The "Texas Almanac" has been the ultimate resource of life in Texas for 150 years. First published in 1857, the "Texas Almanac 2006-2007" is the book's Sesquicentennial Edition. The "Texas Almanac" includes articles and data about: history and government; population and demographics; the natural environment; parks and recreation; business and transportation; oil and minerals; agriculture; science and health; education; and culture and the arts. Special features in the Sesquicentennial Edition include: A history of the more than 30 Spanish Missions in Texas, and the cooperation and conflicts among the Franciscan friars, the Spanish soldiers, and the local Indians who took part in the mission system. A compelling piece on the history of cattle ranching in Texas and its effects on the environment written by award-winning Western author Elmer Kelton of San Angelo. Kelton, who grew up on a ranch in Crane County and worked as a farm and ranch writer and editor, says, "To whatever extent technology has allowed, [ranchers and farmers] have tried to influence their environment to their benefit. Some of the results have been favorable.
Others have fallen victim to the unwritten law of unintended consequences, trading one set of problems for another." It covers: the growing habits and many uses of the ubiquitous mesquite, which flourishes across one-third of Texas; the numerous mineral springs that exist in nearly every Texas county and their use by Indians, settlers, and commercial spas; families of Lebanese-Syrian descent and their impact on culture across the state. The "Texas Almanac Teacher's Guide" is 130-page professionally written teaching tool to help teachers and homeschoolers use the factual dense Texas resource in the classroom, with fun and instructive interdisciplinary activities based on information found in the Texas Almanac 2006-2007 Each lesson is coded to indicate how it helps fulfill TEKS and TAKS objectives.
ELIZABETH CRUCE ALVAREZ of Southlake is a journalist and editor who has worked in both newspaper and textbook publishing. Journalist and editor ROBERT PLOCHECK is a native of Houston who was raised in Damon and now lives in Dallas. Cover artist JOHN COLLIER has earned numerous awards and his work is housed in many public and private collections. He recently completed four bronze sculptures that will serve as a 9-11 memorial at the Church of St. Peter near Ground Zero in New York City.