Misty of Chincoteague

Book review by
Frances ORoark Dowell, Common Sense Media
Misty of Chincoteague Book Poster Image
A must for every horse lover's library.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 8 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages
Positive Role Models & Representations

The younger sister is relegated to a secondary role in the more dramatic moments of the story.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Marguerite Henry's classic story of two kids capturing and taming a wild pony, first published in 1947, has thrilled horse lovers for generations. Some young readers used to lots of action may be put off by the slow pace and lengthy descriptions. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written by[email protected] November 23, 2018

Great book to read

Loved it as a child and recommend to all to read it.
Parent of a 3, 5, and 7-year-old Written byChristy4 August 22, 2012

Well-written prose, great characters, pony mystique

I read this out-loud to my seven year old. She loved it and found the story engrossing and the characters relatable. She wants to read more Marguerite Henri boo... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byBrigidArmbrust October 12, 2018
Teen, 13 years old Written byStarStableplayer4evr April 26, 2017

Teen Bookworm

This book was really funny and informative about how the horses/ ponies are moved from one place to another. It is a real page turner.

What's the story?

Two children capture and tame a legendary wild pony in this classic tale. From the moment that Phantom and her foal, Misty, are brought to Chincoteague, Paul and Maureen overcome one obstacle after another to make these wild creatures their own. 

Is it any good?

Horse lovers for generations have thrilled to this tale of wild ponies who resist capture at every turn. The setting and Marguerite Henry's vivid writing style work to make it rise above your average child-and-horse story. Set in the Tidewater area of Virginia, the book is filled with that region's colorful dialect ("Seems as if the devil is allus sittin' cross-legged of me").

Younger readers will quickly find themselves involved in the drama of this captivating tale, but those used to today's fast pace and relentless action may find the book slow. Readers of all ages will enjoy Wesley Dennis' illustrations of the wild ponies, but they may find that his depictions of the children don't help pinpoint the children's ages, which are not given in the text either.


Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the wild horses in Misty of Chincoteague. Why do the kids want so desperately to capture Phantom? Should wild animals be allowed to run free? 

  • What's so appealing about Phantom? How does captivity change her?

  • What do you think of the pace and language of the story? Does it seem too slow to you compared with other books you're used to reading? Does the way people talk seem old-fashioned? 

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love horses

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