This novel by Ned Ackerman is one that I’ve had sitting on my shelves for a long time! Determined to read through the books that I’ve acquired so far (close to 700), I thought what if I start at the start of the alphabet (based on author) and work my way through?
So, this is how I came to start on this novel for young people – perhaps pre and early teenage years.
Spirit Horse follows the tale of young Running Crane. After the loss of his father, Running Crane’s mother marries into a new band – the Kainaa. His lack of staying power on a horse causes him to be the brunt of many jokes, particularly from a spiteful youth Weasel Rider.
Running Crane desperately wants a horse of his own and when chosen to take part in a raid for horses from another band, the Snake People, his hopes are lifted. Although apprehensive about taking part in the raid, he is also wondering if this may be his chance to secure a horse of his own and gain a place of respect in his new band.
During the raid Running Crane gets separated and has to work hard to survive and make his way back to familiar territory. It is on his way home that he discovers the Spirit Horse – a mighty stallion that the Kainaa were hoping to steal from the Snake People. The Spirit Horse may prove to be Running Crane’s chance to gain a horse of his own and gain the respect he desires – if he can tame the wild stallion.
Spirit Horse is a great coming of age story about a youth who uses determination to prove himself, rather than petty fighting with those who oppose him. The novel is an interesting read with some good themes about integrity and doing the right thing.
Author – Ned Ackerman
Fiction – preteens / early teenage years
In my library – it is! A delightful read for the younger person.
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“Horses are the dolphins of the plains, the spirits of the wind; yet we sit astride them for the sake of being well-groomed, whereas they could have all the desire in the world to bolt, but instead, they adjust their speed and grace, only to please us, never to displease.” – Lauren Salerno