A Paradise Called Texas

A Paradise Called Texas

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Searching for a better life, Mina, Papa, and Mama left their German fatherland aboard the brig Margaretha ,bound for Texas. They had been told it was the paradise of North America, but when Mina steps onto the desolate beach at Indian Point on a cold December day in 1845, she wants to go back to Germany and Opa's cozy house in the village of Wehrestedt. But go on they must. In spite of mama's tragic death, Mina and Papa push inland with the Kaufmann family to the Texas hill country. There Mina encounters an Indian chief and his young daughter, Amaya, whose help she needs when Papa falls ill. Based on her ancestors' immigration to Texas, Janice Shefelman tells of a journey into the wilderness that is filled with hardship, tragedy and adventure.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940157994365
Publisher: Eakin Press
Publication date: 01/01/2016
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 136
Sales rank: 980,501
File size: 864 KB
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

About the Author

Since my father was a German professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, I grew up in a neighborhood near the campus. He read to me from an early age which began a love affair with children's books and led to careers as teacher, librarian, and writer. Books opened the door to a big world and gave me the desire to see it. Thus I spent one summer bicycling around Europe and another traveling in North Africa and the Middle East.

When I married Tom, an architect and artist, we set out on a trip around the world for a year, traveling by freighter and living several weeks in a Buddhist temple. Along the way I wrote articles for newspapers and magazines which Tom illustrated, our first artistic collaboration.

But it was not until I tried writing children's books that my career began to blossom. Our first book, A Paradise Called Texas, was a Texas Bluebonnet Award Nominee. The idea came from a story my father told me when I was a little girl. His grandfather left Germany in 1845 and brought his wife and young daughter, Mina, to the Texas frontier. Tom and our two sons collaborated to illustrate this book.

Many books later Tom and I are still married and living in Austin. In fact our marriage thrives on working together. We have recently published a picture book biography entitled I, Vivaldi, which received the Children's Choices Award given by the International Reading Association. Doing the research was a joy, since Vivaldi's music is our passion and Venice is our favorite city. We lived in the same square where Antonio Vivaldi's childhood home still stands. Tom played kickball with the neighborhood kids just as Antonio tried to do but could not because of his "chest constriction." Out of that book came Anna Maria's Gift, a chapter book about an orphan girl who studies violin with Vivaldi. As you can see, I love to write about the past and make it come to life for young readers.

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