Since my father passed away a couple of years ago, I've been slowly reading through all my books that connect us, as a way of remembering him. He took me with him to pick up this book at an author signing. He became a fan after auditing Carroll's Texas History course at Blinn Jr College. I remember him telling me how, as the only old fart in a class full of teenagers, he probably got much more out of it than the kids that were simply getting their required credits out of the way. Knowing my dad, he probably stayed after every class, BSing with the professor and probably making him late for supper on the regular. My dad did love to tell tales, and he had a passion for local and family history.
About the book: This book is intended to be used as supplemental reading for middle school Texas History classes, and it does it very well, given the constraints. It uses simple language in a direct, storytelling style, meant to both entertain and to reinforce historical facts. The scope is broad enough to satisfy diversity requirements and the prose carefully dances around the kind of scientific and historical facts that tend to annoy the bible thumpers, nationalists, and alt-righters that populate the state textbook selection committee and various schoolboards. I do wish he'd cited his sources for historical fact, or at least provided a reference list at the back, in addition to the facilitator's guide.