General Houston's Little Spy: A Texas Revolution Story
By: Cara Skinner
Publication Date: March 2015
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: May 24, 2016
The Texas Revolution is one of those periods in American history that is sometimes overlooked in the classroom. Fortunately, author Cara Skinner has brought this time to life in an exciting way. From the very real characters that made up the state of Texas during the wave of massive battles and frightening moments; to the endless terrain decorated with nothing but scattered cactus and cattle, this author has not only brought this amazing era to life, but has also put together a fictional tale of courage, hope and mystery-with a dash of spies mixed in for good suspense.
Samantha Russell is our main character. A wonderful girl, she isn't a willful child or a "bad egg." She is a simple, kind girl who thinks only of her fiancÚ and the future they're going to have together. Born in a small community near the Nolichucky River in eastern Tennessee, Samantha lives on a farm with her parents and four siblings. Just five miles south lives Danny Autry. Their early days together were basically spent growing up. Definition? He knocked her down and pulled on her pigtails until she grew up and he realized that she was the girl he loved.
What the couple must do, however, is exit Tennessee in the middle of the night because her parents are opposed to their tying the knot when Samantha is only fourteen. Leaving behind a note, she and Danny end up in the great state of Texas just as political issues begin to take shape. The battle between Texas settlers and the Mexican dictator Santa Anna is stirring, and when the famous fight at the Alamo occurs, Samantha is handed the most heartbreaking loss of her life. With the Alamo's fall and Sam's devastation, her path leads her to be a spy in order to serve justice on the evil man who has taken the future she so wanted away from her.
"Watching" the Mexican Army, "seeing" Burnham's Ferry burn on the Colorado River, "feeling" the anger and the passion of an army wanting nothing more than to destroy Santa Anna and all he stands for, while learning about the Texian Army and what General Houston might have said to change the future of America so that tyrants could never again tread upon U.S. soil - each and every chapter delivers these gems and many more. Drawing the reader in and keeping them riveted until Samantha's final fight, this tale of war, suspense and heartache is a perfect 'square' to add to the American 'quilt' of courage.
Quill Says: Great for many age groups, this book proves that history can come alive if delivered by a writer who knows her subject and loves to research.
For more information on General Houston's Little Spy, please visit the publisher's website at: www.carasclassics.com