Ï Read ✓ Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry ¹ 6 10 A favorite story from my childhood reread for a summer book club Well written good tension and suspense Both male and female horse lovers have a character to relate to in the book and for an old book, written in 1947 the girl wasn t thrust into a traditional female role As an adult reading the book, I found myself thinking about the rightness or wrongness of the actions and feeling for the wild horses than for the desires of the children I felt the rounding up of wild horses and selling off their colts was unjust and inhumane Fortunately, as the story progressed, the author did a good job of explaining the need for the actions The story had great elements hard work to obtain a goal, disappointment and loss, hope deferred, compassion, etc.
This was one of the earliest books I read on my own, in part because Mom read it to me until I knew it by heart She s a horse nut gave me my first pony when I was 5 We then lived on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, not too far from Chincoteague We went there for the round up one year I got to put a real place to the book The Paul in the book was in his early 30 s then, as I recall I supposedly got to meet him I was pretty young, about 7 or 8 I guess I was told he was Paul, anyway I don t think we got to see Misty, but one of her foals or something Who knows, but the plaque on the stall said so It was a tourist trap in a lot of ways, even in the 1960s.
Anyway, it was a memorable book, all my kids read them my wife too I haven t read it in ages, maybe parts to the kids when they were little, but that s been a couple few decades, too I stumbled across this audio version at the library thought I d see how it fared both in that format so many years later Just fine, thank you very much It s a true classic.
It bothered me that they kept calling foals colts Don t recall that at all I would have thought it would have really bugged me years ago, too I guess it s sort of like people calling horses ponies, a general term Irritating I didn t remember Grandpa Bebe s ear hair either My own hair is now migrating south my barber spends an inordinate amount of time trimming my ears eyebrows, so I sympathize with his plight It was kind of funny in this setting, though Not at all where I would have expected it.
Highly recommended for young old If you haven t read it, you should If you have a young child, this is a great book to raise them on, so long as you don t mind buying them a pony of their own There are worse addictions, I suppose If they truly get the horse bug, they probably won t have the money to indulge in any others.
On An Island Off The Coasts Of Virginia And Maryland Lives A Centuries Old Band Of Wild Ponies Among Them Is The Most Mysterious Of All, Phantom, A Rarely Seen Mare That Eludes All Efforts To Capture Her That Is, Until A Young Boy And Girl Lay Eyes On Her And Determine That They Can T Live Without Her The Frenzied Roundup That Follows On The Next Pony Penning Day Does Indeed Bring Phantom Into Their Lives, In A Way They Never Would Have Suspected Phantom Would Forever Be A Creature Of The Wild But Her Gentle, Loyal Colt Misty Is Another Story Altogether Ok so this story is cute but I have some issues with it First and foremost being WILD ANIMALS SHOULD REMAIN WILD Nobody should be allowed to buy a wild animal, let alone children Ok I get the Pony Penning was for population control, but come on now As innocent as this story was intended to be and as well written as it was, I personally found it to give off the wrong message to younger readers.
Maybe I m being too harsh on this book I don t know, but it just rubbed me the wrong way.
More than just a horse book.
Children have a chance to learn some history and about life in a small, semi isolated community, and to see what children can accomplish with hard work and patience I love the theme of freedom independence I love the dialect and descriptions that bring the setting alive I love that it s based on reality.
And I love the tidbits that are sprinkled throughout, for example Grandpa s notion that Facts are fine, fer as they go, but they re like water bugs skittering atop the water Legends, now they go deep down and bring up the heart of a story I don t love the sexism, especially Paul s All in all, this reads younger and simpler than other Henry books, and therefore is, to me, not quite as juicy and re readable But I do believe it s at least as worthy of the honor as the other selections of 1948.
And I m glad this story was recognized and popular, helping to ensure the protection of the ponies and other wildlife on Assateague to this day.
And yet I ve no interest in the sequels Have any of you read, or planned to read, those Oh, and let s not forget the expressive, vibrant illustrations Because of his partnership with Henry, Wesley Dennis was one of the first illustrators I knew by name and reputation, when I was a child.
Oh, btw, I was neither a big fan of horses or historical fiction So why did I like Henry s stories so much It must have been because they had both those elements, plus nature other animals, plus adventure, plus interesting people, plus beautiful writing, all in a graceful balance.
I had a pony as a kid lived on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, not too far from Chincoteague We went there I got to put a real place to the book The Paul in the book was in his early 30 s then, as I recall I supposedly got to meet him I was pretty young, about 7 or 8 I guess I was told he was Paul, anyway I don t think we got to see Misty, but one of her foals Stormy Anyway, it was a memorable book, all my kids read them my wife too.
One of my favorite books as a kid, I still love Misty of Chincoteague Of course, it only makes me want a horse but it s a pleasant sort of pain REREAD JUST NOW I might review this later on, but basically, it was as cute as I remembered.
Audiobook 231 Marguerite Henry s Misty of Chincoteague novels present one of my all time favourite horse based children s literature series or rather, the first three books rank amongst my personal favourites, as I really do not at all like the fourth instalment And as such, I have never been able or even all that willing for that matter to write an actual review of the first three books of the series I did recently pen a very critical review of the fourth book, of Misty s Twilight which was published decades after the first three novels and does not feature either Misty or the Beebes , but as I rather majorly despise said novel, it has actually not been all that difficult to post not at all laudatory musings and analyses, whilst with the first three instalments of the series, with Misty of Chincoteague, Sea Star Orphan of Chincoteaque and Stormy, Misty s Foal even writing a review, even starting a review has been and continues to be much personally daunting Not only am I well aware of the fact that with the first three Misty books, I am most definitely rather massively and personally positively biased, but also, like with oh so many if not most of my childhood favourite reads, I also tend to have the personal feeling and even the nagging suspicion that any and all interpretations and analyses I might decide to provide will be, at best merely a pale and even perhaps somewhat cracked reflection of the actual work s , of Marguerite Henry s narrative skills However, I do think it is now time to attempt to consider a review of at least the first Misty book, of Misty of Chincoteague, and to explain, or perhaps to the point try to explain why and how Marguerite Henry s Newbery Honour winning horse novel has always been such a sweet and evocative favourite so much so that I still regularly reread and always enjoy it And even though I am as an adult than well aware of the fact that as a novel of the late 1940s, there are, of course, instances of datedness, of signs of the times, of indeed some annoying sexism, this does not and never has diminished my love of and for Misty, her horse and human family, her antics, her exploits and while as an adult, I might well and increasingly see and notice instances and potential issues worthy of discussion and debate, I still massively and lastingly simply and utterly adore Misty of Chincoteague as both a novel and as a delicate and realistic portrait of early to middle 20th century life on the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, the close family ties, the daily lives of the Chincoteaguers, whether they be horse people, water people or chicken farmers Now while Marguerite Henry has created nuanced and realistically developed characters throughout as even many of the minor characters who make an appearance in Misty of Chincoteague are portrayed not as simply basic stock personages but as living, breathing entities with clearly defined personalities and both laudable and not so stellar character traits , the main human protagonists the Beebe family, Grandpa, Grandma, Paul and Maureen really and truly do in my opinion sparkle and shine I do love the sense of natural and respectful responsibility and the in many ways massive amount of personal freedom that Paul and Maureen enjoy and albeit that Maureen might indeed have house bound chores than Paul, when it comes to taking care of the family s ponies, and when it comes to making money in order to try to purchase the Phantom come Pony Penning, their responsibilities are not only the same, they are approached as and seen as equals by especially Grandpa Beebe But granted, it is indeed true and uncomfortably so that in Misty of Chincoteague, especially young Paul Beebe often does seem at least on the surface to be the one and main individual who displays the most blatant and obnoxious sexism usually and especially towards his sister Maureen But that having been said, if one then actually considers Paul and Maureen s relationship as older brother and younger sister, Paul s behaviour becomes and like simply an opinionated and full of himself older brother lording it over or at least attempting to lord it over his younger sister thus a case of sibling squabbles and sibling rivalry than mere sexism Yes, Paul often chides Maureen for being only a girl but really, his little and not so little put downs are generally and for all intents and purposes an older sibling poking nasty fun at a younger sibling or trying to show how much smarter he or she is than the younger sibling, which in my humble opinion, usually stems from a low self esteem and a resulting desire to make oneself appear as superior in some way And at least Paul and Maureen do both have an equal and thus a fair opportunity to ride the Phantom in the big Pony Penning race the fact that Maureen ends up losing, that she figuratively and literally draws the short straw so to speak is just bad luck on her part Further, that only Paul is able to ride to participate in the actual Pony Penning roundup, while that little scenario is indeed than a bit sexist in and of itself, it is however in NO WAY sexism on Paul s part, but simply how the roundup of the Assateague ponies is generally organised, namely that the rules stipulate that only adult men and boys above a certain age are permitted to be part of the actual penning up of the ponies and I for one am glad that Marguerite Henry has not tried to change the at that time current cultural practices of the Chincoteague Pony Penning celebrations, such as, for example, having both men and women, both teenaged boys and girls be permitted participate in the round up, as that would be painting a wrong, and thus a false picture of both time and place As a person whose parents both bred raised riding horses Trakehners, a German warm blood breed, to be exact , what has probably always impressed me most with regard to Misty of Chincoteague is how knowledgable especially Grandpa Beebe is portrayed with regard to ponies and horses, and how gentle this often gruff and curmudgeonly man is with regard to both horses and his grandchildren with children in general He does not expect Paul and Maureen to use a metal bit on the Phantom, explaining to Paul that the soft plant based wickie bridle and reins Paul and Maureen had been using are than adequate as long as the Phantom obeys their commands and follows their directions and Grandpa Beebe is also and happily not in any way shy about showing his intense pride in Paul and Maureen, of praising them for their care of the Phantom and Misty, for being able to actually gentle a three year old wild Assateague mare enough for her to be ridden and later, publicly raced And when Paul finally does decide to give the Phantom her freedom when the Pied Piper comes back for her , Grandpa Beebe both praises Paul and tells his grandchildren that giving the Phantom her freedom, allowing her to return to Assaateague is the humane and thus the right thing to do and both Paul and Maureen do really know this as well, as both have much horse sense and had been for quite some time wondering whether the Phantom, was really as content and as satisfied with her life on the Beebe s ranch as little Misty obviously is The ending, with the Phantom being given her freedom and then little Misty basically making her rounds almost as if to comfort Paul, Maureen and the grandfather is both sad and sweet, both heartbreaking and uplifting and probably one of the main reasons why Misty of Chincoteague will always have a very special and tenderly sweet place in my heart and in my soul, my being.
Now as to the accompanying illustrations by Wesley Dennis, although they are perhaps not really necessary to understand the story itself, the actual happenings of Misty of Chincoteague, they do provide a glowing compliment of and complement to the text and I know that my personal visions of how Misty, the Phantom and the Beebes look are based almost entirely on Wesley Dennis pictorial offerings, so much so that I cannot even consider the Misty series without his evocative and realistically beautiful drawings.
And now finally I promise , with Misty of Chincoteague, Marguerite Henry s writing style, her narration, her vocabulary choices intensely and with the juices of life itself evocatively do glow The ample use of Chincoteague vernacular although I know that some readers have had issues and complaints with regard to this gives a wonderful and truly rich and expansive sense of time and place making the featured events much authentic sounding and feeling than if the characters, if the Chincoteaguers had been simply depicted and described as speaking standard English And while there might indeed be a few instances where a reader especially a child just learning to read might stumble over a potential meaning, most of the vernacular words utilised are than easily enough discerned from the general context of the plot, of the text And thus yes, I absolutely and utterly adore Marguerite Henry s Misty of Chincoteague and do recommend the novel most highly and eagerly as a glowing example of what I personally consider a perfectly lovely and in all ways wonderful horse story for children and for adults who still enjoy reading books for children
I loved reading about horses and their stories and the story of Chincoteague I haven t been and now I would love to This is a fantastic story I think I might read of this series I do enjoy the prose of Marguerite Henry Fun books I want to see how Misty turns out.