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Wild Thing (Winnie the Horse Gentler Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Dandi Daley Mackall
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Twelve-year-old Winnie Willis has a way with horses. She can gentle the wildest mare, but other parts of her life don't always come as easily. Along with her dad and sister, Lizzy, Winnie is learning how to live without her mom, who was also a natural horse gentler. As Winnie teaches her horses about unconditional love and blind trust, God shows Winnie that he can be trusted too. Readers will be hooked on the series' vivid characters, whose quirky personalities fill Winnie's life with friendship and adventure.

In #1 Wild Thing, Winnie's fearful heart finally begins to trust God again as she tries to gentle the horse of her dreams, Wild Thing.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dandi Daley Mackall is the author of over 400 books for children and grown-ups, with sales of over 3 million, she has published with HarperCollins, Dutton/Penguin-Putnam, Harcourt, Simon & Schuster, Disney, Hanna-Barbera, DreamWorks, and many others. Dandi; her husband, Joe; their three children (Jen, Katy, and Dan); and their horses, dogs, and cats live in rural Ohio.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1258 KB
  • Print Length: 196 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0842355421
  • Publisher: Tyndale Kids (May 13, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0050OFBUK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,432 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WILD THING is a winner! May 24, 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If readers aren't totally interested in horses at the beginning of this book,they will be by the end of chapter one. Dandi Mackall triggers your interest in horses on the first couple of pages. The protagonist, Winnie Willis, loves horses--just like her mother did. In WILD THING, Winnie has a chance to buy the horse of her dreams. But she has a problem. How can she possibly raise enough money?And how can she convince her dad not to make them move again? WILD THING includes a page showing various parts of a horse, two pages of "Horse Talk," and a "Horse-O-Pedia."
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars *Wonderful* March 20, 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have read all three books in this series,and so far their the
Best "EVER!" I can't Put into words how much I love these books.
I have trouble finding horse books that put God Related stuff in
them.So I fell in love with these books.I am counting down days
till "Unhappy Appy" book #4 comes out in April.I LOVE these books
SO MUCH!!!!!!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wild Thing February 24, 2005
A Kid's Review
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I adore this book! I was hooked after I read it for the first time. I've read every one in the series, and can't wait until she writes more. This book has 3 very important ingredients to make a good book: God, family, and horses!

You've gotta read this book!!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! December 14, 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I read some of Dandi Daley MacKall and loved them. I saw thi one in a store and thought I'd check it out. This book rocks! If you liked these books you should read Horsefeathers.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the BEST books ever written! August 20, 2004
A Kid's Review
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I borrowed this book from the library, and I loved it so much I bought it the next day! They're perfect with God, AND horse combined.I now have all 8 bookes in the series, and I love them so much that I don't read any thing else.I bet it took a big imagination to create such uniqe caracters as Catman and Barker.I would recomend these books to ANYONE!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed it as an adult June 15, 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback
As an adult with no children, I decided to give this a read just because it looked like a fun book that I could read quickly. I wasn't disappointed. One thing I dislike in Christian fiction books is a preaching style, and I didn't find that. Winnie relates to God honestly. She blames herself for her mother's death and while that is not the focus of this book, she comes to terms with that in the book. She deals with moving excessively, kids who aren't very nice to her or their animals, and even the fact her family doesn't have a lot of extra money.

While it's geared at the age 9-12 age group, I believe younger children would enjoy this if they had it read to them (although depending on the child, you may want to edit about Winnie's mother dying.) Although the main characters are girls, there are boys involved to enough of an extent I think any boy with an interest in horses would enjoy this enough, but as we all know girls of the 9-12 age group adore horses, so while it's aimed at girls, I believe it's written in a style that would be interesting enough to boys.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Reader must have a true interest for horses in order to fully follow all aspects of the story. I enjoyed the inserts of history trivia regarding the cat of Charles Dickens (named Wilhemina) and the cat of Winston Churchill (named Nelson). Another interesting tidbit of information was the author's explanation of the Galvayne's groove in the horse's teeth used to estimate a horse's age.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Winnie Willis is a 12-year-old horse gentler who corrects the behavioral problems of other people's horses. Though Winnie has a way with instinctively understanding what's behind a horse's misbehavior and how to turn these bad habits around with gentle love and care, she sometimes struggles to understand the people in her life.

Winnie, her inventor dad and her younger sister, Lizzy, move around a lot following the death of Winnie and Lizzy's mother. They've now settled in Ohio where Winnie opens her own horse gentling business. With her father's inventions littering the yard and the house, and her sister's fondness for lizards and unusual cooking skills, Winnie finds herself comforted through her interactions with the horses placed under her care.

Each of Winnie's adventures involves fun-loving, comical characters (both animals and humans) with life lessons interjected along the way. Her stories offer practical tidbits of real-life horse training know-how as well as subtle pointers on how God and spirituality impact everyday circumstances in powerful ways.

--- Written by Michele Howe
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars primarily their love of horses
12 year old Winnie Willis lost her mother at a young age (and has always believed it is her fault). It's been extra hard as she and her mom had so much in common, primarily their... Read more
Published 3 hours ago by kristen4mk
5.0 out of 5 stars After several moves they are now in Ohio and Winnie has found the most...
Winnie loves horses. Unfortunately, when her mom died – in an accident that Winnie knows was her fault – her dad sold the horses and moved them away. Read more
Published 1 day ago by K. Markovich
4.0 out of 5 stars A heartwarming coming-of-age story
In Wild Thing (Winnie the Horse Gentler Book 1 of an 8 book series), twelve-year-old Winnie Willis has a way with horses. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Cheryl H.
5.0 out of 5 stars Wild Thing
"Wild Thing" is the first book in the "Winnie the Horse Gentler" series. Twelve year old Winnie Willis, her younger sister Lizzy, and their dad have moved several... Read more
Published 3 days ago by Alisha L.
5.0 out of 5 stars Her mother trained horses and had taught Winnie that training a horse...
This is a fabulous story of a girl whose mother, a horse lover, died in an automobile accident. Winnie actually thought she had been the cause of her mother’s death. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Louise Pearson
3.0 out of 5 stars Intense emotion ahead!
This is an older book for younger readers, but if you have a child in love with horses you might want to check it out. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Deena Peterson
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book for middle grade girls
Good book for middle grade girls. It is a good story about friendship and horses. It is well written and has surprising depth. I would definately recommend it.
Published 13 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of fun!
This was really good teen fiction. I’ve always liked horses, so I was with Winnie the whole way in wanting to rescue Wild Thing. Read more
Published 18 days ago by Becca
4.0 out of 5 stars Touching YA Horse Book
This was a touching young adult book. Since Winnie's mom died her Dad has been moving them around. Life has not been stable. Winnie's mom was known as a horse gentler. Read more
Published 29 days ago by booklover1983
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun read! Lots of horse information
Winnie Willis is a twelve year old girl who absolutely loves horses. After being moved around a lot in the two years since her mother's tragic death, she happens upon a horse with... Read more
Published 29 days ago by Jessie B
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More About the Author

Dandi won her first writing contest as a 10-year-old tomboy. Her 50 words on "Why I Want to Be Batboy for the Kansas City A's" won first place, but the team wouldn't let a girl be batboy. It was her first taste of rejection.
Since then, Dandi Daley Mackall has become an award-winning author of over 400 books for children of all ages, with sales of 4 million copies in 22 countries. THE SILENCE OF MURDER is the winner of the Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Mystery 2012. Recent picture books with Sleeping Bear Press include Legend of Ohio, Rudy Rides the Rails: A Depression Era Story (Notable Book 2008 - Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People National Council of Social Studies & Children's Book Council; winner of the Angel Award, 2008; Winner of the "Award of Excellence" from Chicago Book Show 2007) and 2008 release, A Girl Named Dan (her own "batboy" story, and a lesson on Title IX), 2 Mom's Choice Awards & Amelia Bloom Award. Eva Underground, Harcourt young adult novel, nominated ALA Best Book 2007, starred Kirkus review, awarded a Top Teen Read by New York Public Library, finalist for Ohioana Award, was based on the author's experiences behind the Iron Curtain. Love Rules was awarded Romantic Times' Top Pick. Middle-grade fiction, Larger-than-Life Lara, Dutton/Penguin, which teaches how to write, while tackling the problem of bullying, is on the KY Bluegrass Award List 2007-8; William Allan White Award list, 2008-9; KS and KY Children's Choice lists. Her Winnie the Horse Gentler series has sold over half a million books and Starlight Animal Rescue is a Gold Medallion finalist. Dandi received the 2009 Helen Keating Ott Award for distinguished contribution toward promoting high moral and ethical values in children and young adult literature. She also received the Distinguished Alumna Award in 2008 from the University of Missouri. Dandi is a national speaker, keynoting at conferences and Young Author events, and has made dozens of appearances on TV, including ABC, NBC, and CBS. Visit Dandi at,, and

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