In August, I was a presenter at the Laredo Book Festival and I met Mona D. Sizer. We were presenting on the same panel and as she talked I realized that I was in the presence of someone who really knew how to write nonfiction. She has written at least 35 books, she is articulate, bright, and has a wonderful style of writing. I obtained her book, The King Ranch Story: Truth and Myth (Republic of Texas Press), thinking of how it might be a useful book, as I often present programs on Texas history at schools, libraries, and festivals on Texas history. I began my study by scanning the histories of the great Texas ranches of Goodnight, Loving, and King, but picked up this book and I couldn’t put it down.
I underestimated the quality of Sizer’s writing and the impact this book would have on me. I appreciate an author who teaches me things–and Sizer added vocabulary, historical facts, and cultural insights that can only enrich my school programs and my appreciation of the story of Texas. She weaves the people, history, myths, and legends associated with the King Ranch and the Rio Grande Valley with such skill that the reader will want to know more and see for him or herself the places she writes about. Having grown up in South Texas, Sizer knows the land she writes of. After I read her book, I realized how much I still had to learn about Texas.
I was born in Texas, I love Texas, and I admire writers who can capture the soul, mystery, and truth of my beloved state like Sizer has done. If you want to hear a fascinating but little told story of Texas, you need to read her book. You can order it here: