I have some mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, I was disappointed that it was apparently aimed at a children's reading level. On the other hand, the author has done her homework and has many details of the expedition north to expand New Spain to an area north of the Rio Grande.
Weren't we all told that the first permanent Spanish city was in Florida? In Saint Augustine, right? NOPE.
The Spanish lord Don Juan de Onate first established a capital in New Mexico in the city of San Juan on July 11, 1598. Later the capital was moved to San Gabriel. They also established the city of Socorro.
Juan de Onate was to remain infamous among the native Indians for his cruelty -- so much so that a statue erected to his memory in New Mexico (in the 1990s?)was vandalized. Onate was a controversial figure, but nothing is made of his atrocities in this book; that is a major failing to not take any notice of human rights in a modern-day history of the era.
Anyway, the Spanish had to give up the colony when the pioneers lost all their money trying to hold out in such an arid environment, and never discovered the silver mines that made fortunes for so many, years later.