Paint the Wind
By Ellen Dendy,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Horse tale shines with rich plot and characters.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Kids lie, break the rules, and pull pranks -- sometimes with dire consequences -- but eventually grow through the lessons they learn. A bitter grandmother demonstrates poor parenting skills and judgment, but the other adult characters provide their young relations with unconditional love ... and tough love when appropriate.
Violence & Scariness
A mountain lion kills a colt, not described.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this book has some intense scenes that may upset younger or more sensitive kids, but none are graphic, many are kept to very brief descriptions, and, for the most part, everything turns out all right in the end. Most of the story takes place in Wyoming, so the harsh realities of the wilderness are prevalent. There's also a relatively descriptive account of a horse giving birth that could raise questions.
Where to Read
There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.
What's the Story?
Life hasn't been easy for 11-year-old Maya -- orphaned at 5, she lives in a tawny California mansion with her overbearing grandmother who detested Maya's horse-loving mother. But a tragic event changes everything. Maya is whisked off to Wyoming to live with her mother's relatives, whom she's never met and, due to her grandmother's lies, she actually fears.
Maya struggles to adapt to her new family and living in a rustic camp, but her love of horses -- the strongest connection she has with her mother -- makes living in a teepee and dealing with her bratty cousin a little easier. Maya learns to ride and slowly comes out of her shell, embarking on a journey of self-discovery that leads her to a beautiful, wild horse named Artemisia. With Artemisia by her side, Maya will face the unfathomable.
Is It Any Good?
Award-winning author Pam Muñoz Ryan paints vivid images of wild horses and western landscapes in this tale about a young girl who must adapt to a brand-new life. It's hard to imagine any horse-loving child disliking this satisfyingly complete story, and the rich plot and character development are likely to captivate young readers who aren't horse-obsessed, too.
The main character's story is interspersed with segments written from the perspective of the wild horse, Artemisia, and Ryan's thorough research on the region and wild horses is evident. Ryan is a masterful writer who deftly handles dialogue, detailed descriptions, action scenes, and plot and character development, and she's achieved another winner in PAINT THE WIND.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how Maya changed once she left her grandmother's home and moved to Wyoming. How did Maya's new family, and the rough conditions of the horse camp, help her grow as a person? How did her relationship with Artemisia help her feel closer to her mother? What do you think the future holds for Maya?
- Author: Pam Munoz Ryan
- Genre: Literary Fiction
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
- Publication date: September 1, 2007
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 7 - 11
- Number of pages: 327
- Last updated: July 12, 2017
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Where to Read
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.See how we rate