Deep in the Heart of Texas Tison Books with a Texas Setting

historical fiction

When young George McJunkin leaves his home in Texas and joins a cattle drive along the Chisholm Trail, he experiences the hardships of being a Black cowboy after the Civil War.
Eight stories capture the life of twelve-year-old Irene Hutto, growing up on a cotton farm in Texas in the 1930s, based on the life of Harriet Burandt's mother.
In the journal she receives for her twelfth birthday in 1835, Lucinda Lawrence describes the hardships her family and other residents of the "Texas colonies" endure when they decide to face the Mexicans in a fight for their freedom.
In the late 1860s in the Texas hill country, a big yellow dog and a fourteen-year-old boy form a close, loving relationship.
Set during the Galveston Storm of 1900, the dreams of a young boy and his family are put on hold as they deal with the massive destruction of the community they love.
In 1968, eleven-year-old Jaynell's life in the town of Moon, Texas, is enlivened when her eccentric Grandpap comes to live with her family.
Coming of age in a rural Texas community in 1918, fifteen-year-old Asia assists in the local war effort, contemplates romance with a local boy, and expands her horizons through her pursuit of photography.
A twelve-year-old girl keeps a journal of her family's and friends' difficult experiences in the Texas panhandle, part of the "Dust Bowl," during the Great Depression.
In central Texas in 1899, eleven-year-old Callie Vee Tate is instructed to be a lady by her mother, learns about love from the older three of her six brothers, and studies the natural world with her grandfather, the latter of which leads to an important discovery.
In Galveston, Texas, a rich twelve-year-old girl and an orphaned fourteen-year-old boy work together to save themselves and others from the terrible hurricane of 1900.
The story of Bass Reeves who was born a slave and later became one of the most respected federal marshals in Oklahoma and Texas.
Loosely based on a school explosion that took place in New London, Texas, in 1937, this is the story of two teenagers: Naomi, who is Mexican, and Wash, who is black, and their dealings with race, segregation, love, and the forces that destroy people.
Fourteen-year-old Luli and her family face tragedy after failing to tell their slaves that President Lincoln's Emanicipation Proclamation made them free.
Fictional diary of a fourteen-year-old girl accompanying a cattle drive along the Chisolm Trail in 1878.
A teenage boy keeps a diary of events during the devastating hurricane which struck Galveston, Texas, in 1900, and of the rescue operations that followed.
A thirteen-year-old girl keeps a diary of events during the Texas Revolution, as her life changes from dances and picnics to flight from Santa Anna's army after the fall of the Alamo.
Searching for a better life, Mina and her parents leave their German fatherland in 1845 and sail to Texas where they find hardship, tragedy, and adventure.

realistic fiction

In a small East Texas town largely ruled by prejudices and bullies, fourteen-year-old Austin sets out to win a ride in the next parade and, in the process, grows in her understanding of friendship and helps her widowed mother through her mourning.
Living in San Antonio, Texas, eleven-year-old Alma tries to cope with the drive-by shooting death of her favorite Latina singer, as well as deal with the struggles of her various family members, and finds herself doing something she knows is wrong.
When North Carolina fourteen-year-old Dylan Sands joins his fifteen-year-old cousin Rio in running the Rio Grande River, they face a tropical storm and a fugitive kidnapper.
During the summer of 1971 in a small Texas town, thirteen-year-old Toby and his best friend Cal meet the star of a sideshow act, 600-pound Zachary, the fattest boy in the world.
Kate Hamilton is a congressman's daughter, used to the world of Washington politics, but after some pictures of her cause a mild scandal, she finds herself exiled to her aunt's West Texas farm and animal shelter, in the district where her father is planning to run for office--and then she discovers that politics in a small town can be even nastier than Washington, especially when it involves the local high school football team.
Learning that her beloved mother has cancer, 13-year-old Erica "Chia" Montenegro makes a promise to God that she will raise money for cancer awareness, an effort that leads to a discovery that when friends and family work together, miracles can happen.
Jake Cullen, fourteen, lives in the shadows of his father and older brother until he becomes the starting quarterback for the high school football team and finally has his chance to shine.
In an adventure reminiscent of Homer's Odyssey, fifteen-year-old Odilia and her four younger sisters embark on a journey to return a dead man to his family in Mexico, aided by La Llorona, but impeded by a witch, a warlock, chupacabras, and more.
Throughout her high school years, as her mother battles cancer, Lupita takes on more responsibility for her house and seven younger siblings, while finding refuge in acting and writing poetry.
As further evidence of his family's bad fortune which they attribute to a curse on a distant relative, Stanley Yelnats is sent to a hellish correctional camp in the Texas desert where he finds his first real friend, a treasure, and a new sense of himself.
Eighteen-year-old Barry competes in a non-sanctioned boxing match in hopes of helping his recently-widowed mother, unaware that his best friend and manager, Alby, has his own desperate need for a share of the purse that may put their friendship on the line.
Seventeen-year-old Sugar Magnolia Dempsey is tired of leaving friends behind every time her hippie parents decide to move, but her plan to be unpopular at her new Austin, Texas, school backfires when other students join her on the path to "supreme dorkdom."
Sixteen-year-old Willowdean wants to prove to everyone in her small Texas town that she is more than just a fat girl, so, while grappling with her feelings for a co-worker who is clearly attracted to her, Will and some other misfits prepare to compete in the beauty pageant her mother runs.

mystery fiction

Sixteen-year-old Tansy is used to moving every time her mother starts writing a new book, but in the small Texas town where her grandfather grew up, she is lured into the world of a troubled young man whose death sixty years earlier is shrouded in mystery.
Twelve-year-old Teddy investigates when a popular Texas zoo's star attraction--Henry the hippopotamus--is murdered.
Twelve-year-old Teddy Fitzroy is the prime suspect when FunJungle's newly-acquired koala goes missing, thanks to a prank staged by middle school bully Vance Jessup.
Q (Quest) and his stepsister, Angela, try to thwart the activities of the terrorist ghost cell that is following them across the country.

science fiction

Eighth-grader Max, his older brother Kyle, and new friend Petra travel in time to the Cretaceous period to rescue Kyle's twin, Emma, who was kidnapped from their grandfather's Texas ranch.

great nonfiction books about texas

Join the owners of the Broseco, Moorhouse, and Williams ranches as they discuss breeding programs, grazing patterns, and the pursuit of the ultimate "beef animal."
This book introduces the Big 12 Conference, comprised of eight Midwest college teams joined with four Texas schools, and presents information on its coaches, players, major rivalries, and mascots.
Tells the story of Isaac Cline, a weather scientist in Galveston, Texas in 1900, discussing his belief and assertion that nothing in the way of weather could destroy the coastal city; and looks at how Cline dealt with the aftermath of the hurricane that hit Galveston on September 8, claiming the lives of thousands of people.
Profiles notable women in Texas who challenged the structure of society to succeed in a male-dominated world, including Christia V. Daniels Adair, Mary Austin Holley, and Judith Zaffirini.
An overview of the struggle between the Texan settlers and Mexico's General Santa Anna for control of Texas, with a detailed description of the 1836 siege of the Alamo. Includes biographical sketches and quotations of some of those involved.
Profiles some of the more odd and offbeat locales and legends of Texas history, with information on each location's significance and highlights and investigations into the truth behind the local legends.
An autobiography in which George Dawson, a 101-year-old man who learned to read when he was ninety-eight, offers his firsthand view of America during the twentieth century, and shares his philosophy for living a happy life.

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page created by:

L. Greer on February 16, 2017

book covers:

From TitlePeek (Follett Destiny)

Background pictures:

  • Windmill: created by David Spigolon, found on
  • Houston City Lights:
  • Flags w/ Wildflowers:
  • Pumpjack:
  • Sunset: created by Josh Henderson, found on
  • Longhorn w/ Wildflowers: created by Texas.713, found on
  • Pleasure Pier on Texas Coast: By Allen Sheffield (Flickr: Galveston - Pleasure Pier) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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