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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.

I Am an Old Horned Toad
By Lane Johnson. Brown Wing Press. $15.00.
A sweet, short informative picture book about horned toads a.k.a. horned lizards written for very young children. This book is accompanied by a music CD with the story sung by Diamond Jim and Lynn Hewitt from original music by Merle Travis. []

I Don't Cry, But I Remember: A Mexican Immigrant's Story of Endurance
By Joyce Lackie. University of Arizona Press. 223 pp. Index. $26.95.
Lackie taped interviews with a Mexican woman who arrived on foot in Texas after World War II, a woman who bore twelve children, lost four others, and endured an abusive husband. Her story of hardship, poverty, and survival may not be unique: somehow she made the tortillas, kept the house and children clean and clothed, and respected her husband’s religious and political ideas, if not his personal weaknesses. Her religion (not Catholic) and belief in the sanctity of the family gave her strength; her proudest accomplishment, U.S. citizenship. In spite of repetitiveness, this is an insightful true story of courage and endurance. []

In the Country of Empty Crosses: The Story of a Hispano Protestant Family in Catholic New Mexico
By Arturo Madrid. Trinity University Press. 221 pp. $24.95.
Madrid’s family is Protestant, as the subtitle says, not Catholic, and has been for at least two centuries. Not intending to write a family history he was nonetheless attracted to the “hows and whys” of their New Mexico past. His fascinating account of the people and places, each of which gave him a piece of the puzzle, will appeal to anyone interested in this unusual aspect of our southwestern heritage. As he notes, a formal history of Hispanics in New Mexico who are not Catholic is still to be written. This is a significant piece of that story.

In the Shadow of the Carmens: Afield with a Naturalist in the Northern Mexican Mountains
By Bonnie Reynolds McKinney. Texas Tech University Press. 192 pp. Index. $39.95.
Top Pick
For years we’ve heard about a magnificent but mysterious set of mountains in Mexico, just across the river from Big Bend National Park in Texas. Grand scenery, a menagerie of wild animals, picturesque waterfalls and a frontier lifestyle were hidden behind locked gates. Now we can at least peek over the fence, for biologist Bonnie McKinney shares her enormous appreciation and knowledge of the Maderas de Carmen where she has worked since 2001. She tags bears for study, counts eagles, searches for rare moles and catalogues plants. It is a well-told adventure of discovery in a place we hope to someday visit, and the book’s photographs confirm its world-class scenery and wildlife. []

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