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Wind Rider (Laura Geringer Books) Paperback – Bargain Price, September 23, 2008

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Paperback, Bargain Price, September 23, 2008
$5.34 $4.89

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8–In prehistoric Western Asia, horses are seen as a source of food and nothing else. However, Fern, who has always had an affinity for animals, is about to change that perception. When she discovers a young mare caught in a bog, she figures out how to rescue and befriend her, and eventually how to ride her. Slowly, she convinces her tribe how invaluable horses could be as their companions and helpers rather than as mere prey. Fern gains the support of her grandmother, her teasing-but-loving twin brother, and her strong, warrior father. She and the horse become objects of fascination but also somewhat of fear in the tribe. In the meantime, a suitor, Badger, is determined to have her as his wife. He looks like a great catch but is actually a bully, further complicating her life. She finds love with an outcast from another tribe who has great healing powers and a kind heart. The story line and characters are fairly predictable. Only Fern seems multifaceted; Badger is mean, and grandmother is wise, but otherwise their characters are undeveloped. Still, a tale about the first taming of a horse may interest lovers of these animals, and Fern's human dilemmas along the way may keep them reading.–Carol Schene, formerly at Taunton Public Schools, MA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Set on the steppes of Central Asia 6,000 years ago, Williams' stirring coming-of-age story begins with a pourquoi tale about how the wild horse became domesticated. After Fern discovers a wild foal trapped in a bog, she keeps her find a secret; horses are prized food among her hunting and gathering tribe. She names the foal Thunder, and in between chores, she steals time with the animal. Dreams lead her to try something unknown: "Who in all the world had ever sat upon a living horse?" Eventually her community discovers her secret, and when Thunder proves her usefulness by carrying loads, Fern is allowed to keep her. Still, she wonders if the rumors whispered by suspicious family and neighbors are true: "Maybe I was some strange animal-talker person! . . . Was I touched with darkness, as my mother said?" Williams' novel combines the exciting animal story with Fern's wrenching questions about growing up, which will resonate instantly with contemporary teens. Fern aggressively strains against her mother's expectations and her society's traditional gender roles, and it is these timeless struggles, narrated in Fern's poetic voice, that transform Williams' impressively researched details into a vividly imagined, wholly captivating world. Jean Craighead George and Louise Erdrich fans will particularly love the animal connections, but most teens will admire Fern's unbending courage and her timeless search for a place in the world and a love to share. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Series: Laura Geringer Books
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (September 23, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060872381
  • ASIN: B00BQ9JT8I
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Purchased "Wind Rider" as a gift for a 12 year old who loves horses, but decided to read it myself. Its a very good read--well crafted, carefully researched and has some complicated mature twists and turns. There is more character development than one would expect in a book geared to 10-12 age group. Once I got about half way through I couldn't put it down--there is an exciting climax of Ms. Williams' story. Would be a great family read aloud book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Susan Williams' novel Wind Rider garnered advance praise from two powerhouse names in contemporary literature - Jean Craighead George, best known as the author of the Newbery Medal-winning children's classic, Julie of the Wolves; and Jean M. Auel, author of The Clan of the Cave Bear series. Both authors raved about Wind Rider, and for good reason.

Wind Rider takes place on the steppes of Stone Age Asia, although the exact place didn't matter to me as I eagerly turned the pages of this beautiful and exciting story. I knew that the main character, pre-adolescent Fern, lived in an ancient world, with a group of people whose main focus must still be survival. Fern's mother, Moss, had lost so many children during pregnancy, childbirth, and in their infancy, that their tribe allowed her to let both of her twins live - Fern, and her brother, Flint - to become the only set of twins among all their people. This immediately sets Fern a bit apart, but it is her personality, her desires, her gifts and longings that really make her unusual, much to the frustration of her mother.

Fern has an affinity for animals, whom she sees not just as food, but as friends. She cares for injured birds; has a dog who does not work as a hunting dog but is instead her pet and constant companion; and she is fascinated by horses. The difference between Fern and every other "girl who loves horses" book is this: no one in Fern's tribe has ever tamed a horse. The exhilaration, the patience, the effort that is involved in the process, though, is a timeless story, one that echoes classics like The Black Stallion and My Friend Flicka. I also found some parallels to one of my favorites, The Little Prince, by St.-Exupery, in the process of taming something to become your friend, as well as your responsibility.
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Format: Paperback
The breath and scope of research that went into this prehistoric era coming-of-age story is impressive. Painting a picture of probable life in a time with no records required Williams to interact with scholars who study ancient horses and life 6,000 years ago in an Asian steppe area. The character of Fern is entirely believable as we first meet a slightly disobedient, rebellious girl who takes on awesome responsibilities following the emotional demise of her own mother after yet another infant death. The book has a triumphant and happy ending.Living Literature: Using Children's Literature to Support Reading and Language Arts

Williams brings to life a girl who may have (legends are told about this) been the first to ride a horse she rescued in a bog, in the creative way children try out things grown ups believe are not possible. The relationship between the girl and horse makes sense to anyone who loves an animal deeply. This book likely appeals equally to girls and boys from ages 8-15. This title would be a good selection for classroom literature circles or as part of a study of ancient times and places. While she is "married" by the end of the book, nothing overtly occurs that would cause this book to be a poor choice for children
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An excellent, captivating, well-researched work. Characters are memorable. I've recommended it to one of my granddaughters who is an equestrian.
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