "irrepressible," and "extraordinary."

In her role as biographer, Jean Fritz attempts to uncover the adventures and personalities behind each character she researches. "Once my character and I have reached an understanding," she explains, "then I begin the detective work—reading old books, old letters, old newspapers, and visiting the places where my subject lived. Often I turn up surprises and of course I pass these on." It is her penchant for making distant historical figures seem real that brings the characters to life and makes the biographies entertaining, informative, and filled with natural child appeal.

An original and lively thinker, as well as an inspiration to children and adults, Jean Fritz is undeniably a master of her craft. She was awarded the Regina Medal by the Catholic Library Association, presented with the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award by the American Library Association for her "substantial and lasting contribution to children's literature," and honored with the Knickerbocker Award for Juvenile Literature, which was presented by the New York State Library Association for her body of work.

copyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2003

    sam houston

    Sam Houston was a man, bigger than life, who lived with a bravado that still resonates today. Born in 1793 in Virginia, his family soon moved to the wilds of Tennessee. His father was in the militia and with four older brothers, Sam soon had military heroes to inspire him. Not cut out for farm life, he ran away and lived with the Cherokees for three years-an experience that would mold his later years. Sam then began a military/political career that spanned many years, and that included fighting Indians as well as being their sponsor/champion, and forging the state of Texas. Sam Houston was prone to flamboyant costumes and behavior, which makes his story even more interesting. All in all, a very entertaining and informative biography.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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