A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What 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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
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?