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The Girl on the High Diving Horse Hardcover – April 14, 2003

4.1 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-4-In 1936, a girl and her father, a professional photographer, spend a summer in Atlantic City, NJ. As they stroll the boardwalk, they are greeted by amazing sights, from card-playing cats to boxing kangaroos. However, to Ivy Cordelia, nothing is more wondrous than the high-diving horses and their riders. She meets the two sisters, Arnette and Sonora, who care for and ride the animals, and they let Ivy help them. At the end of August, the child dreads leaving the horses, but has her dream come true. Arnette lifts her on to Red Lips, gets on herself, and they dive into the tank below. This gently told story captures a small piece of history that must have created unforgettable memories for those who visited the Steel Pier. The muted tones of the illustrations are reminiscent of old postcards. Juxtaposed next to full-page pictures are drawings that look like the snapshots Ivy's father was taking. The expressive artwork and heartwarming text seamlessly come together to create a worthy tribute to these remarkable young women and their brave steeds.
Carol Schene, Taunton Public Schools, MA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

PreS-Gr. 3. Ivy Cordelia can't wait to spend the summer of 1936 in Atlantic City with her photographer father. She loves all the animal spectacles ("the boxing kangaroos, card-playing cats, dog on a surfboard"), but her favorite is the high-diving horses, and she dreams of being one of the bathing-suited beauties who ride them. By the end of the summer, she is invited to take a parting dive on horseback, and years later she finds her own job as a girl on a high-diving horse. High tells her warm, nostalgic story in musical, well-paced language filled with dialogue that makes clear Ivy's excitement and yearning. Lewin captures the sunny chaos of the boardwalk in busy, taffy-colored watercolor paintings, which, according to his note, are intended to mimic old-fashioned postcards. The pictures also explain most of the text's old-time references, such as the rolling chair, and the large spreads of the leaping animal performers and their brave riders will easily draw children into the sentimental, but not saccharine, story of a dream fulfilled. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 5
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Philomel; First Edition, First Printing edition (April 14, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039923649X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399236495
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 20 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #563,973 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Set in the summer of 1936, The Girl On The High-Diving Horse: An Adventure In Atlantic City by Linda Oatman High is the story of a young girl who sees the daily performance of another girl and her horse, diving from a tall platform to the delight of onlookers. Looking up at the girl on the high-diving horse, she wonders if she can ever share that much courage and adventure. Simple, almost photograph-style illustrations by Ted Lewin add a realistic touch to this charming story.
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Format: Hardcover
Reading this book to my third graders evoked a powerful discussion with many layers of thinking. My students noticed the author's use of powerful words, strong verbs, great imagery and an emotional point of view. Discussion also centered around various topics brought up by Ted Lewin's pictures: the rolling chairs, steel pier, diving horses, bathing suits, boardwalk, and other items during that era. His illustrations recall a simpler time when "linen postcards" were used during the early 1930's. This book has inspired us to write our own "poetry" and "dive" deeper into that time in history. We LOVED the book! :)
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Format: Paperback
Linda Oatman High and Ted Lewin vividly recreate Atlantic City in all its 1930's heydey with this magical tale of a young girl's summer vacation.

Ivy Cordelia accompanies her photographer father on assignment at the Steel Pier and immediately falls in love with the high-diving horses. The teenage sisters who ride the flying horses befriend the young girl, as does the star of the show, Red Lips. Before she and her father leave Atlantic City, she is rewarded with a ride off the platform and into the tank below. The story comes full circle when we learn that in the following decade, Ivy Cordelia becomes the girl on the high-diving horse herself.

Oatman High's language is rich with a young girl's awe and excitement as she witnesses the spectacles of Steel Pier and the "crazy-brave" horses and riders. The text becomes poetic when the horse jumps off the platform, enhancing the suspense one might feel watching a horse fly through the air. Lewin's realistic renderings, painted to resemble the linen photographic postcards of the time, immediately transport the reader into the Atlantic City of days past.

Adults reading the story will fondly reflect on how their favorite summers shaped their own lives. Children will gaze with wonder at the amazing scenes in the book and look forward to their summer adventures.
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Format: Paperback
Great for explaining how you can write a snapshot of a setting in narrative writing and with a circular conclusion. A terrific subject which is unknown to most children.
The author creates suspense which rivets the reader to their seat. Great choice of vocabulary is sprinkled throughout the book. Definitely appeals to 8 to 12 year olds
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Format: Hardcover
I bought this book for myself only because
the horse "Red Lips" featured in this story
was actually once owned by my father.
It is beautifully illustrated and makes
a very nostalgic souvenir of a by-gone era.
Anyone from the Philadelphia metropolitan
area or South Jersey would find this bit of
local history of great interest.
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