Remembering the Alamo
post written by Esther Filbrun
Title: Remembering the Alamo
Author: Alicia A. Willis
Major Themes: American History, Alamo
Synopsis: When the Texans need help against the advancing Mexican army lead by Santa Anna, Silas Edwards sets off with his friend Wes to help defend the Alamo mission.
In some ways, I feel like I’m a bad American. But often, I think it’s a good thing rather than a negative, because more and more I’m realizing it’s good to have perspective on the world, even though it might change the way you look at the country you were born in. I finished reading Remembering the Alamo recently, and was struck by how much our perspective on a certain area or government really changes the way we perceive things that happened in the past. It also showed me a little of how our focus can really affect how we respond to life. Fascinating.
Youth pastor Mark Siegler has brought his group of boys to the Alamo to teach them some history and hopefully some life lessons as well. As the story of Silas Edwards, a volunteer who went to protect the Alamo, is retold, Pastor Mark tries to emphasize how freedom from tyranny was important and following the Lord’s leading is also important. The men who went to fight at the Alamo gave up a lot of freedom to help out, and Mark is hoping that his young men will catch the same vision. However, their trip may be stopped before they’ve properly even started—Dillan is struggling majorly with something, and his actions toward the group in general could easily turn out to be enough to send them all home, field trip or no. Will Silas Edwards and the men with him free the people of Texas, despite the odds? Can Mark find the right way to share the message of the gospel with Dillan?
The biggest thing I struggled with in this book was the patriotism. But since the topic of this book was the Alamo, I don’t think I have much room to complain. Personally, I believe that for no reason ever—even in self-defense—should we take another person’s life, because Jesus loves them just as much as He loves me. And if I kill them, they won’t ever have the chance to get to know Him as Savior. So when I see so-called “Christians” fighting as in this book, I really struggle—because I don’t believe that’s Jesus’ way (see Matthew 5:21-22). I loved the history—seeing what really happened at the Alamo. I had a fuzzy idea of what happened before, but seeing it laid out in a story made it a lot easier to remember. But like I said, I still struggled with the overall theme of the story.
One quote I appreciated was this:
“History, guys, is a sort of mirror to our own lives. When we understand it, we understand where we came from, what circumstances shaped our present course. And the part I like is that we can see God’s hand of providence all throughout time. We can see where He led others and how His leading resulted in the lives we live today.” —Pastor Mark
In all, this is an excellent retelling of the happenings at the Alamo, in a way that young history students would be able to understand. It also has a small accompanying storyline that helps carry everything along. Recommended for the historical value!
WARNING: In chapter 6, someone punches someone else. In chapter 9, both the terms “blazers” and “great smokes” are used. Chapter 10 has the words “doggone” and “blamed” (twice). In chapter 11, an idea I don’t fully support was expressed—“Freeing Americans from tyranny was always worth fighting for.” It also contained the word “blamed”. Chapter 13 expresses the opinion that “there came a time when killing another human was necessary…”, uses the word “blamed” twice, and someone is sure they’re in the center of the Lord’s will because he was ready to fight. Also in chapter 13, several people are killed in a fight. In chapter 16, an opinion is expressed: “we were honoring Him [God] by coming to our countrymen’s defense” (this is an opinion held and repeated throughout the remainder of the book). In chapter 17, a battle starts and men are killed, and the word “blamed” is used twice. In chapter 20, there is a very intense battle scene, lots of fighting, and a man is killed (from the perspective of the one who died).
Reading Independently—Ages 12 – 15, 15 and Above
Links to buy Remembering the Alamo:
AbeBooks: View Choices on AbeBooks.com
Book Depository: Paperback
Keywords: American History, Alamo, Patriotism