Make Way for Sam Houston Critical Essays

Jean Fritz


(Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction)

In Make Way for Sam Houston, Fritz has sought to create a readable, personalized account of Houston’s life. The fact that the book does not go into excruciating detail makes it attractive for young readers who are interested in learning about Houston and about the part of the United States history in which he played such an important role.

Fritz focuses primarily on Houston’s affinity for the flamboyant and the unconventional, making her book much more interesting to younger readers than a dry recitation of facts. Her writing style portrays Houston as a very passionate man, and her books are usually characterized by this attention to the personality of the main character. This goal is accomplished in Make Way for Sam Houston by looking at specific events in Houston’s life, such as the symbolism of the eagle as his medicine animal, in order to give the reader a sense of the forces that shaped his personality and later led to certain significant events in his career. By allowing the reader to experience some of Houston’s feelings, Fritz brings him alive and provides a sense of Houston as a real person while at the same time allowing him to seem larger than life.

When describing Houston’s childhood, Fritz emphasizes his stubbornness, mentions his childhood hero, Gaius Marius, and tells of his childhood dream of running away. These three things allow a young reader to identify very readily with Houston, as most children...

(The entire section is 488 words.)