Embracing a Healthy Family: Author Mattie Richardson/Appaloosy Books: Horses in History Series Review

Author Mattie Richardson/Appaloosy Books: Horses in History Series Review

My girls really like horses and my middle one LOVES them which is why I thought it was a great match to review Mattie Richardson's Horses in History Series by Author Mattie Richardson/Appaloosy Books. Turns out that Ms. Richardson is a fellow redhead which also appealed to my middle one who also has red hair. The series, recommended for ages 8-14, includes four paperback books: AppaloosyDusty's TrailGolden Sunrise, and Day and Night. Ms. Richardson even signed each one making it more special for them when they received the series. We also received the brand new Day and Night Enrichment Guide for the Day and Night book in PDF format.

What makes the books even more interesting is the historical nature they take on. Each book takes place during a different historical time point so one is not required to read before the next.

The first book, Appaloosy, has a few black and white illustrations that compliment the story. It is told by Storm, an Appaloosa of course! The book has a table of contents and begins with native Nez Perce words and their meanings since they are incorporated into the story. The main character, Storm, a young stallion desires nothing else but to be free. Unfortunately for him, he is owned by the Nez Perce tribe. Try as he might, he attempts to not be domesticated and wins out until his luck runs out. After being too persistent in not getting broke, the Indian handed Storm on to his son, White Feather. White Feather was different and he ended up surrendering to him and became his loyal warrior. Time proves that things always change and now, after a turn of events, he was in the hands of the white man. As the story continues, he faces trials and tribulations as a horse on the western front and eventually becomes the horse of a girl named Faith. He finally learns to trust again and although he has a chance to finally be free, he will have to decide but you'll have to read to find out what he chose!

Near the end of the book is a section titled Blast from the past that provides additional background information with historical facts.

The end of the book provides a little about the author, Mattie Richardson, and the illustrator. Ms Richardson was only thirteen years old when she wrote Appaloosy and published it when she was sixteen!  To me, that's pretty amazing as the books are so well written, researched and entertaining. Clarissa Richardson drew the illustrations when she was only thirteen as well. Both are quite accomplished and great role models! Ms. Richardson has other books and has a new one titled The Secret of the Hemlock Forest.

My daughter read Appaloosy and enjoyed how history was told from the horse's perspective. My other daughter read Day and Night. She likes how the perspectives were changed from chapter to chapter. She thought it was a unique way to tell a story. Both of my girls are always writing and hope to be published too so she provided them with a push.

The Day and Night Enrichment Guide PDF has eight parts and includes work in reading comprehension, vocabulary, history, a soldier's life, the history, geography, horses and history, creating your own story and a biography. It's a wonderful addition in creating a more in-depth educational experience with the story and the Enrichment Guide.

There are numerous fun and educational activities on every page.

Day and Night

Day and Night The Story of Tucker and Shiloh in the Civil War is told by Tucker who was a horse in the U.S. Mounted Infantry and Shiloh who was a horse in the Confederate Volunteer Cavalry. This is an interesting and captivating story of two brothers, horses, get separated during the Civil War. Just as humans, some fought for the north and some for the south, Tucker is on the north side and Shiloh is on the Confederate side. This story dives into other aspects of the Civil War that not everyone has heard or thought about like women in the war and border wars. 

The Civil War is one part of history that fascinates me and a couple of years ago, I took my girls to Gettysburg and other places like Manassas and Antebellum. This story was even more interesting to them. I liked how she wrote of the various states the men were from as well as their occupations such as doctors, farmers and railroad men and how no matter their backgrounds, they united for the common good. As I noted above, my other daughter liked how the chapters changed the voice from Tucker to Shiloh and back again. She thought it provided a different perspective on what life was like pending which side one was fighting for.

Dusty's Trail

Dusty's Trail is told by Dusty who was an American Quarter Horse. His story is about the Pony Express in the 1860's. Dusty being a Quarter Horse means he can run a quarter of a mile really fast but being fast for long distance is not their forte. Dusty prefers to take on the quiet life but his faithful human companion, Levi, has other plans for him. This is a great story to tell the readers more about the Pony Express as usually people just have images of mail delivery but there was much more to it. One excerpt details them being attacked by Indians with arrows shooting about. It's another tale that provides not just a story and adventure but provides an educational opportunity.

Golden Sunrise

Golden Sunrise is told by a Palomino horse named Cheyenne during the 1800s in Texas. Another story my girls can relate to as we used to live in Texas. Those that know history and Texas know of the fight to gain independence against Mexico. One of the biggest historical events in Texas happened during this time period. There have been many stories told about the Alamo but I've never read one in the voice of a horse. She once again set an adventurous story that was charming and delightful.

Overall, it's a fun entertaining series to read and to learn more about historical facts. She is a very talented author and has a way in engaging the reader into the stories while teaching a very important subject of history.


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Check out what others on the Homeschool Review Crew, a division of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, thought by clicking on the (photo) link below:

Book Set: Appaloosy, Dusty's Trail, Golden Sunrise & Day and Night {Mattie Richardson/Appaloosy Books Reviews}

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Mattie Richardson said...

Thank you for taking the time to review the Appaloosy Books series, and I'm glad your daughters seemed to enjoy them. Tell them to keep on writing and dreaming!

~Author Mattie Richardson

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