The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews

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Maggie Houston - My Father's Honor Review by Nancy Wagner and Dr. Heather Allen

By: Jane Cook
Hendrick-Long Publishing Company
Houston, Texas

This is a very interesting book, in diary style, from the perspective of Maggie Houston, age 12, daughter of famous Texan, Sam Houston. The time period of this book was written when Sam Houston was governor of Texas just preceding the succession of the Southern states prior to the Civil War. One unique aspect of this book was the illustrations. They are childlike just as if a 12-year-old girl child did illustrate this book.

The book is vivid in its description of the Governor's Mansion and as far as I can determine, very factual for the architecture of the mansion in that time period of 1860-1861. The historical facts are smoothly woven into the story with references listed in the back of the book. I did a cursory web search and many of the quotes ascribed to Sam Houston in the dialog factual as well.

This book is about upper elementary and middle school level reading and I feel boys as well as girls would benefit from learning more about Mr. Sam Houston, his faith in God, and his loyalty to the United States of America at a time when it was not popular.

--Product Review by: Nancy Wagner, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine

Maggie Houston: My Father's Honor

By: Jane Cook

Hendrick-Long Publishing Company
Houston, Texas

Maggie Houston: My Father's Honor is an historical fiction account of Sam Houston and his family in Texas, as told from the perspective of his 12-year old daughter, Maggie. This book takes you through times in the Texas governor's mansion when Mr. Houston took tough stances concerning slavery, and made unpopular decisions, but never wavered from what he thought was the right thing to do.

When I began reading this book, I really didn't know anything about Sam Houston. As I read, I found myself drawn to his story, especially the decisions he made and the honorable life he led.

After I had read the book and realized that everyone should read it, I read it aloud to my husband, 83-year old mother, 12 and 10 year old sons, and 7 year old daughter. As I read, everyone sat spellbound, waiting for every page turn. They all enjoyed this book and are interested in learning more about Sam Houston.

I highly recommend Maggie Houston: My Father's Honor. It is a book You will want to read from beginning to end, and then wish there was more. This would be a great addition to any homeschool library. It's not often you get to read a story from the perspective of a 12-year old. I will keep watching for other books by Jane Cook - what a great storyteller.

--Product Review by: Dr. Heather Allen, TOS Senior Analytical Consultant, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine