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Why We Raise Belgian Horses [Kindle Edition]

Kathryn Judson
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $12.99
Kindle Price: $5.99
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Book Description

When famine threatens a small fishing village in 19th-century Norway, 17-year-old Lars and his 5-year-old brother, Torvald, are sent to America to live with their Uncle Anders in the Dakota Territory. When Lars buys his first horse, he accidentally buys a horse that's widely considered a joke. But that 'crazy' horse is about to prove his detractors wrong. Historical fiction. Roughly 78,000 words.


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kathryn Judson grew up in the American West. She has, among other things, worked as a newspaper reporter and columnist, and in a bookstore. She also worked one summer in South Dakota for a summer stock theater. She is the author of several books, including Trouble Pug, Not Exactly Dead, Not Exactly Innocent, and Not Exactly Allies.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1095 KB
  • Print Length: 216 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1463757344
  • Publisher: Kathryn Judson; 4 edition (January 12, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004UMP0EA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #732,601 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book! January 14, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm a little at a loss as to how to categorize this book. It's a little historical, a little romance, a little animal lovers...but so much more! I don't know that I would have found this book normally, but I picked it up as a free selection, and am so glad that I did!

Lars and Torvald are sent to stay with their uncle in the Dakota territory when their Norwegian fishing village is going through hard times. The story is narrated by a descendant, which is a refreshing change of pace. (I kept hearing Garrison Keiller from Prairie Home Companion doing the narrating, and it just enriched the story!)

The story meanders along with asides from the narrator, but it keeps your attention. I stayed up way too late, unable to put this book down. It provides a fascinating look at a small piece of American history, and emphasizes how so many different nationalities and customs have gone into making America what it is.

I would heartily recommend this book to anyone, and think that just about everyone will find it enjoyable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, well-written story. October 13, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was such a good story! American history with personality.

The narration is just right - not heavy-handed, but present enough to keep the mood going. The story is both exciting and nostalgic.

I'd recommend it for those 10 and up, as there are a couple of tragedies that might bother a sensitive child.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
The author has masterfully woven characters of Norwegian, American frontier, native American and other cultures, as well as animals, into an entertaining, wholesome, poignant, and often funny story of how individuals on the Dakota frontier came together to be a family. It has a little something for everyone in it: faith, love and romance, coming of age, animals, adventure, danger, overcoming hardships, and history.

The story is delivered by the device of having one descendant of a family share their remarkable history with an even younger descendant. This is clever and does add to the story. However, I felt that the narrator's voice, on occasions, intruded a little too much into the story. That's the only reason why I give it four stars instead of five.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Like many other reviewers I am at a loss to describe this book because it doesn't really tick any one category. The best I could say is it is a slice of life kind of story set in pioneer era of the Dakota plains. I grew up in a midwest community mostly settled by Norweigans and this book reminded me not only of the stories that I heard growing up but the way the stories were related. It feels like a collection of family stories that have been passed down from generation to generation and shared at during the holidays at family gatherings.

It is a wonderful, heartwarming story and well worth the read. I felt the struggles that were faced by the main characters as they immigrated from Norway and established a new life in the Dakota plains were realistic, neither overplayed for drama's sake nor underplayed to make it more 'family friendly".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful & Laugh Out Loud Funny! September 19, 2013
Format:Paperback
I received this book for free through Goodreads' First Reads program. I was asked to give an honest review in return after I read the book.

I absolutely loved this book.

I laughed out loud quite a few times, especially when Torvald (the younger brother) did some of his stunts. I thought all of the characters were very well developed although I would like to know what happened to Uncle Anders. It never really said at the end what happened to him.

The author did a wonderful job explaining the complexities of life on the frontier -- especially where Lars' love life and his younger brother, Torvald, were concerned. I did not want this book to end. Therefore when it ended, I was happy for the characters but sad for myself since these are the types of characters that you can attach yourself to and really see them as part of your real life. I found myself wishing that they really existed and I could travel back in time to meet them.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to have a great time reading. This book has a little bit of everything in it. Not only do you laugh, you cry, and you are so happy at the end to see how it all turns out.

This is a keeper. :)
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More About the Author

Kathryn Judson has lived in Oregon most of her life, with brief detours to Idaho, Wisconsin, Texas, and South Dakota. After college, she was a newspaper reporter and columnist. After marrying, she quit the news business and joined her husband in running an office supply company that morphed into a bookstore. (The bookstore was originally called The Uffda-shop, but was renamed The BookStation when it was moved inside a gas station.) In 2000, her husband offered to take over most of the duties at the bookstore, so she could write full time. She was obliged to close the store after her husband died, but continues to write. Almost Hopeless Horse was inspired in part by her horse Yob, who was afraid of cattle. Trouble Pug combines a love of history, time travel stories, and her husband's fondness for a pug that traveled the country with him in his younger days. Why We Raise Belgian Horses got its start in stories from her husband's Norwegian-American family, including a story his grandfather told of a horse that was afraid of the dark. The MI5 1/2 series started off as a spoof of spy novels, but ended up being more serious than that in places (although still fairly silly overall). Mrs. Judson is a former feminist, and enjoys poking fun at her younger self in her books.


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