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Star of Wild Horse Canyon by Clyde Robert Bulla

March 20, 2010

Star Book ReviewThis early chapter book published in 1953, has easy dialogue and vocabulary appropriate for second and third grade. This is the story of Danny who lives on his mother and father’s ranch. One summer he helps his father and Uncle go into Juniper Canyon to catch wild horses.

The account of the preparations to catch the wild horses has all the makings of a boy’s adventure; wild horses, camping, hard work and respectful relationships with adult men. The round up is a truthful account of early methods to catch wild horses by driving them into a box canyon where corrals have been built.

Danny does a man’s work helping with the round up and his uncle makes a gift of ‘Star’ to Danny. Danny tames Star, but during a wind storm Star runs away. As Danny adjusts to the idea of never finding his horse again, he exemplifies unselfishness when Ben, a neighbor’s young boy, gets lost. Danny is instrumental in finding Ben, and displays leadership and compassion.

The story ends when Ben’s older brother shamefully confesses to Danny that he has been hiding Star so he could have his own horse. Danny forgives him and gives him hope about truly having his own horse someday.

As an added bonus, there are three simple songs to go along with the story.

Flags: While the attitude towards the wild horses probably wouldn’t be appreciated by current animal rights advocates, it is certainly not cruel or hard hearted.

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