Drawing upon the increasing popularity of graphic or illustrated novels among young readers, Texas Tales Illustrated: The Revolution is an innovative retelling of the Texas revolution for independence, sure to become an invaluable classroom resource. Author Mike Kearby and illustrator Mack White designed the book for use in seventh grade Texas history courses in response to a need for more interactive textbooks, which will appeal to the learning styles of students in today’s overwhelmingly visual media culture.
White’s detailed line drawings recall classic comic book style and capture the dramatic tension of the battles, while Kearby’s narration is enticing, full of intriguing historical detail. The comic pages are supplemented with traditional text, including excerpts of historical documents and visual materials such as maps and battlefield schematics.
Students at three North Texas middle schools found the graphic format “easy to read,” the illustrations “exciting” and well executed. Many responded that they would check out the book from their school libraries—even if the text were not required reading.