Tuesday, November 12, 2019

History from a Horse's Perspective {A Mattie Richardson's Horses in History Review}

My two younger children were excited when we received the Horses in History Series by author Author Mattie Richardson/Appaloosy Books and wanted get started reading them at bedtimes right away.

Both of my younger children enjoy historical fiction and thought it was clever how the four stories - AppaloosyDusty’s TrailGolden Sunrise, and Day and Night - were told from the perspective of horses instead of humans. They also thought it was cool that the first of the books was written by Mattie Richardson when she was just 13 years old.

A Young Author Meets Success!


The Horses in History Series Is Growing

AppaloosyDusty’s TrailGolden Sunrise, and Day and Night

Author Mattie Richardson/Appaloosy Books  - and, although we have not had the time to focus on using it yet, I can say it looks good and will be a boon for those who wish to do more than simply read and chat about the story together as my kiddoes and I have been doing.
The guide is 100 pages long and divided into eight sections:

  • Reading Comprehension - daily comprehension questions that can make good review of prior reading or jumping off points for discussion
  • Vocabulary - words that apply to each chapter
  • History - in depth information about the events, places, and people in the time period of the book
  • Geography - info about geographical locations, features, and landscapes
  • Horses - equine information for horse lovers
  • Biography & Research - suggestions to research a historic figure from the era
  • Creating Writing - eight small sections to learn writing techniques in order craft short stories
  • Living History - crafts or games related to the story
  • Soldier's Life - info on daily life for Civil War soldiers

-old reports:

One problem is when Levi ends up having to travel several to several stations in a row and cannot change horses, so Dusty runs the whole way and becomes a well-known horse.
Everybody loves Dusty, until he is a coward and gets scared of indians and bucks, and Levi gets captured by the indians.

Then, Dusty runs back to the station and another horse ends up helping him break free to go rescue Levi. While they are on the mission, some men from a wagon try to catch them and flour falls all over Dusty. Then, Dusty runs into the indian camp to save Levi and the indians think he is a spirit horse.
When Dusty rescues Levi, everybody loves him again.
After that, the Pony Express starts to have trouble, because the telegraph is coming through. Riders are not getting paid, so Levi quits and goes home. On his way home, he buys Dusty a surprise.
I like this book. It is good. It teaches about the Pony Express. I could read it on my own, but I like it read to me.  I think it is good for ages 7-12. People who like the Pony Express, history, and horses will like it.

My 12-year-old daughter had this to say:

I think this series is engaging. I like how the author writes from the animal's perspective because most people write form a person's perspective. I also like how they are shorter novels and teach about American history. 

The only think I don't care for is some of the illustrations.  They don't seem professional. I know both the author and the illustrator were younger people though and I like that.

One of the stories I liked was Appaloosy.
It is about a horse that was originally an Indian horse, but got captured by white men, tired to escape, got captured, escaped again... The horse was high-spirited and did not like anything on his back - people, saddles, blankets.
Then, the horse got sold to a really, really mean owner who beat him trying to make him work because he is high-spirited and has not been broken in yet.
In this time, Appaloosy meets a girl names Faith who is able to ride him because he has trust in her. She is one of the only people who could ever ride him. Faith ends up buying Appaloosy after h'es injured and brings him home. 
After Appaloosy has lived with Faith for a while he's captured by horse thieves along with some other horses from his farm.
Appaloosy and the other horses escape from the thieves ad have to decide if they should go home or go free - and going free has always been Appaloosy's dream.
You'll have to read the book to find out what chose they make.
I would recommend this series to people who are trying to learn about American history and want an engaging, imaginative and want to learn. I also recommend it to people who like horses and people like me who just want to read a story that is not boring.
I have read parts of the books myself and read most of them with my mom and brother. They are not complicated. So, I recommend them to ages 6-13 to read together or alone.

As you can see, both of my children like the Horses in History series. I have enjoyed our read together times with these books, too. 

If you are curious about the books my children did not narrate about:

In Golden Sunrise, a Golden Palomino named Cheyenne lives during the famous defense of the Alamo. His owner Jared becomes a volunteer soldier during the emerging fight for independence and travels to San Antonio, TX, where Jared receives orders to defend Fort Alamo against Mexican forces.  People like Davy Crocket and James Bowie appear and, luckily, Cheyenne makes it through.

In Day and Night, mirroring the tearing apart of families that happened during the Civil War, two sibling horses - Tucker and Shiloh -find themselves on either side of the battle. After one fights with the US Army and one with a young Confederate soldier, they see each other again, having learned quite a bit.

All four books engage children in fiction while giving a window into different periods of US History.

We have enjoyed them and I'd recommend them to others who like history, horses, and being inspired by the writings of a young author.

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