- Age Range: 9 - 12 years
- Grade Level: 4 - 7
- Series: New York Review Children's Collection
- Hardcover: 224 pages
- Publisher: NYR Children's Collection (June 30, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1590171020
- ISBN-13: 978-1590171028
- Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.8 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #792,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Island of Horses (New York Review Children's Collection) Hardcover – June 30, 2004
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"Eilís Dillon weaves a magic Irish spell and an A-1 mystery-adventure story, taut with action and suspense…The tale sparkles with the atmosphere of the sea and of small-town life."
— The New York Times Book Review
"A very good story about two boys who set out to explore a deserted island off the Connemara coast, and about the adventures that follow. The people are real, the Irish background rings true, and there is a hard, spare poetry in the telling of the story."
— The Guardian
About the Author
Eilís Dillon (1920-1994) wrote more than thirty books for young people, as well as fiction for adults, including the best-selling historical novel Across the Bitter Sea, about the struggle for Irish independence in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. With few exceptions, her young people’s books are set in the west of Ireland, in small communities struggling to make a living on the islands and along the Atlantic coast. As the critic Declan Kiberd wrote in Dillon’s obituary: “What Laura Ingalls Wilder did for children’s literature in the US, she achieved in Ireland, imparting a sure historical sense in books such as The Singing Cave. That interest in history was a natural expression of her curiosity of mind, and of her family inheritance."
Top customer reviews
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Two teenage boys, Pat Conroy and his friend Danny MacDonagh head off by boat on an unforgettable adventure to the Island of Horses where they are forbidden to go. Once there they must practice their survival skills and to their delight they discover a herd of beautiful wild horses in a valley. They manage to capture a stunning little black colt which they bring aboard their boat and back to their island. He is a gift like no other they have ever witnessed. The boys decide not to keep the prize pony for themselves even although Pat's heart aches to do so. They instead give it as a bridal present to appease a mean, tyrannical shopkeeper on another island. This resplendent bribe will result in the shopkeeper consenting to give his lovely daughter in marriage to one of the boys from the Inishrone clan.
Once the colt is unveiled to the islanders the boys find themselves in a load of trouble. These difficulties lead the duo to brave turbulent seas, tangle with an evil conniving horse trader relying only on the wisdom and advice of Pat's fragile grandmother and their own instincts to guide them.
The story is told eloquently from start to finish and gives the reader a perfect portrayal of rural Irish life. The characters penned are strong and believable. There is the perfect blend of suspense and resolve throughout. I loved the book and I highly, highly recommend it.