My daughter and I have begun reading a series of books by Author Mattie Richardson/Appaloosy Books that each tell a historical tale. The books are told from the unique perspective of a horse. We received all four of the books in Mattie Richardson’s Horses in History Series: Appaloosy, Dusty’s Trail, Golden Sunrise, and Day and Night.
History Chapter Books
This series of books gives your child a fun way to learn about history because of its unique perspective. When a story is told from the point of view of an animal, in this case, a horse, the story comes alive in a different way. We have read other history books that tell stories from the perspective of someone other than a human. Or from the perspective of a human that was transported back into that time period. Either way, we love these kinds of stories. It makes learning history a bit more fun. It’s not just a dry retelling of the facts.
The books are geared towards kids ages 8 to 14. My daughter is currently 11, so it is the perfect series for her to be able to read on her own or for she and I to use as a read aloud.
We did choose to use it as a read aloud mostly. There were one or two times when I was not able to read with her, so I asked her to read on her own. For those times, I just asked her to give me a brief synopsis of what happened in the chapter that I missed. This ended up being the perfect scenario because she gave me a few “book reports” without realizing she was giving me a book report. Homeschool mom for the win on that one! I will be doing that more often.
The first book in the series is Appaloosy, which the author wrote when she was only 13! In this book, we follow a horse named Storm along on his journey to freedom. In the beginning of the book, he belongs to the Nez Perce tribe, but his ownership changes a couple of times. By the end of the book, he is unsure if he still longs to be free or if he would like to stay with his current owner.
The second book is Dusty’s Trail. Dusty has an exciting job as a part of the the Pony Express with his young rider, Levi. They encounter troubles with Indians along the way. Dusty has to make big decisions on how to save himself and Levi.
The third book is called Golden Sunrise and is where we meet Cheyenne. She joins her owner, Jared, in Texas’ fight for independence at Alamo. They also get to meet James Bowie and Davy Crockett.
The final book is Day and Night where we get to read the stories of two horses. They are brothers that are separated during the Civil War. One is with the US Army and the other is with a Confederate soldier.
In all four stories, we get to travel with a horse and his or her rider and experience history from the horse’s perspective. It is such a fun concept for a book series! We have enjoyed them thoroughly.
In addition to the four books in the series, we also received an enrichment guide to accompany Day and Night. Currently, this is the only book with an enrichment guide, but the author is working on guides for the other books and they should be out by the end of 2021.
The guide helps your child dig deeper into the time period the story is in. It helps them learn more about the people, geography, and events that were happening.
There are multiple activities, games, crafts, etc. that are included in the enrichment guide such as:
- Reading Comprehension
- How to create their own stories
- Living History Activities
- How soldiers lived and participated in day-to-day life
- Different elements about horsemanship, horses and their roles today and through history, and other equine-related activities
- An advanced track for older students
Due to the aspects of horsemanship and so on that your child can learn, these books are especially recommended for those children who love horses! They will love reading about things from a horse’s perspective and will likely retain the historical aspects of the story a little more readily than others would.
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