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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Homeschool Crew Review: Mattie Richardson's Horses in History Series

We have been very blessed to receive a lot of great books to review in the last few months!  Our latest book review was for Mattie Richardson's Horses in History Series from Author Mattie Richardson/Appaloosy Books. We received a set of four books including:

Dusty's Trail
Golden Sunrise
Day and Night

We also received a downloadable PDF of the Day and Night Enrichment Guide for the Day and Night book.

Mattie Richardson was only 13 years old when she wrote Appaloosy and then had it published at 16.  Since then (she is now 23) she has written 4 other books, earned her Associate Degree, and works full time at a local business.  She also speaks to schools and groups about writing and her books.

The Horses in History series is geared for ages 8-14.  They are paperback, historical fiction stories that are told by the perspective of the horse.  Each of the books features a different horse and a different period of time.  The books do not need to be read in any particular order.  You can choose a book that coincides with your history studies or read them all for enjoyment.  Each of the stories end with a short Blast From the Past section that talks about the time period.  The stories all contain a few black and white illustrations.

Appaloosy is a 125 page paperback book. This book tells the story of Storm, an Appaloosa stallion that lives in the late 1800's during the  Nez Perce War.  Shortly after Storm is born , he discovers that he is not a free horse like he thought, he belongs to the Nez Perce Indians.  Storm does not want to belong to anyone and desires to head west where he can run free.  After spending some time with the Indians he is captured and taken to live with white men.  After being with a man who does not treat him well he comes to live with a girl named Faith after she buys him with her gold locket.  He loves Faith and the other horses on the farm and is content to stay there forever until horse thieves steal Storm and his friends.  He ends up having to make an important choices about his future.

Dusty's Trail is a 78 page paperback book.  This book takes place during the early 1860's and tells the story of Dusty, a quarter horse.  Levi (Dusty's owner) reads and ad in a local newspaper looking for young men willing to risk life daily to deliver mail for the Pony Express.  Levi sneaks away from his farm to take the job.  Dusty is a horse that is easily spooked but can really run.  He is perfect for the job in the Pony Express.  The job doesn't seem as dangerous as they first thought it might be until trouble with Indians endangers their lives.

Golden Sunrise is a 100 page book that takes place in Texas in the early 1800's and tells the story of Cheyenne, a Golden Palomino mare.  Cheyenne's owner Jared is a volunteer soldier during the Texas fight for Independence and orders to defend  Fort Alamo against Mexican forces.  Cheyenne and Jared travel to San Antonio.  They fight in battles and make some famous new friends along the way.

Day and Night is a 150 page book that takes place during the Civil War and tells the story of Tucker a horse in the U.S. Mounted Infantry and Shiloh a horse in the Confederate Volunteer Calvary. Tucker and Shiloh are brothers but are very different from one another.  They are separated when one is sold to the US Army and the other ends up with a young Confederate soldier. Both learn a lot about the war and the effect it had on its people and it's land, but will they ever see each other again?

The Day and Night Enrichment Guide is a 98 page PDF.  It is split up into 7 different sections.  Each section of the guide discusses a part of the book (Part 1 covers pages 1-27.)  In each section you will find: reading comprehension questions. vocabulary, history, a soldier's life, living history activity, geography, horses in history, creating your own story, biography, and further reading. Part 8 has a finishing your story section, optional field trip activity, further reading, and conclusion.  A 14 page answer key is also included.

I read aloud to my 4 youngest children (8,10,12, and 14) every night before bed.  We pick a chapter book geared towards the girls and read a chapter each night and one geared towards the boys and read a chapter each night.  All four children listen to both books.  For the last several weeks we have been reading from the Mattie Richardson's Horses in History Series.  We started with Appaloosy because it was the first one written and then moved on To Dusty's Trail.  Next we will do Golden Sunrise and then Day and Night.  

My girls absolutely love horses and books about horses so I knew they would enjoy these books. They would love to own their own horse someday.  I like to read historical fiction myself and love to read those types of books to the children.  I think it helps bring history more to life for them.  We are not studying any of these time periods in history right now but still enjoy reading and learning about different periods in our read aloud time.  I did pre read a bit through Appaloosy before starting it with it being a bedtime read aloud and discussing the Nez Perce Indian War I wasn't sure how graphic or detailed it would be for an 8 year old, but I didn't find anything I was worried about reading.  The girls have really enjoyed the stories so far and the boys have liked them as well.  So far the girls liked
Appaloosy the best.  I asked them what their favorite parts were and Emmie said, "All of it."  Lily said her favorite part was when Storm got hurt and Faith came and rescued him.  

To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by the Crew Blog!

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