Book Reviews


Journey to the Alamo, Book One

“The story mixes myth, legend, fact, and fantasy as a unique approach to introducing children to history……..Cuate, as a teacher of fourth grade gifted and talented students, knows how to write for children of that age group.….. Journey to the  Alamo is highly recommended for children of pre-middle school, and middle school age.” —William Groneman III, Roundup Magazine      

“They learn valuable lessons about honor and the importance of history. Melodie Cuate offers seventh graders an exciting adventure instead of what they expected—dull, boring history.” —JoAn W. Martin, Review Of Texas Books    

"Cuate focuses on sibling rivalry, gender issues, loyalty, and patriotism. Her enthusiasm and love for Texas history is evident and contagious. Students will want to know more about this period in history and how it impacted the United States." —KaaVonia Hinton, ForeWord     

"To teach kids history, try time travel." —Gary Ford, Southern Living®

Journey to the Alamo , Book One & Journey to San Jacinto , Book Two

"Melodie Cuate's series, Mr. Barrington's Mysterious Trunk, is great. These are books that the reader will not be able to put down and will wait impatiently for the next installment. This reader strongly recommends these books and can easily see them being used with great success in fourth and seventh grade classes. — Deborah Hardin, Southwestern Historical Quarterly     

“Good juvenile books, like both of these, are certainly worth time spent by adults to see the quality and texture children can find to supplement their classroom texts.” — Jane Manaster, Texas Books in Review      

“Both books are written for youth (middle) readers, but I enjoyed them, too. By effectively combining historical facts and modern-day characters, the author creates stories interesting enough to hold a reader’s attention while teaching Texas history at the same time. Maybe a good way to enjoy these books is to use time travel between generations: have parents or grandparents read the books with a child or grandchild. The quality time spent reading together is a good review for the older generation and a learning experience for the younger one. I recommend Mr. Barrington’s Mysterious Trunk series, and I look forward to the third book, Journey to Gonzales.” — Nancy Ray,  Texas Ranger Dispatch™

Journey to San Jacinto, Book Two

“When I read a book, I hope for adventure, and this book had plenty of it. I never put the book down while reading it and plan to read it again. Not all history books are exciting, but this book linked our world to our past in an enjoyable way. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did.” —Marie Routh Nickle, Alto Middle School, East Texas Historical Association     

“Full of excitement and details about a dangerous time period, this book introduces children to fascinating historical figures such as Sam Houston, Santa Anna and Juan Seguin.” —Fran Strykowski, True West Magazine

Journey to Gonzales, Book Three

“An eye-opening adventure that literally makes history come alive for young readers, and is sure to whet the reader's appetite for learning more. Also highly recommended are the previous books in the series, "Journey to the  Alamo" and "Journey to  San Jacinto".” —The Midwest Book Review     

“Meticulously researched, but accessible for younger readers, Cuate’s books are gaining a wide audience.” —Martin Winchester, Critic’s Nook, The Monitor     

“In alternating chapters, Ms. Cuate provides readers an opportunity to view the altercation that sparked the Texas Revolution from both the Texans’ and the Mexicans’ perspective and to experience the conflicting emotions that afflicted the participants.”   — Texas Books in Review

Journey to Goliad, Book Four

"Captured by the Mexican military, the students quickly adapt to their unfamiliar culture and harsh conditions. Compact scenes build to the arresting climax as the trio encounters legendary historical figures. The pacing enhances the dramatic tension as the young historians befriend the Texan soldiers and fight to prevent their predestined massacre." -- Kirkus Reviews


“I went to your  Alamo session at the G/T Conference in  Houston. I really enjoyed it and couldn't wait to come back and have more fun with my students. I bought all 3 of your books which I have read to my students. They really got into the books which helped them when we talked about the  Alamo,  San Jacinto, and Gonzales. Thank you for letting my students and me experience the Barrington Trunk!!!”  —  Lydia Melton, 4th Grade Teacher, Bransom Elementary      

“I wanted to let you know that my kids have thoroughly enjoyed your book. Every day they would walk in asking if we could start off with the next chapter of the book and gripe when we would have to stop. They’re looking forward to "Journey to  San Jacinto". Good luck, and thanks for the adventures.”  —Michelle Bazan, 4th Grade Teacher, Freddy Gonzalez Elementary 

"The books are action packed with humor, and it leaves the reader hungry for more.”  —Benjamin Ortiz, middle-school student           

"We are really enjoying the books.  I noticed that my son has become somewhat of a History buff.” —Vanessa P. Rodriguez RN, Jefferson Elementary      

“Thanks again for making teaching fun for teachers and students through literature.” —Mrs. Sal Langley,  4th Grade Teacher,  Bryan  Elementary School