This month MetroFamily's Exploring Beyond Oklahoma article focuses on San Antonio. I was lucky enough to get that assignment, and before our family made the trip I wanted my kids to know a little bit about the Alamo and some of the places they would see, so we headed to the library. Here are a few of the great books we found.
The Battle of the Alamo: An Interactive History Adventure: This is a book that is great for your upper elementary kids. The first chapter sets the scene and gives background on situation. At the end of the chapter, readers have to choose if they will fight for Santa Anna or as a Texan. Depending on the choice they make, they read certain sections and then make different decisions like in the Choose Your Own Adventure books that were so popular when we were young.
The Mystery of the Alamo Ghost: Carole Marsh has a whole series of travel mysteries set in different locations, but this one set in San Antonio is the first one we've read. Two kids travel to the city with their grandparents and find themselves wrapped up in a mystery. Both of my kids (9 and 4) enjoyed listening to this one.
The Mystery at the Alamo: This book from the Boxcar Children series takes the Alden children to San Antonio, where they have to solve a mystery on a film set. The book does give factual information along with the story, but sometimes I think these books don't flow very well when read aloud, so I would probably give it to my kids to read on their own.
Inside the Alamo: This book by Jim Murphy was so interesting! I honestly did not know much about the Alamo beyond a few basic facts, but this book really takes you into what happened in a very engaging way. Murphy writes fantastic non-fiction and pulls you into the stories surrounding historical events. Even though this is technically a children's book, my husband and I both enjoyed it!
Susanna of the Alamo: I found this book at a gift shop in San Antonio and enjoyed it quite a bit. In several of the other books we had read and films we had seen the story of Susanna Dickinson was mentioned. This picture book by John Jakes tells more about her story.
A Picture Book of Davy Crockett: I'm kind of embarrassed to admit how little I knew about Davy Crockett before our trip, but this picture book will give you a nice short overview of his life. It's easy enough that your second to third graders can probably handle it on their own, and short enough that it can be used as a read aloud.
Of course, traveling is usually the most exciting way to learn about a place, but if you can't make the trip, these books should give you a good idea of what went on at the Alamo!