Now that school’s back in, your horsie child will definitely need some daydreaming material for after school (and perhaps in it, but you didn’t hear that from me!) Doesn’t everyone read horse books instead of doing homework?
No? Well, that was maybe just me.
Anyway, I’m posting (in my opinion) the top horse books out there for younger readers. A caveat: I have read and enjoyed these horse books personally and *I* turned out okay, so don’t worry mom, give that book to your horsie kid and let them have at it! These books are clean with easy print and (for some) great discussion points that can be discussed. (see underneath the list for how you can add your favourites!)
I will not tell you to buy from a particular bookseller. Amazon, B&N, Indie, the choice is yours. This is why I won’t provide links in this article, but don’t worry, you can find them easily.
And now, in no particular order, the list!
– For older children, (12-ish?) but certainly an excellent book for horse fans. Handles the gritty subject of war and the unique aspect of a horse sent away to be in it.
The Black Stallion series
– This is a nice long series. Some get into the odd region (Flame and the UFO, for one), but the biggest highlight is Alec’s bond with The Black, and the adventures they have. Easy to read and a good length for young readers.
– Just read this a while ago. Recommended for cultural aspects as well as the horse connection.
Misty of Chincoteague series
– Misty is cannon in horse literature. These are clean books, easy to read with excellent illustrations. You simply cannot go wrong with Marguerite Henry!
King of the Wind
– This is a great retelling of how Sham became the Godolphin Arabian. Wonderful cultural eye-opener, as well. Great talking book!
Gunner: Hurricane Horse
– A great true story, and close to home! Recommended!
My Flicka Flicka (series)
– Another cannon in horse books. These three showcase the wild brilliant difficult western life as it was, with characters you really enjoy and get behind.
Terri Farleys Phantom Stallion Series
– I’ve talked with this author and her Phantom series is great. She puts her money where her mouth is, too – she works with mustang rescues in her home state, and gives back thru SCBWI too!
– EXCELLENT book. Told from “the horse’s mouth”, so to say. Can’t beat it, and the cultural aspects are great as well.
Beauty by Bill Wallace
– A top author, a great person. He understood the horse and dog psyche – and a boy’s – in a unique way. He will be missed!
– Who wouldn’t want The Pie? A great clean book full of action!
A Horse Called Dragon
– A wonderful book that integrates the story of one wild stallion with the breed he helped to create, the Pony of the Americas. A great series!
– Ah, Ginny and her rent-a-horse. This is a great book!
Justin Morgan had a Horse
– Interesting aspects of breed beginnings from Justin and his morgan horse. Should definitely read!
The Red Pony
– This one is for older children only. Expect to have some talks, as it deals with difficult subjects.
PLEASE NOTE: As I read thru older books (and newer!) that are recommended, I’ll add to this list! So if you have a horse book you’d love to have added, please put it in the comments here and I’ll check it out!
Thank you, and have a great horsie weekend!
Jen K Blom is an author living in Berlin, Germany, where she writes children’s books about all sorts of kids and all sorts of animals. Her award-winning middle grade book POSSUM SUMMER was published in 2010, and her upcoming horse book BLUE APPALOOSA comes in 2013, with others to follow! You can follow her on Twitter, check out her Facebook and visit her blog.
Just found your site, and really like it! Here are some horse books I enjoy (yes, I read them more than once): The First Horse I See, by Sally M. Keehn; Not On A White Horse, by Nancy Springer; The Boy On A Black Horse, by Nancy Springer; Fly-By-Night, by K.M.Peyton; The Team, by K.M.Peyton; Bluebird—also published under the title of Bold Venture, by D.V.S. Jackson (despite THAT title, this book isn’t about the famous thoroughbred, Bold Venture). Oh—you mentioned My Friend Flicka. The other 2 books in the trilogy are Thunderhead and Green Grass Of Wyoming. Fine, fine books. I first began reading them when I was 10 (they were, & still are, my mom’s prize books; 1 by 1 she lent them to me. Even at that age I thought, “These HAVE to be real! They HAVE to be! Sure enough, decades later I discovered Mary O’Hara’s autobiography—Flicka’s Friend—and her other book, Wyoming Summer. Sure enough, the material is very accurately based on her life on that Wyoming ranch. Love it! A lot of people have never heard of these other books. My Friend Flicka has always been the most widely known, I guess. Ones who haven’t read the others, are missing out! :))
Have you come across any middle grade fiction books dealing with therapeutic riding and the young riders involved, from the POV of a young volunteer at a TR facility? I’m looking to see whether my novel is just one more of a whole group of such books—but so far haven’t come across any. It would be good to learn about any that are around, so that I can see what sort of fit my book would be, with the publishers I’m wanting to approach. You seem to be the best person to ask, even though my question is way off the subject your column is discussing. For that, I’m sorry; just don’t know which direction to go, to get an answer…..
oh, Annie Wedekind is my horse-loving son’s favorite author. Little Prince is his favorite he also likes Wild Blue. (I agree.) There is a “horse diaries” series — written from the perspective of the horse, like Wedekind’s: Elska is our favorite.
As a kid I loved the book, Justin Morgan Had a Horse. Thanks for the list.
I never rode horses or had a horsie love phase, but I loved horsie books when I was a kid. Thanks for this great list!
Just had to add one to the list, Jen. I know it may be too young for most MG readers, but they may have horse loving younger siblings. It’s “Call the Horse Lucky,” by Juanita Havill. It’s a great little story about how even kids can make a big difference in the life of an animal.