Form and Content

(Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction)

The publisher of Daniel James Kubiak’s Ten Tall Texans describes the work as “portrait sketches of ten heroes.” In discussing the pursuit of liberty, the author unites the stories of ten diverse people into one book. The nationwide fame achieved by Sam Houston and Davy Crockett before the Texas Revolution contrasts with the modest life of widow Andrea Castanon Candelaria, who nursed soldiers at the Alamo. The wealth of Juan N. Seguin and the legal education of Jose Antonio Navarro differs from the background of Ben Milam, a Kentucky woodsman who could barely read and write. Their lives, along with those of Stephen F. Austin, James Bowie, Lorenzo de Zavala, and William B. Travis, exemplify the patriots who sought freedom for Texas from Mexican rule in the revolution of 18351836.

Relating the history of Texas from Spanish exploration to the events of 1835, the book’s first chapter establishes a specific time and place. Each of the next ten chapters introduces one Texan with brief biographical information and a black-and-white portrait sketched by James Wogstad. While the biographies describe the patriots’ lives before and after the Texas Revolution, the pivotal event for Kubiak’s purpose is the role that each subject played in the independence movement. A separate summary of accomplishments and vital statistics concludes the information about these figures. In a preface, Kubiak presents his viewpoints, and a bibliography and an index...

(The entire section is 449 words.)