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Clicking on a book cover will search for the book in the catalog. If it is not part of our collection, you may request it by clicking on the Can't Find It link. An icon indicates if the book is chosen by a panelist as one of the year's best.

Mariachi for Gringos II: Discovering More of Mexico's Hottest Songs and Stories
By Gil Sperry. Amigo Del Mar Press. 232 pp. .
Mariachi music originated centuries ago in Jalisco, a bit too far south to be called southwest. It is now international, having spread throughout Mexico and up into “our” region. Sperry provides both music and lyrics for fifty songs. The themes are generic: lost love, religion, family, homesickness, etc. Rarely does geographic location come into play, but a few songs mention a town or place we will all recognize. While the words and music are the focus of this volume, a large part of the book is devoted to interviews with six people for whom mariachi music is a primary interest; as educators, as practitioners, as creators. The original volume (2007) is still available from Amazon. []

Milagro of the Spanish Bean Bean Pot
By Emerita Romero-Anderson. Texas Tech University Press. 111 pp. $18.95.
Based on historical fact from the late 1700s, this story is about Raymundo, a boy who lives in a tiny, very poor New Mexican village with his family. He struggles to support his widowed mother by farming. The family's only clay pot which carries water to the bean plants breaks and Raymundo must learn pot making from Clay Woman who some say is a witch.
The story goes on with Comanche attacks, kidnapping, drought, vultures and finally rain. []

Missing on Superstition Mountain
By Elise Broach. Henry Holt and Company. 262 pp. $15.99.
Jack, Henry and Simon have just moved to Superstition, Arizona to a house in the shadow of an emormous mountain, Superstition Mountain. They follow their cat, Josie up the mountain one day and find some skulls near the trail. When the boys get back home the police have been called by frantic parents and the adults warn the boys not to go up there again.
The boys do some research at the local library, graveyard, and with the locals and decide to go up again to explore some more. This time a new friend comes along, and the girl falls down a canyon and breaks her leg.
The adventure continues in this fun, entertaining story for older elementary readers. []

Mormon Rebellion, The: America's First Civil War, 1857-1858
By Will Bagley, David Bigler. University of Oklahoma Press. 384 pp. Index. $34.95.
Two prominent historians of the Mormon experience delve into documents from the LDS Church archives to compose a compelling narrative of the all-but-forgotten time when Brigham Young defied federal authorities and an American army invaded Utah. Bigler and Bagley provide not only the most complete and reliable history of the so-called "Mormon War," but also an enlightening portrait of the larger-than-life Mormon prophet and a sobering account of religious zealotry that sadly resonates in modern times. []

Mountain Wildflowers of Southern Arizona
By Frank S. Rose. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Press. 201 pp. Index. $19.95.
This splendid book sets a new standard for clear, helpful flower guides. It is like having a botanist in your pocket. Entries for almost 375 species are easy to find and fun to follow-- sort of a Facebook for flower friends-- and with these glorious photos anyone can become a flower pro. At long last we can enjoy a one-stop flower guide to our favorite sky islands. []
This is a terrific guide to the wildflowers in the southern mountains of the State, especially the Catalinas. Rose provides a summary that makes using the book easy and the colorful photos are truly excellent. []

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