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Author: Michael

The Real Lone Ranger…Manual T. Gonzaullus

Capt.-M.T.-GonzaullasToday the newest incarnation of one of the most enduring figures in American popular culture gallops into theaters as Disney’s The Lone Ranger hits the big screen. What began as a popular radio drama on a Detroit radio station in 1933 will get a new big budget introduction to millions of new fans. And The Lone Ranger endures. Hi-Yo Silver!

But in the 1920s and 1930s the Texas Rangers had their own ‘Lone Ranger’ who prowled the Texas-Mexico border and the mean streets and back alleys of the Texas oil boomtowns. His name was Manual T. Gonzaullus. The Texas criminal element of that era gave him the nickname ‘El Lobo Solo’ the lone wolf. He became one of the Texas Rangers’ most legendary lawmen.

Gonzaullus was born in Cadiz, Spain. At age 20, he became a Major in the Mexican Army. He immigrated to the United States and joined the Texas Rangers in 1920. It didn’t take long for Gonzaullus to establish his reputation as El Lobo Solo. Texas was in the midst of an oil boom. Towns were literally springing up overnight all over the state wherever oil was discovered. With the money flowing as fast as the oil along came thieves, smugglers, gamblers and drug runners.

If ever there were a ranger to typify the unofficial Texas Rangers motto of ‘One riot, One Ranger,’ it was Gonzaullus. He preferred working cases in these border and oil boomtowns alone. Fearless and relentless, the Lone Wolf rode into town. Only his fiery steed was an automobile and not a white horse. As soon as he arrived somewhere, Gonzaullus started filling up the local jail. He often made so many arrests, he overwhelmed the local court system. When prisoners could no longer be packed into the jail he would secure a length of chain to the flagpole in front of the courthouse. Each new prisoner was handcuffed to the chain until a judge could arraign him. Gonzaullus called the chain his ‘trot line’ (a fishing term) and it worked not only to secure prisoners but as a deterrent. When bad men saw the chain in front of the courthouse, with dozens of men hooked to it, many of them chose to flee. His reputation as a legendary lawmen was well known. It was easier to get out of town.

In the 1933 Gonzaullus was fired from his post by the corrupt Governor Ma Ferguson administration. In 1935 the Texas Legislature created an independent 97_127_1Detail1Department of Public Safety and made the Rangers part of it. Gonzaullus was appointed Superintendent of the DPS Intelligence Bureau and created a crime lab that became second only to the FBI’s lab in Quantico, Virginia. He insisted the department begin using modern crime solving techniques like ballistics and finger printing.

But sitting at a desk made El Lobo Solo antsy and he soon as to return to the field. He was appointed Captain of Company B of the Texas Rangers where he served until he retired in 1951. Gonzaullus was one of the founders of the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame and Museum. He died in Dallas in 1977 at the age of 85.


Read more about the real Texas Rangers in my book The Texas Rangers: Legendary Lawmen. Illustrated by Roxie Munro

Legendary Lawmen

A Legendary Lawman: Texas Ranger Captain Bigfoot Wallace

It’s just a few more weeks until The Lone Ranger movie gallops into theaters. Based on the fictional exploits of John Reid, a Texas Ranger who survived an ambush by the evil Cavendish gang, the movie is looking to be one of Summer 2013 biggest blockbusters.

But in truth, the real history of the Texas Rangers is much more exciting than any movie. And you can read all about the Texas Rangers history in my book Texas Rangers: Legendary Lawmen, illustrated by Roxie Munro. 

His legal name was William Alexander Anderson Wallace. But standing at 6’ 2” tall and weighing over 240 pounds, with enormous feet, he earned the nickname ‘Bigfoot’ Wallace. And there is perhaps no other Texas Ranger that touched as much of their celebrated history as this famous Ranger Captain.

Born in Lexington, Kentucky Wallace learned of his brother’s death during the Battle of Goliad. He decided to head to Texas, to seek ‘revenge on the Mexicans’ for his brother’s demise. By the time he arrived the war with Mexico was over. But Wallace was attracted to the independent spirit of the ‘Texians’ and stayed on.

The Lone Ranger - Johnny Depp and Armie HammerDuring his years in Texas, Wallace was part of some of the most famous moments in Texas Ranger history. He served in the Texas Army including during the Mexican War. Wallace’s biggest claim to fame may have been surviving the famous ‘Black Bean’ incident during the Mier expedition. Taken prisoner by the Mexican Army, the commander decided ten of the one hundred plus prisoners would be executed. A large jar was filled with beans, a single bean for each of the prisoners. Ten black beans were added to the jar. Those drawing the black bean would be shot. Wallace always said he figured his odds were better if he ‘dug deep’ in the jar. So he worked his hand to the bottom of the jar and his fingers emerged clutching a white bean. He survived the execution and his years in the Mexican prison.

When Wallace returned to Texas, he left the Army and joined the Texas Rangers. Wallace served under John Coffee Hays and took part in some of the most famous engagements in Texas Ranger history. When the Civil War started in 1861, Wallace stayed in Texas to help guard the frontier against Native American incursions. Wallace was against secession for Texas, but did not believe he could fight against his own people. Staying in Texas to guard the frontier was his compromise.

Wallace lived until 1899. The state of Texas, in gratitude for his service, gave him land for a small farm along the Medina River. Wallace is buried in the Texas State Cemetery.

Read about Bigfoot Wallace and other famous Texas Rangers in my book Texas Rangers: Legendary Lawmen, illustrated by Roxie Munro. 

Why Captain America Is My Favorite Avenger…

It’s no secret to regular readers of this blog that I love comics. I read them all the time as a kid. Batman, Superman, Green Arrow, Spider-Man, Nova, The Fantastic Four, and the X-Men. I was particularly fond of books like The Avengers, The Justice League, Teen Titans and The Legion of Superheroes because you got a big dose of superheroes in one story. But as The Green Arrow stole my Robin Hood wanna be heart in the DC Universe, when in came to Marvel Comics, my favorite was always Captain America. Captain-America-Comic

Yep. Cap. The shield slinger. When it came to truth, justice and the American Way, Captain America was the Marvel version of Superman. He was unfailingly good. Other heroes derided him for his morals, his honor, and his sense of right and wrong. He shrugged it off. To Cap, there was a right way and a wrong way to do things. You protect the weak and innocent. You root out evil. You stand up to the corrupt. You lead by example, not by hollow words. And no one led better than Cap.

I often wonder why I found Captain America comics so compelling. I think it has a lot to do with the era I grew up in. Captain America was a vestige of World War II, the greatest generation. For someone who didn’t grow up in the 1960’s and 70’s it is hard to understand the impact of World War II  on America during those years. My father was a veteran. Nearly every adult male his age that I knew in my hometown was a veteran. Not all of them, my father included, served in combat. But they shared an experience and stood up for something. And they did it without complaint, without question. They served their country. But you have to understand what the word ‘generation’ means as it is applied here. Nearly every able bodied man in the nation, between the ages of 17 and 26 during the years 1940-1046 served in the War. Millions upon millions of men.

In the 60’s and 70’s America was changing. Things were no longer as black or white as they were during the World War II era. Back then we knew who our enemies were and we not afraid to confront them. But in the 60’s and 70’s sometimes our enemies were among us. There’s a line I love from the movie Three Days of The Condor, when the great  actor John Houseman, who is playing a CIA officer, is asked by a subordinate if he ‘misses the action of the World War II years’. He replies “No. I miss the clarity.”

And I think that’s why I loved Captain America. All around me the world I knew was changing. As the world always changes. But Captain America was a constant. Standing up for his country. Doing what needed to be done. And always foiling that pesky Red Skull in his attempts to resurrect the Third Reich. Captain America stood for something. The best in us. Maybe not what America always was, but what it should be, and sometimes he failed but he never stopped trying. Sometimes Cap even went up against those in charge. He lived his fictional life by the Mark Twain maxim of ‘love your country all the time and your government when it deserves it.’

I knew then and I know now that the comics were a little corny. A little jingoistic. Maybe even a tad simplistic. But Captain America was a hero. He was my hero.

And he always will be,

Your Authorness



How The Texas Rangers Inspired A Radio Show That Became A Phenomenon…

“In the early days of the western United States, a masked man and an Indian rode the plains, searching for truth and justice. Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear, when from out of the past come the thundering hoof beats of the great horse Silver! The Lone Ranger rides again!” The Announcer’s introduction to the original The Lone Ranger radio broadcast.

Contrary to what many moviegoers will come to believe this summer, Johnny Depp did not invent the Lone Ranger. The exploits of the Texas Rangers have been fodder for radio and television shows, books and movies for generations. A reputation for relentless pursuit of criminals and capturing some of the most deadly bad men in Texas history was already well established.The-Lone-Ranger-Movie-Poster

In fact, there is an apocryphal tale that during World War I, Kaiser Wilhelm the Chancellor of Germany, received a report that the United States was ‘sending in the Rangers’ to do battle with his forces along the Western Front. Apparently the Kaiser grew agitated and fearful until he was convinced that it was U.S. Army Rangers and not the Texas Rangers who were joining the fight. Of course the Army Rangers caused the Kaiser enough problems on their own, but it goes to show the power of a reputation.

In 1933 that reputation traveled from Texas to Detroit, Michigan and the legendary lawmen gave writer Fran Stryker the inspiration for his character of The Lone Ranger. Stryker worked at Detroit radio station WXYZ and in the Golden Age of radio, had already created numerous successful shows. But when he came up with the idea of the masked lawman, little did he know that he had created a character and a legend that would far outlive him.

The show became an almost instant hit on radio. Though it was aimed at children, over fifty percent of its audience was adults. The show was picked up by a major network and broadcast around the country, not just in Detroit. This made it an even bigger hit and brought the legend of the Texas Rangers to even more people. Voiced by several actors, most notably Brace Beemer, the masked lawmen became a pop culture phenomenon.

Lone_ranger_silver_1965  And like most movie or television productions the radio show got a lot of things wrong. Most glaring was the character     of Tonto, the Lone Ranger’s partner or as it was phrased on the radio show his ‘faithful Indian companion.’ Tonto was identified as a member of the Potawatomi tribe. Unfortunately, the Potawatomi are native to Michigan and the Great Lakes area, not Texas. In the local tribal languages “Tonto” means ‘wild one’ but in Spanish, Tonto means ‘dumb’ or ‘stupid’ so the characters name was changed to “Toro” (which means bull) in Spanish broadcasts. Many Native Americans also found Tonto’s stilted Pidgin English style of speaking to be insulting.

But in other ways creator Stryker was far more sensitive to minorities than many other shows from the era could claim. Native Americans were never portrayed as the enemy. Though the real Texas Rangers fought many battles with local tribes like the Comanche and Kiowa, the Lone Ranger focused on criminals for the most part. In some episodes he did go up against foreign agents from other, always unnamed countries to avoid cultural stereotypes. And the thieves and murders chased down by the Lone Ranger and Tonto (both on the radio and later in the television show) were never shown to have benefited from their crimes. They gained no wealth, power or influence and if they did, the Lone Ranger made sure it was not long lived. In short, like his real life counterparts, the Lone Ranger made sure that crime didn’t 9780802780966-lpay.

Next Time—Texas Ranger Captain Bigfoot Wallace.

Purchase a copy of The Texas Rangers: Legendary Lawmen here.


The Texas Rangers: Legendary Lawmen And Their Famous Captains…

Legendary Lawmen

Though they were composed entirely of citizen volunteers, the earliest Ranger companies were organized as quasi-military units. The number of men in each unit could vary depending on how many were mustered in at any given time. But regardless of the number, most units were commonly referred to as companies. A Captain commanded each company.

John Coffee Hays was born in Tennessee in 1817. He father fought with Andrew Jackson and Sam Houston in the war of 1812. Hays immigrated to Texas in 1836 in time to take part in the Texas Revolution. Joining up with other volunteers he served under another famous Texan, Erastus ‘Deaf’ Smith. Hays distinguished himself in his military service and after the surrender of General Santa Ana, he served in various assignments for the Texas Republic, each time with distinction.

Hays stood just over five feet nine inches tall, and by all contemporary accounts was considered mild mannered and even tempered. However, his comrades also described him as ‘absolutely fearless’ in battle and a brilliant tactician. Along with other famous Rangers like Samuel Walker, John ‘Rip’ Ford and Ben McCulloch, Hays helped fashion the fledgling Texas Rangers service into an organized, regimented and effective fighting force.

But in the short time Hays lived in Texas, his reputation perhaps took no greater leap than during his involvement at the ‘Battle of Enchanted Rock.’ Hays and his Rangers were assigned to protect a survey company near present day Fredericksburg, Texas. Unexpectedly attacked by Comanche’s and cut off from his command, Hays took cover in a small depression atop ‘Enchanted Rock.’Hays1

Enchanted Rock was a place that held mystery and reverence to the Native Americans of the area. Some thought it was a haunted place to be avoided. Others thought it was a spiritual and mystical location. Whatever it was to the Comanche, it soon became nothing more than a source of frustration. Try as they might, they could not dislodge Hays from his perch. Each time they crept closer, Hays, a crack shot, scattered them with gunfire. For more than three hours the war party attempted to capture or kill Hays but he and his rifle refused to cooperate. Finally, his Ranger company managed to regroup and drive off the Comanche war party.

From that moment, most of the Indian tribes in Texas assumed that Hays was protected by mystical powers. That reputation served him well in his further dealings with area tribal leaders. It also contributed to his legend among the men of the Texas Rangers who served under him.

Hays only lived in Texas for thirteen years, later moving on to San Francisco and the Southwest. But “Captain Jack” became one of the first in a long line of the legendary lawmen, Texas Ranger Captains who brought fame to the ‘men who wear the star.’

To learn more about the Texas Ranger read The Texas Rangers: Legendary Lawmen. Order a copy here.

The Texas Rangers And Popular Culture

With the upcoming summer blockbuster movie, The Lone Ranger, starring Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer, the history of this popular
The Lone Ranger - Johnny Depp and Armie Hammercharacter will no doubt receive extensive media coverage. The origin story is fairly well known. The Lone Ranger began as a radio drama on a Detroit radio station in 1933. It was conceived and written by writer Fran Striker who was responsible for many popular radio dramas, including The Green Hornet.

But as I learned in researching my picture book, Texas Rangers: Legendary Lawmen, the real stories of the Texas Rangers are far more exciting than anything a writer, actor or movie producer could conceive. The Texas Rangers helped bring law and order to a vast frontier. It’s no wonder they provided ample fodder for fiction.

After becoming a near overnight sensation on radio, The Lone RangeLone_ranger_silver_1965r became one of the most popular radio shows of    all time. But it took the advent of television in the 1950’s to really bring The Lone Ranger to its pop cultural zenith. The television show aired from 1949 to 1957 and made a star of Clayton Moore who played the masked lawman (except for one season when he sat out during a contract dispute and was replaced by actor John Hart). Jay Silverheels starred as Tonto, billed in those days of near complete lack of a social conscience as the Lone Ranger’s ‘faithful Indian companion’. (And how interesting is it that Depp has chosen to play Tonto in the film, not the masked lawman?) It was the ABC television networks first big hit of the 1950’s. It also led to two theatrical movie releases.

The Texas Rangers and their legendary exploits were fertile a ground for a variety of storytellers. There were many more popular incarnations of the men and women who wore the star, both on radio and television.

Perhaps the most famous or at least best known to recent audiences is the TV show Walker, Texas Ranger, starring Chuck Norris. Norris, a 1980’s martial arts movie action hero, starred as Walker, a Texas Ranger who solved crimes and beat up bad guys with regularity during the
eight season run of the show. Not only was this Texas Ranger a master detective and unbeatable fighter, in certain episodes he was also able to
communicate telepathically with animals! In another, terrorists on the loose in a Texas high-rise hotel captured the Texas governor. Walker just ‘happened to know’ a local inventor working on an experimental jetpack. He was able to use the untested, never before flown jetpack to fly to the building’s rooftop and rescue the governor.walker_texas_ranger-show

Despite Walker’s hardline stand against crime and corruption, Chuck Norris, in the eyes of some current Texas Rangers, did one unforgivable thing during the show’s run. He wore a black hat. Which is a big no-no. Ranger hats are white or pearl gray. Never black.

In the 1950’s, another radio drama Tales Of The Texas Rangers spun off into a television show. This show alternated between stories set in modern times with tales of the old west. One of the Texas Rangers most famous captains, Manuel T. “Lonewolf” Gonzaullas served as a technical advisor on the radio and TV show.

Novelists like Louis L’Amour have also turned to the Texas Rangers for inspiration. Texas Ranger Chick Bowdrie was one of L’Amour’s most popular characters and appeared in several of his books. Texas Ranger comic books and serializations were also popular in the mid-20th 0century.

While all of these stories were fictional, many novelists, screenwriters or playwrights would be hard pressed to outdo the real stories of the Texas Rangers. Before you see the movie this summer, read about their real history in my book Texas Rangers: Legendary Lawmen. Order a copy here.

Next time we’ll talk about one of the first, and perhaps famous Texas Rangers captains, John Coffee Hays.


The Lone Ranger Rides Again…Right Out Of The History Books!

Lone_ranger_silver_1965On July 3, 2013 The Lone Ranger will stampede into theaters nationwide. Millions of people will venture to their local cinema to check out the newest collaboration of Johnny Depp and mega-producer Jerry Bruckheimer. And as usual, given the short life cycle of American popular culture, many of these moviegoers will not realize that The Lone Ranger is a pop icon that has existed for 80 years.

And furthermore, few will know the connection of The Lone Ranger to the real Texas Rangers. And by Texas Rangers I’m not referring to the baseball team. I’m referring to the Texas Rangers, founded by Stephen Austin in 1823. They were a group formed    originally as a citizen militia to ‘range’ the Texas frontier. Their purpose was to defend settlers against incursions by American Indians and bandits,

Legendary Lawmen The Texas Rangers have become one of the most preeminent law enforcement agencies in the world. It is a nearly two hundred year history full of brave men and women who have faced down desperados, survived and triumphed against overwhelming odds. They have been celebrated in movies, books and television shows for their heroic exploits.

Many of these fascinating stories are detailed in my picture book, The Texas Rangers: Legendary Lawmen, illustrated by the ever brilliant artist Roxie Munro. The book explores the history of the Rangers, some of their famous captains and stories of chasing desperados, delivering justice and encouraging criminals to ‘ply their trade elsewhere.’

Over the next few weeks, leading up to the release of The Lone Ranger, I’ll be blogging here about the history of the Texas Rangers, The Lone Ranger and his connection to Texas Ranger history. I also giving some details and insight into one of the great stories of the American west.

In the meantime you can visit the Texas Rangers: Legendary Lawmen book page here. And if you’re so inclined you can even order a copy here.

Then when the movie hits theaters in May, you can be the one to say ‘did you know…?’

Next up…The birth of two legends.

The Lone Ranger - Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer

Get Ready For Killer Species!

Dear Readers,

There are monsters loose!

The first book in my new middle grade series, KILLER SPECIES: Menace From The Deep is arriving in your school’s Scholastic Book Fair this month! It will be on sale wherever books are sold in July. It’s now available for pre-order from your favorite bookseller.

KILLER SPECIES begins with a deranged environmentalist who releases a hybrid species of alligator into the wild. His goal is to create a super predator that will control the boa constrictor and python population which is destroying the fragile Everglades eco-system. But as always happens when man artificially interferes with nature, things go horribly awry.

Twelve year old Emmet Doyle is not in the best move when arrives in Florida City. His father is the esteemed Avian biologist Benton Doyle and he’s been called to Everglades National Park to help park superintendent Dr. Rosalita Geaux discover why alligators, birds and other animals are fleeing the park in record numbers. And also to help her determine the origin of a mysterious new animal found in the park. A specimen containing the DNA of two distinct species.

Emmet is working through some issues. His mother passed away a year ago. He has to leave his beloved home in Montana. With his dog Apollo in tow, he has to adjust to a new home, new school and new friends. And Dr. Geaux’s son Calvin is the most unique kid Emmet has ever met. He’s at home in the swamp, pilots and air-boat like a pro and has a super cool tree house in his backyard.

The environmentalist, who calls himself Dr. Catalyst, is a brilliant scientist in his own right. And he is determined to rid South Florida of invasive species by any means necessary. And when the authorities refuse to give in to his demands, he raises the stakes, kidnapping Dr. Doyle and holding him hostage. Emmet and Calvin must head into the Everglades to find his father.

Look for KILLER SPECIES: Menace From The Deep at your Scholastic Book Fair! Watch the video! Visit the Scholastic Book Talk! page. Like the KILLER SPECIES page on Facebook! And pre-order a copy today! And stop Dr. Catalyst from releasing more dangerous creatures.

Your authorness!

Michael P. Spradlin

Five Reasons Why You Should Treat Your Favorite Author Like Your Favorite Restaurant…

You just went out and had a really nice meal at your favorite place to eat. It might be a local joint you’ve gone to for years. Maybe it’s an Italian or French bistro. It might be a chain or one of those local diners that’s been a legendary destination in your community for generations. Often you spread the word. Tell your friends about the great meal you enjoyed and recommend your friends go there to have the same fantastic experience. Maybe at the holidays you even buy a gift cards or certificates from your favorite restaurant and give them to friends or acquaintances. You go on facebook and Yelp! and other review sites and post a glowing review. Whatever you do, spreading the word and actually sending business to the place you love really helps their bottom line.

Do you do the same with the books you read?

Do you tell your friends about your favorite authors? Did you just happen to read a really terrific book and tell everyone you know? Are you as evangelical about your favorite authors as you are about your favorite restaurants and clothing stores or auto mechanics?

Some people who are avid readers do this automatically. They post reviews on online sites like goodreads and they talk about what they’re reading on facebook or twitter. These little mentions help those books and authors find new readers. But a lot of times, I’ve asked this question to people and the thought of ‘promoting’ a book the way they ‘promote’ their favorite restaurant never occurs to them. I think part of this is because the world of writing and publishing is somewhat of a mystery to people. Most think that once a writer is published they’ve ‘made it.’ And in a sense, they have. Getting published is a long and arduous process and ‘getting published’ is no small accomplishment. But once a book is published, to a very large degree whether that book succeeds or not, whether the author keeps ‘getting published’ is really out their hands.

It’s in the hands of you, the readers.

What you have to understand is that an author is a lot like your favorite restaurant. If it doesn’t get visited, if no one eats there, if its customers don’t tell others about their own positive experiences, it’s probably not going to succeed.

Most people don’t think of the books they read as the output of a business, but an author is essentially a small businessperson. Most struggle with overhead, expenses and, given the amount of time between books, cash flow.They need ‘traffic’ in the form of readers to succeed.

So if you visit bookstores this holiday season, think of all those books on the shelves and tables as tiny restaurants waiting for you to open their doors and taste the great ‘meal’ inside. And then do the things you do with any of your favorite businesses. In fact, here are five things you can do to help your favorite authors.

1. Create Readers

Start right in your own house. If you read a book you love, get your significant other to read it. Or your children, if it’s age appropriate. Have a family reading night. (You can watch your favorite TV shows later). The sad fact is, people are reading less. Kids are reading less. Kids do what they see their parents do. If you don’t treat reading as an important worthwhile activity, why should they? I’m not talking about reading for homework or school. I mean cutting time out of the day to read for the sheer joy of it. It’s exercise for your brain.

2. Buy Books As Gifts

Socks and gadgets are great gifts. But books are better. Give away books by your favorite authors to friends and family members. Maybe they won’t like it, maybe they will and they’ll give copies to more people. Either way you’ve helped your ‘small business’ author.

Over the years I have given away literally dozens of some of my favorite books. The Last Days of Summer by Steve Kluger is a personal favorite. As is The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread by Don Robertson. And I’ve turned dozens of my friends onto the thrillers by James Rollins and T. Jefferson Parker by giving copies to friends and family.

3. Spread The Word

Tell people about your favorite books and authors. Review their books at online review sites. Post on their facebook pages. Follow your favorite authors on Twitter. Sign up to receive their newsletters. In today’s world, publishers want to know if an author has an ‘audience’ (I like to refer to my readers as customers) and becoming a follower, liking a page and suggesting their pages to your friends helps them grow their customer base.

4. Buy Your Books At Bookstores

Bookstores, physical bricks and mortar bookstores, are vital to our book culture. Look, I get that we’re all busy. I understand the convenience of an ereader. But you can buy ebooks through the website of your local independent bookstore. The online browsing experience will never compare to the pouring over the tables and shelves of a bookshop. How many books and authors have you discovered this way? No matter how the technology improves the online browsing experience is still cumbersome and not as engaging to the senses.

Trust me. As a thirty year publishing industry veteran, if we don’t preserve actual physical bookstores all that will be left to read is a lot of self-published work, ‘celebrity’ memoirs and only the biggest bestsellers. Publishers need bookstores for new authors to find an audience and develop a following.

And take your kids with you when you go. Every bookstore has something for every kid.

5. Take Your Family To The Library

Like bookstores our libraries are facing an uncertain future. Budgets are being cut, funding is drying up, Visit your library and participate in their programs. Have a library ‘family night’. Make your local library a vital part of your community and encourage your friends and neighbors to do the same. And when you visit the library…take your kids.

You authorness,


Michael P. Spradlin


Sir Read-A-Lot…He Likes Banned Books!

Greetings readers!

During Banned Books Week, I’m pleased to announce a special guest blog (rap) by Sir Read-A-Lot.

It’s best sometimes to just let your guest blogger take it away. So take it away Sir Read-A-Lot

Oh. My. God.

Becky, look at her book

Ban This Book!

It’s so big

She looks like one of those readers

Who understands those readers?

Guys only talk to her because she looks like a total intellectual.

I mean her book.

It’s just so big.

I can’t believe it’s so thick.

It should be banned.

I mean, it’s gross.

Look, she’s just so smart.

And Ban This One Too While You're At it

I like banned books and I cannot lie

You other fellows can’t deny

That when a girl walks in readin’ Tolkein

And turns another page

Your bell’s rung.

Wanna read up tough

Cuz you notice that book was stuffed

Deep in the brains she’s showing

I’m hooked and I can’t stop knowing

Oh, baby I wanna read with ya

And get a library card

My homeboys tried to warn me

But that book you got

Make me so knowy

Ooh, page is smooth and thin

You say you wanna get in my head

Well read to me, read to me you ain’t that average girl see?


I’ve done read Dickens

An he ain’t no Slim Pickens

Good writers make you sweat,

get you goin like a turbo vette


I don’t like book banners

Saying these b00ks aren’t the thing

Take the average reader and ask that

And we readers gonna punch back


So Fellas (yeah) Fellas (yeah)

Has your girlfriend got the book? (heck yeah)

Well read it, read it, read it, read it, read that big fat book

Read Bannned Books


(Library place or bookstore booty)


I like’em thick and big

And when I’m throwin a gig

I just can’t help myself

My shelves so full I’m crammin’

One more book that’s jammin’


I wanna take books home

And UH, read all night and day.

And I am talkin bout ALL day

Cuz books are better than toys

I wannem real thick and juicy

So find that book in trouble

Make book banners rubble

Ban a book we gonna rumble

And you be taking a tumble

So I’m lookin’ at book shelves now

And I ain’t understandin’ how

You can have them narrow minds

Trying to take my book away

A word to the thick book banners

I’m gonna get in yer grille

And it won’t be no thrill

But I gotta be straight when I say I wanna —

Read til the break of dawn

This book’s got it goin on

A lot of wimps won’t like this tome

Well shut up and go home

But I’d rather read and say

Get a book that’s long and strong.

And I’m down to get the fiction on.


So ladies (yeah), Ladies (yeah)

Do you wanna read in my library? (yeah)

Then turn a page

Give a shout

Every reader’s got to shout



(Library face with the bookstore booty)


Yeah baby

When it comes to readers

Dewey decimal ain’t got nothin to do with my selection

I know where to look

To get my book


So your girlfriend reads a Potter?

Could anything be hotter?

Mark Twain got a style that makes my head spun.

I go through books, like some kind of Attila, hun.

You can read Sci-Fi or Romance novels, but please don’t lose that book

Some banners wanna ban that hard book

And tell you that the book ain’t good

So they toss it and leave it

And I pull up quick to retrieve it

And I say that book is phat.

And I am down with that

Cuz you read books big and small and your brains are kickin

And I’m thinkin bout stickin

To the Jack and the beanstalk, zing

You aint it miss a thing

Toni Morrison, I can’t resist her

And I try not miss her

Some knucklehead tried to dis her

Cuz her books is on my list

You ain’t gonna stop me readin’ this

So pull up and get gone hick

Don’t ban no books in my town

Unless you wanna triple X throw down

Then ban a book and it’ll get hot,

Read Banned Books

Read Banned Books

Read Banned Books