Make Way for Sam Houston Critical Context - Essay

Jean Fritz

Critical Context

(Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction)

Make Way for Sam Houston is designed to allow younger readers to obtain an understanding of the kind of person Houston was, as well as to give them an idea of the influence that this figure had on political events that occurred during his lifetime. The book is a realistic look at Houston’s life, dealing with his failed first marriage and divorce candidly, as well as the fact that he made more than a few enemies in his career. Nevertheless, Fritz keeps a light, humorous tone that is designed to maintain a young reader’s interest in the book. Fritz’s books are often characterized by this chatty tone, as well as by their attention to the details of the historical period in which they are set. Fortunately, however, she does not bury the reader in minutiae.

The book provides a good introduction to the major historical events in the United States during the period between the War of 1812 and the Civil War. The text will be especially interesting to young readers who wish to learn about the early history of Texas, but Houston also had an influence in the overall politics of the United States. This biography’s focus on his dealings with Native Americans also provides interesting information for students who may hear only the negative side of tribal interactions with the U.S. government. Make Way for Sam Houston’s easy style encourages a reader’s interest, and Houston’s flamboyant way of doing things ensures that any event in which he played a part will be easily remembered.