Title: Stormy, Misty’s Foal
Author: Marguerite Henry
Major Themes: Chincoteague Island, Horses, Natural Disasters, Storms, Virginia
Synopsis: A storm strikes the East Coast of the United States just when Misty is about to have her first foal.
I have two boys who struggle greatly with reading. I didn’t realize they were dyslexic until I’d been trying to teach them to read for five years, but that’s a whole story in itself. Because they need practice reading, I spend about half an hour every school day reading a book with them and one of the other boys; we take turns with paragraphs. We also take turns choosing the book we’ll read. One of the boys loves horses, so when it was his turn recently to choose, he wanted Stormy, Misty’s Foal. We read Misty of Chincoteague some time ago, so we knew the back story.
In this book, Misty is now a grown horse, nearly ready to give birth to her first foal. Paul and Maureen are worried about her. They fix up an old chicken coop to make a stall fit for a queen—which they consider her to be, since she is a movie star by now! However, when the storm of the century hits Chincoteague Island and all the people are evacuated, what will happen to Misty? Left alone in Grandma’s kitchen, will she survive? And what if her baby comes while the Beebe family is away on the mainland?
Stormy, Misty’s Foal isn’t only the story of a beautiful pony, it is also the story of the tough, self-reliant islanders who worked together to save lives and clean up their island after the water went down. And by the way, this storm really happened; I remember reading about it, and seeing a picture of Misty, in a National Geographic magazine from the 1960s. It is a lovely story of a close-knit community. Your children will enjoy reading about the horses, the Coast Guard who came to help, and Grandpa with his funny ways of saying things.
WARNING: All through the book, Grandpa’s speech is sprinkled with words that I would consider unnecessary. It’s nothing real bad, just expressions we don’t use in our house.
Listening Level—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12
Reading Independently—Ages 7 – 9, 8 – 12, 10 – 12