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The Winter Pony Library Binding – November 8, 2011


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Library Binding: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (November 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385903944
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385903943
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

A little white pony dreams of a sparkling gate in a cold, snowy place: a welcoming entrance to a pony heaven of sorts. The vision comforts him on what will be the harsh and cruel saga of his life on the pony team of Robert Falcon Scott’s mission to the South Pole from 1910 to 1912. Dubbed James Pigg by his kindly handlers, our pony narrates in sparkling prose this heartbreaking tale of toil, adventure, and herculean effort against all odds. Desperate to keep up with the faster, stronger ponies and prove himself against the snarling dogs, Jimmy Pigg battles for his survival every day. “I didn’t want him to see that I was hurt. An injured pony was a dead pony,” he muses when his human teammate Patrick tends to him. Young readers will question the ethics of the doomed journey, one that later generations would see was not planned carefully enough compared to Roald Amundsen’s successful mission. They’ll also need warning of the gruesome pony deaths. That said, Lawrence tells a most compelling tale. Grades 5-8. --Anne OMalley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

IAIN LAWRENCE's previous novels include The Giant-Slayer, The Seance, Gemini Summer, B for Buster, Lord of the Nutcracker Men, Ghost Boy, The Lightkeeper's Daughter, as well as the Curse of the Jolly Stone trilogy: The Convicts, The Cannibals, and The Castaways; and the High Seas trilogy: The Wreckers, The Smugglers, and The Buccaneers.


From the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
5 star
73%
4 star
13%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
13%
See all 15 customer reviews
These books are definitely page-turners!
Julimil
In and with learning about pony culture, readers are exposed to the cruelty of man, as well as man's sincerity and kindness.
Deborah Sandford
Horse lovers will love it and is great for both kids and adults.
Lee McCoy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Julimil on January 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I'm a long time fan of Iain Lawrence and have loved every one of his books, Even though written for young people, he delves deeply into dark and disturbing themes and keeps the suspense level high. These books are definitely page-turners! Winter Pony is different, though. It is exquisitely written and a real pleasure to read, but the tale is so tragic I had to stop often and not only reach for the kleenex but just get some distance. Several times I had to say out loud, "How could he have stood to write this book? It's so sad!" At the end of the story, the author actually explains just how painful it was for him to keep writing. I think this would be a great book to share with children and segue into meaningful conversations on serious issues.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Darlene Foster on January 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I loved this heartbreaking story of Captain Scott's fatal journey to the South Pole, told from the point of view of one of the ponies he took with him. This is a well written book and the author obviuosly put much research and heart into this story. You can't help but fall in love with James Pigg, the pony from Siberia, as he tries his best to help Captain Scott and his dedicated team reach their goal. If you already know the end, you will still find yourself cheering for man and beast as they struggle against the elements. It is a story of determination, incredible fortitude and devotion. I made the mistake of reading the final chapters on the bus, on my way home from work. My sobbing caused other passengers to become concerned. This may be a difficult read from some sensitive young people but I rate it with my childhood favourites; Black Beauty, Old Yeller and The Yearling.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Darlene Jones on February 2, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Wow!There aren't enough adjectives to describe how wonderful this book is. If I was cranky the next morning, It's Mr. Lawrence's fault because I couldn't stop reading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By TWebster on May 10, 2013
Format: Paperback
This book is really tragic. It is simply not appropriate for children and young teens, in my opinion. My daughter is 11 and reads at a 12th grade-level. She's read hundreds of books (several a week usually), and there have been some that are sad for her, some scary, etc. She has never had a reaction like she did to this book.

All the main characters die, and the main pony goes through all this pain to be shot in the end. It is overwhelmingly a depressing ending. I know that now, but I only read the jacket before my daughter picked this book out of the CHILDREN's section of our library. She was so upset at the ending, she sobbed, ended up hyperventilating, and I had to take her to the ER for what turned out to be systemic muscle cramps brought on by her blood level potassium dropping due to the hyperventilation. Seriously! She has never hyperventilated in her life, and she is not prone to any kind of drama. She's a very balanced kid. It was shocking.

I'm in no way implying this is the author's fault (in fact, it kind of shows the book must be very well written...). Just a warning to be VERY careful to screen if it's appropriate for your child.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Deborah Sandford on July 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Let tender-hearted and young readers be advised! This is a sad and tragic story, albeit beautifully told. Depicting the fatal expedition of Robert Falcon Scott (to Antarctica), it is narrated by the working pony James Pigg. The poignant and heartfelt aspect of this story is that the reader truly gets into the heart and mind of this sweet pony. For readers like myself who are not passionate about horses, nor "understand" them, by the end of the book you will come to love, admire and respect these remarkable animals. In and with learning about pony culture, readers are exposed to the cruelty of man, as well as man's sincerity and kindness. The background, and indeed the foreground, of the story is the brilliant clarification of the perilous trek across the frozen, treacherous, yet amazingly breathtaking landscape at the bottom of the world.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By jayden robyn on January 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I found this book to be fun, informative, and sad all at the same time. James Pigg is a great main character, and as he described the setting and other horses and humans, I could easily picture what he was talking about. I was interested from start to finish, what with the horse sense, action, and historical facts, and will definitely be adding this to my shelf.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Grandpa Jon on May 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great book. It is well written (from the pony's point of view). It is not a warm fuzzy read for nine-year-olds...best for teens and adults (in my opinion) as it deals with very harsh realities of (pony) life, given the job and purpose of the times and polar exploration mission.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Terry on April 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This was an excellent book about Scott's expedition to the South Pole told from a pony's point of view. It was interesting and gripping and I loved the book, right up to the poignant ending. Not easy to stop thinking about.
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