Title: Misty of Chincoteague
Author: Marguerite Henry
Major Themes: 1900s, Horses, Virginia, Chincoteague Island
Synopsis: A brother and sister work together to buy and tame a wild mare and her foal.
Misty of Chincoteague is a book I fondly remember reading as a girl. Now, I got to enjoy helping my boys read it together! They all enjoyed it, too. This book begins with the scene of a Spanish galleon, en route to Peru with a load of ponies to work the mines, which is blown off course by a storm and wrecks off the coast of Virginia. All the men are drowned, but the stallion and most of the mares survive and thrive on Assateague Island.
Fast-forward to the 20th century! Two children from Chincoteague Island are exploring Assateague while their grandfather is helping the game warden count birds. They see a mare, the Phantom, who has eluded the annual roundup of the ponies the past two years, and fall in love with her. They work hard for the next three months to earn money to buy her, and then she is caught in the roundup—with a new foal! Will they get to buy Phantom, tame her, and win next year’s race? Or will the man from the mainland whose son fell in love with Misty, the colt, get her?
Misty of Chincoteague is a great story for any young horse-lover, or even non-horse lovers who love a good story! Written especially with 8-12 year olds in mind, it will appeal to all ages.
WARNING: A tiny bit of language; chapters 14 and 16 each contain the word d—n once. Once or twice in the book a milder exclamation is used; otherwise, the book is clean.
Listening Level—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12
Reading Independently—Ages 7 – 9, 8 – 12