And the adventure begins...
We are reading a new series of books about Texas history which has us begging for "one more chapter" each day. The series, entitled Mr. Barrigton's Mysterious Trunk, is by award winning author Melodie A. Cuate. The four books in the series are: Journey to the Alamo, Journey to San Jacinto, Journey to Gonzales, and Journey to Goliad.
The story reminds me of the Magic Tree House series, but for older children. In the first book, best friends Hannah and Jackie have just started seventh grade and they have a new teacher, Mr. Barrington. He brings out a mysterious trunk and challenges them to "choose an event in Texas history and become part of it." When he opens the dusty trunk, it is full of books and magazines about Texas. After school that day, the two friends return to the classroom to look in the trunk. Hannah's brother, Nick, joins them and helps them to open the lock. When they look in the chest, it is now filled with memorabilia and figurines regarding the Alamo. Suddenly, there is a crash of thunder and a swirl of dust and the 3 children are transported back in time to the Alamo just days before that fateful battle.
As the children get to know the people of the Alamo fame, the reader learns the history of that important time in Texas independence history. You join the 3 children and become "part of" this historic event.
The second book, the one we are reading now, is about the Battle of San Jacinto where Texas wins its independence. In this book their teacher, Mr. Barrington, is missing. In order to help him, Hannah knows she must go back into time again. Mr. Barrington's niece, Ms. Barrington, joins the 3 children on this adventure.
The third book is titled Journey to Gonzales. In this book, Nick will go back in time to try and alter history and save a friend he met in San Jacinto. Meanwhile, the girls try to stop him from this mission of history alteration. But, they end up in a Mexican camp and learn about life in the Mexican army.
The final book (though I don't know if more will be published) is titled Journey to Goliad. This book is about the massacre at Goliad and I think I'll have to preread this one.
As you can tell, these are exciting, well-written books that teach a lot about Texas history. Even if you don't live in Texas, I think you and your children would find this series captivating and educational.
As an interesting side note, I went to Google Reader to search the posts. I know I read about these books on someone's blog. Anyway, I couldn't find where anyone had posted about them (though if any of you did, please let me know!), but I found a post I'd made about "Barrington." It was a post I'd titled "Birthplace of Texas." Two years ago, we went on a field trip with one of our homeschool groups and visited 3 places related to Texas history. One of them was a working historical farm called Barrington Farm. Barrington Farm was the home of Dr. Anson Jones, the last President of the Republic of Texas. "Barrington" is named after his birthplace, Great Barrington Massachusetts. I wonder if this is just a coincidence?