A Brave Boy & A Good Soldier Mary Margaret Mcallen Amberson, Texas State Historical Association, $12.95, softcover; 800-687-8132.

dec06_a_brave_boyA Brave Boy & A Good Soldier is an unbelievably intriguing tale of truth about 14-year-old John C.C. Hill embarking on the ill-fated 1842 expedition to Mier in Mexico. In the quest to settle questions over Texas ownership, Hill ends up captured and eventually adopted by Mexican President Santa Anna. Parts of the book are a bit confusing, but none of it is beyond understanding. The narrative keeps your attention, and does its job in teaching about John C.C. Hill and his role during Texas’ struggle for independence.—Douglas Tze, 15, Scottsdale, AZ

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