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Not to be confused with "A Line in the Sand" (film).

"Papa's wagon was piled with furniture and belongings, and so was the little donkey cart. It was the same all over town. Every house was a flurry of activity. This time there was no mistaking the messengers: Santa Anna and his soldiers were camped at the Medina River only eight miles west of town. Had it not been for the sudden heavy rain of yesterday, he would have already been here."
Lucinda Lawrence[2]

A Line in the Sand: The Alamo Diary of Lucinda Lawrence is a fictional diary written by Sherry Garland. It is the twelfth entry in Scholastic's Dear America series. The book was published in September 1998 and was followed by My Heart Is on the Ground. A television film based on the book was released in 2000.

The book follows Lucinda Lawrence, a thirteen-year-old girl growing up during the Texas Revolution.


"In honor of my great-great-grandparents, Andrew Jackson Loug and Mittie Roe Loug, whose pioneering spirit brought them to the Republic of Texas, and in loving memory of Desla Camp Allison."

Book description[]

"Friday, October 2, 1835
Land o' Goshen! The battle is on! It is just past daybreak and the fog is thick in the woods and hovers over the river. We were awakened by the most awful shriek. Nothing can describe it. Then came the pop, pop, pop of rifles in the distance. Papa says the scream is the old six-pounder cannon. Lord Almighthy!...
The noise has stopped, and I am seizing the moment to make my diary entry. Who knows when I will have the opportunity again. If the Texians lose this fight, I may be in my grave this time tomorrow. Oh, the shooting and noise have started up again. My heart is pounding like a drum. Lord protect us.


Thirteen-year-old Lucinda Lawrence receives a diary for her birthday. Years earlier, she emigrated to Gonzales, Texas with her parents Aaron and Rebecca, and siblings Willis, Lemuel, and Green. Willis believes Mexico is treating Texas unfairly and wants to go to war. Lucinda's father opposes war of any kind, which often leads to arguments with his son. In September 1835, her father hurts his leg badly in an accident. He develops a fever, but recovers in a few days.

Later in September, Mexico demands that Gonzales return a cannon they had loaned the town. They refuse and an army rallies behind Gonzales. A battle occurs on October 2, resulting in a Mexico defeat. Willis decides to join the Texian forces and heads to San Antonio. Days pass by slowly as the Lawrence family wait for news about Willis. Finally on December 11, they learn that the siege was successful and now many believe the war to be over. Willis returns in time to celebrate Christmas with his family.

In January 1836, Willis returns to San Antonio as he feels that the real war is not over yet. Lucinda's mother, meanwhile, grows worried about her brother Isaac and his pregnant wife Esperanza, who is due any moment. Despite her husband's opposition, the whole family goes to San Antonio. Esperanza has delivered her son safely, though she is still weak so Rebecca helps care for her. In late February, Lucinda attends a lively fandango and dances with a young man. The same night, her family begins to pack up after hearing that the Mexican president Santa Anna is near.

Willis and Uncle Isaac stay in San Antonio to defend the Alamo. Lucinda and her family head back to Gonzales, after dropping Esperanza off at a nearby hacienda. Lemuel disappears a few days after they arrive back home. On March 6, the Mexicans defeat the Texians at the Alamo and Willis and Isaac are killed. General Houston soon retreats from Gonzales and the citizens of Texas begin fleeing to the States. Lucinda's father stays in San Felipe, when his leg injury worsens. Near the border, a messenger informs Lucinda and her family that Texas has defeated Mexico. They then start their long journey back home.


Historical Note[]


Main article: List of A Line in the Sand characters



Screenshot from "A Line in the Sand"

Main article: A Line in the Sand (film)

A Line in the Sand was adapted into a television film that aired on HBO in April 2000. The film was produced by Scholastic Entertainment and starred Amy Stewart as Lucinda. Like "When Will This Cruel War Be Over?," it was not released on video cassette.


Main article: Sherry Garland

Sherry Garland is an author who has written books for children, young adults, and adults. She penned two books for Dear America, including Valley of the Moon. In the "About the Author" section, Garland wrote that she is a fifth generation Texan and has been fascinated with the Battle of the Alamo since she was a child. She described writing A Line in the Sand as "both challenging and awarding."


"My deepest appreciation goes to Dr. Richard Bruce Winders, Curator at the Alamo, for checking the manuscript for historical accuracy."



See also[]

Dear America

A Journey to the New World | The Winter of Red Snow | When Will This Cruel War Be Over? | A Picture of Freedom
Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie | So Far from Home | I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly
West to a Land of Plenty | Dreams in the Golden Country | Standing in the Light | Voyage on the Great Titanic
A Line in the Sand | My Heart Is on the Ground | The Great Railroad Race | The Girl Who Chased Away Sorrow
A Light in the Storm | Color Me Dark | A Coal Miner's Bride | My Secret War | One Eye Laughing, the Other Weeping
Valley of the Moon | Seeds of Hope | Early Sunday Morning | My Face to the Wind | Christmas After All
A Time for Courage | Where Have All the Flowers Gone? | Mirror, Mirror on the Wall | Survival in the Storm
When Christmas Comes Again | Land of the Buffalo Bones | Love Thy Neighbor | All the Stars in the Sky
Look to the Hills | I Walk in Dread | Hear My Sorrow


The Fences Between Us | Like the Willow Tree | Cannons at Dawn | With the Might of Angels | Behind the Masks
Down the Rabbit Hole | A City Tossed and Broken

External links[]