Cover image for In the shadow of the Alamo
In the shadow of the Alamo
Garland, Sherry.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
San Diego : Harcourt, 2001.
Physical Description:
vi, 282 pages ; 22 cm
Conscripted into the Mexican Army, fifteen-year-old Lorenzo Bonifacio makes some unexpected alliances and learns some harsh truths about General Santa Ana as the troops move toward the Battle of the Alamo.
Reading Level:
910 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG+ 6.2 10.0 53811.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 5.9 15 Quiz: 38216 Guided reading level: V.
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Other popular novels by Sherry Garland:Indio

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 6-8. Fifteen-year-old Lorenzo Bonifacio, who has never left his Mexican village, is conscripted into the Mexican army and soon finds himself with troops headed to retake the Alamo from North American settlers. The journey is hard, but Lorenzo finds solace in unexpected friendships and belief in the cause. However, when the battle finally occurs, his beliefs are challenged and his perspective is broadened as he comes to realize that triumph and tragedy and heroes and villains aren't as easily defined as he thought. In this entry in the Great Episodes series, Garland offers an alternate viewpoint of a well-known American historical event through an intimate, lively narrative that engages and informs. Along the way, she interweaves details about Mexican culture and the daily life of the times, some Spanish terms, and historical background. Lorenzo's character growth and development are realistically and sympathetically portrayed in a story that illuminates the impact of war across class and cultural boundaries. Some sources are noted at the back, and a glossary is appended. --Shelle Rosenfeld

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8-Although Lorenzo Bonifacio is only 15, he is conscripted into the Mexican army for 10 years. At first, he and Esteban Esquivel, the 17-year-old son of the wealthiest landowner in the region, have nothing to do with one another, but in the end they become friends. Life in the army is vividly described, and the bloody battle scenes are realistically drawn. Hardships such as the lack of food, arbitrary justice, and the total loss of personal rights are part and parcel of this military experience. The conscripts are given outdated weapons and are not trained for battle as they are considered mere "cannon fodder." The women and children who followed the men, including Lorenzo's aunt and two younger sisters, suffer the same hardships, and many do not survive the arduous trip on foot to Texas. Santa Anna is portrayed as cruel and self-centered, desiring personal glory at all costs. Enduring physical hardships and personal tragedies, Lorenzo is transformed from a simple farmer to a soldier, and from a child to a man. Told from his perspective, the story provides a different point of view on a well-known historical event. Readers will sympathize with both the Mexican soldiers and with the rebels. A book that captures and holds young people's attention.-Lana Miles, Duchesne Academy, Houston, TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.