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Misty of Chincoteague
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
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?
For kids who love horses
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.