1949: King of the Wind (You’re never pasture prime)

VERDICT: Treasure

Sally’s Rating: 3.5/5

Marguerite Henry’s King of the Wind tells the tale of Sham, the renowned Godolphin Arabian, who sired the bloodline for the modern thoroughbred horse. In this fictionalized biography, a young stableboy’s loyalty to his horse leads him on an unexpected adventure filled with struggle, friendship and heartache.

The relationship between the horse and boy is truly the heart and soul of the book. From the deserts of Morocco to the palaces of France and the countryside of England, Agba’s determination to stay with his horse no matter what is admirable and heroic. His belief that his horse has a great destiny never wavers in the face of cruelty and suffering, as the horse slowly begins his journey to becoming a legend. It was interesting to see how Agba’s muteness highlighted his friendship with Sham and Grimalkin – the horse-riding cat. Words don’t need to be spoken between them to understand their bond, as actions speak louder than words between these two friends.

King of the Wind has no slow parts. The plot moves along quickly and even the boring parts of the book last no longer than a chapter. Essentially a fairy tale, the book follows the classic storyline of a horse being abused, and with the help of a young boy, he survives his hardships and gets a happy ending.

It’s very rare to find an animal book that captures such a pure and genuine relationship between a boy and his horse. This book did not disappoint and hit all the right notes. King of the Wind is the definite high point of this decade’s Newbery Medal winners and is highly recommended to all readers.

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