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The Fire Pony Hardcover – May, 1996


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic; Library Binding edition (May 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0590552511
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590552516
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,996,551 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-7?Young orphaned Roy and his arsonist adult brother, Joe Dilly, are heading West, fleeing an earlier arson scene and looking for work on a horse ranch. At the Bar None, they find a place where they can avoid the law and earn their keep. Roy can also earn a pony, if he can break her. Lady is a beautiful, wild palomino that has already stolen his heart, but even if she lets him ride her, he worries that Joe Dilly's uncontrollable emotions and fascination with fire will destroy all of his hopes and force them to move on yet again. Philbrick discloses just the right amount of detail about Joe Dilly's fires to create concern for young Roy and draw readers into the story. Roy's first-person description blends smoothly into authentic dialogue with a Western accent. The characters are fully developed, showing both strengths and weaknesses. However, the "horse whisperer" effect Joe Dilly has on totally unmanageable horses is a bit far-fetched. Some of the horses' behaviors are equally unrealistic, as when Joe Dilly rides a crazy stallion bareback through the side of a burning barn. But the story on the whole has plenty of action and suspense and is a good choice for encouraging reluctant readers.?Christina Linz, Alachua County Library District, Gainesville, FL
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 5^-8. There's no doubt that trouble lies ahead; 11-year-old Roy warns readers on the first page that he's "still pretty worried about the bad stuff catching up." Readers will know it's just a matter of time before everything blows up, but in the meantime, they'll be pulled quickly into a satisfying story about a boy who finds peace for a time on a horse ranch. Roy idolizes his older half-brother, Joe, who rescued him from a foster home. Although Joe is a skilled blacksmith, his temper sometimes gets the best of him, and they have to move on. When Joe finds work at the Bar None Ranch, Roy hopes they will be able to stay for a while. Joe gets along well with the owner, who has taken a shine to Roy and has given him a pony to train. Philbrick offers lots of interesting details about ranch life and training and racing horses, but it's the tension that will hook readers till the dramatic conclusion. Although less emotionally wrenching than Philbrick's Freak the Mighty (1993), this story may be more accessible for younger readers. Chris Sherman

Customer Reviews

Thanks so much to Rodman Philbrick for such a great book!
Horse Lovin Glory K.
I liked the other characters in the story as well as they expressed the warmth and acceptance that was needed in such a dark novel.
M. Reynard
This book is about a boy named Roy and his stepbrother Joe.
Kim

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 13, 1999
Format: Paperback
Whether you love or completely despise horses you will love this book. It is very heartwarming, and will almost make you cry. It is also touching. It is so filled with drama and very suspenseful! Read this wonderful book and find out today!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 30, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The Fire Pony a round-up delight is about two boys Roy and Joe who end up at the Bar None after Joe breaks Roy out of Day Care. They were allowed to stay if Joe shoed the toughest horse. Joe did that! Later Mr. Jessup gave Roy a pony. Roy named the pony Lady Luck. A terrible storm sets in and a sabertooth cuts Lady Luck. When she is healed Roy was trained to ride, Mr. Jessup and Roy go to the fair. Roy wins the first race, but then in the second race there's a problem. Joe comes to Roy's defense after Mullens sabotages the race. This book has taught me never get back at others or a price will come. Read this book to find out what happens at the race and the price Joe will pay.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Luiza Dini on December 8, 2001
Format: Paperback
Rodman Philbrick has built a reputation as a children's author who writes Young Adult novels that both touch and amuse the reader. With the two novels, Freak the Mighty and the sequel, Max the Mighty, Philbrick introduced us to Max, the awkward, shy giant with an enormous heart. Now in The Fire Pony, the author brings in a new cast of characters, but retains the same themes - acceptance of an outsider, the love of family and friends, and the inner torment that comes with the loss of family members.
Roy and his older brother Joe Dilly are on the run. After their parents died, Roy was sent to live in an orphanage. But the relationship between the two brothers cannot be severed, and Joe helps Roy break out of the home and the two go on the lam. But Joe is not a saintly older brother, because he has a shady past that includes setting fires. "All I can think about is this: What does Joe see inside the fire? Can he hear that fire wind singing to him? Can he see the river inside the flames, or the fluttering wings? Can he feel the way it has to keep moving or die (p. 162)?"
The two finally end up at the Bar None ranch, which is owned by the kindly Nick Jessup who takes in the two outlaws in exchange for their work around the ranch. During the course of their stay, Roy sees just how destructive Joe's temper and penchant for arson can be. With the inclusion at the Bar None, Roy finds a father in Nick, something that despite his good intentions, Joe could never be.
But Roy really finds a home at the ranch when he falls in love with a wild horse named Lady Luck that Nick lets Roy have as his very own. Roy discovers an immediate connection with the horse and devotes all of his time to Lady Luck's care and to riding her around the ranch.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 29, 1998
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this book. I read it in a few days. Roy and his brother, Joe Dilly, make their home on the Bar None Ranch and Roy gets very interested in horses and ponies, especially Lady Luck, his beloved pony. If you haven't read it, check it out from the library! Philbrick also wrote Freak the Mighty, an awesome book, too! I recommend these two books for anybody who loves adventure and unlikely friendships!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By HM on April 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
A fiery story, with lots (! ) of action and... and... well, I like the grammar the narrator uses.
Roy (the narrator) and his bro Joe are picked up by a horse ranch (! ). Roy has a great time, since he and Joe love horses, and he'd love to stay for as long as possible, but his unpredictable brother might have plans for moving - and fire...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
"The Fire Pony" is a story that is a little slow in the very beging but picks up quick! This story shows the relationship between: brothers, friends and horses. This is a very touching story and could only have been writen by Philbrick. He did a fabulous job and I couldn't put it down!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 29, 1998
Format: Paperback
I am a pessimist to the death, If a book is good by most standards, it's okay by mine. I considered this book decent but the beginning was somewhat boring. The ending was cool though, Rather cool description of a horse race and horse fever. Other than that, this book is just AVERAGE.
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By Kim on January 20, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book is about a boy named Roy and his stepbrother Joe. Roy was living at a foster home, and Joe came and took him away because Roy hated it there. Joe and Roy are out in the country and discover a little ranch called Bar None. The manager of the ranch said that Joe could take the job as a fairer if he could shoe the horse 'Showdown'. Joe was able to do it, and Rick hired him as the new fairer. When Mr. Jessup came back he really started to like Roy. Mr. Jessup bought Roy a little Arabian pony for him to train. Roy fell instantly in love, and called his new mare Lady. Mr. Jessup would always tell Roy stories about the 'Wild West' and started training Lady with Roy. For example when Roy couldn't get Lady going he brought him out his old spurs, and told him how to use them. Joe, Roy's brother, always had a special gift with horses. It was like they could understand him, and he could understand them. Well, Joe thought Roy had the gift as well. Roy was a real natural at riding, just like Joe. When Roy first started training Lady, he got on her (when he wasn't supposed to) and she went crazy because she was never ridden. Nevertheless, Roy held on, and was fine after the experience. Joe is a rebel. He only stays a one place for a while (partly because since Joe stole Roy from his foster home). Will Joe and Roy stay at the place that they truly love, or will something get in the way? You'll have to read this book to find out. I enjoyed this book so much I would recommend it to anyone!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

Rodman Philbrick grew up on the New England coast, where he worked as a longshoreman and boat builder. For many years he wrote mysteries and detective novels for adults. Inspired by the life of a boy who lived a few blocks away, he wrote 'Freak The Mighty', the award-winning young-adult novel, which has been translated into numerous languages and is now read in schools throughout the world. The book was adapted to the screen as 'The Mighty', starring Sharon Stone, Gillian Anderson, James Gandolfini, Kieran Culkin, and Elden Henson, with original music provided by Sting.

Rodman Philbrick's novels for young readers include 'The Fire Pony', 'Max the Mighty', 'REM World', 'The Last Book In The Universe', 'The Journal of Douglas Allen Deeds', 'The Young Man And The Sea', and 'The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg', a 2010 Newbery Honor book.

The Private Eye Writers of America nominated two of his T.D.Stash series as best detective novel, and then selected Philbrick's 'Brothers & Sinners' as Best Novel in 1993. A gothic tale of slavery and sea captains, 'Coffins' was published in 2002. Writing under the pen name 'William R. Dantz' he has explored the near-future worlds of genetic engineering and hi-tech brain control in books like 'Hunger', 'Pulse', 'The Seventh Sleeper', and 'Nine Levels Down'. He has published three thrillers under the pen name Chris Jordan - 'Taken', Trapped', and 'Torn' - featuring Randall Shane, a former FBI Special Agent who specializes in recovering lost children. He's just now undertaken a new Chris Jordan series about the very private investigator Naomi Nash, set in Boston. The first volume, 'Measure of Darkness', will be published in December 2011 by Mira Books.

Rod and his wife Lynn Harnett, who have collaborated on a number of series for young readers, including 'The House on Cherry Street' and 'The Werewolf Chronicles', divide their time between Maine and the Florida Keys.

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