Horses In History by Mattie Richardson: An Appaloosy Books Review
History buffs and horse lovers, this one is for you! Last month we were introduced to Author Mattie Richardson/Appaloosy Books and Mattie Richardson's Horses in History Series through the Homeschool Review Crew. This historical fiction series gives the reader a trip back in time through the horse's point of view. My horse-loving 9 year old was beyond excited to review these books and he was not disappointed. The periodic pleading for a horse of his own will now increase thanks to this delightful book series.
What We Received:
We were sent 4 paperback books: Appaloosy, Dusty's Trail, Golden Sunrise, and Day and Night - all of which were signed by the author. The author also sent a nice email that included a digital copy of her brand new 98-page Day and Night Enrichment Guide for the Day and Night book.
How It Works:
These books are written with 8-14 year old readers in mind. Each of these books is set somewhere in the 1800's depicting a historical event through the eyes of horses. At the beginning of each book is a list of words and their definitions that are used in the book, but might be unfamiliar to the reader. In Golden Sunrise, a story about a horse's experience at the Battle of the Alamo, `the list contains Spanish words. Appaloosy, a story depicting the Nez Perce War, defines words from the native Nez Perce language. At the end of each book, the author includes 'A Blast from the Past' section where she discusses the actual events the story was based around. At the end of Dusty's Trail the reader can learn about the American Quartera Horse and the Pony Express. Day and Night concludes with information about the Civil War.
The Day and Night Enrichment Guide we were given is a huge resource! Within the 98 pages, the author includes reading comprehension questions. vocabulary, history reading segments, A Soldier's Life - goes over varying aspects of a soldier's life, geography, horses and history, Living History - a craft or game section, a creating your own story section, and a biography section. There are 8 parts of this guide and each part includes the above activities. For more advanced students are some suggestions for deeper study. This guide is an entire history unit all by itself and a great resource for enhancing the reading of Day and Night.
What We Thought:
My 9 year old loves horses to his very core so he was predisposed to love these books anyway, but we have been very pleased and impressed by Ms. Richardson and her series. J was excited about the stories being told from the horses' perspectives. In Day and Night, the chapters trade off telling Shiloh and Tucker's (siblings) experiences from both sides of the Civil War. He said that element made it more fun to read because while reading about one he was wondering what was going on with the other one. The vocabulary words kept any of the unfamiliar subject matter still accessible and great for learning. As a parent, I want my children to love what they are reading so this fit that perfectly. As a reader, I am so impressed that the author wrote her first book at 13! The idea is so charming and fun to read and her enthusiasm for history is evidenced in each book. We are fans and will be glad to add this to our curriculum library!
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