ON THE TEXAS TRAIL OF CABEZA DE VACA by Peter Lourie

ON THE TEXAS TRAIL OF CABEZA DE VACA

Age Range: 10 - 12

KIRKUS REVIEW

Most of the conquistadores have a well-deserved bad rep, but here Lourie (On the Trail of Lewis and Clark, 2002) retraces the travels of one exception. Part of a 1527 expedition that started out with 600 men and ended with four, Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca was shipwrecked near the site of modern Galveston and while being “comforted, fed, mistreated, enslaved and embraced” by many groups of native residents, looped through what was to become Texas and Mexico. Writing later of his eight-year sojourn, he became the first European to detail much of the area’s flora and fauna—and also among the first to describe the New World’s people not as savages but as “human beings like himself, with a capacity for love and hate, good and evil.” The author explains how he identified Cabeza de Vaca’s probable route with help from scholars and local guides, and illustrates his travelogue with a mix of period and later images. His narrative voice sets this apart from more detailed but less personal accounts of the explorer’s adventures. (maps, brief quotations, timeline, resource lists, index) (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-59078-492-1
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Boyds Mills
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2008




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