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Horse of Seven Moons
     

Horse of Seven Moons

4.0 1
by Karen Taschek
 

Struggling up the mountainside in a fierce storm, sixteen-year-old Bin-daa-dee-nin tries to survive. The Mescalero Apache has lived off the land in southwestern New Mexico, hunting and raiding since the death of Apache leader Victorio last October 1880.

Just before dawn, under a full moon, Bin-daa-dee-nin finds a black-and-white horse whose intelligence and

Overview

Struggling up the mountainside in a fierce storm, sixteen-year-old Bin-daa-dee-nin tries to survive. The Mescalero Apache has lived off the land in southwestern New Mexico, hunting and raiding since the death of Apache leader Victorio last October 1880.

Just before dawn, under a full moon, Bin-daa-dee-nin finds a black-and-white horse whose intelligence and beauty surpass that of any horse he's ever seen. Bin-daa-dee-nin trains the surefooted pinto to run fast on command so that he can use him to hunt and on raids. But when the army attacks, the horse disappears.

Fourteen-year-old Sarah Chilton has never felt at home on her family's ranch in New Mexico near Cooke's Peak. At least, not the way she did in Fort Smith, Arkansas, where she lived until just four months ago. Then on Valentine's Day, 1881, Sarah finds the horse of her dreams: a gorgeous pinto, wandering near the river under a bright moon. She names him Moon Dancer and teaches him to jump. Just as she's making wonderful progress with Moon Dancer's training, the Apaches raid the ranch, and Bin-daa-dee-nin has his horse back.

Through army battles, Apache raids, and perhaps Moon Dancer's own mysterious desires, the horse changes hands between Sarah and Bin-daa-dee-nin several times. As each puzzles over the training and tricks the other has taught the horse, the boy and girl learn that life requires adaptation and adjustments—and can sometimes bring great joy.

"I feel the Native American children would enjoy this book. . . . The historical aspects are consistent with the traditions of the Apache people."—Lillian Chavez, Mescalero Apache tribal librarian

Ages 12 and older

Editorial Reviews

KLIATT
Two young people, Sarah Chilton and Bin-daa-dee-nin, both about 14, from cultures so alien to each other that they imagine each other only in stereotypes, come to see the same black and white pinto horse as their own. The story focuses on the life of one, then the other. Both are strong personalities who often must assume adult responsibilities. In the last decade of the 19th century, ranchers moved into the area known as Apacheria, a huge, harsh expanse encompassing New Mexico, Arizona, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua and Sonoma. There is a struggle almost to the death between the last of the Apaches, who crave to reclaim their centuries-old life of raiding and living off the land, and the white settlers, who demand to live in peace on acreage they have mapped out as their personal property. Soldiers stationed at Fort Stanton have rounded up as many of the Apaches as they can find and have placed them on a reservation, where idleness and destruction of their traditional way of life have dispirited them. Life is dangerous for all: for the ranchers, for the Apaches who return to the mountains and raid the settlers, miners, and stagecoaches, for the Apaches who live on the crime and disease-ridden reservation, and for the soldiers who are called upon to pursue the holdouts. This is an excellent, well-written novel. Taschek is well informed about the issues, the physical setting, and the lives of both the settlers and the Indians. She treats the two groups in a balanced way, helping readers see the situation through the eyes of one group, then another. KLIATT Codes: J—Recommended for junior high school students. 2005, Univ. of New Mexico Press, 184p. map., Ages 12 to 15.
—Edna Boardman

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780826332158
Publisher:
University of New Mexico Press
Publication date:
02/28/2005
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
1,012,989
Product dimensions:
(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Karen Taschek is the author of fourteen young adult books on horses, including Horse of Seven Moons, the prequel to The Risen Horse. She is the author of Death Stars, Weird Galaxies, and a Quasar-Spangled Universe and Hanging with Bats, and is coeditor for the Barbara Guth Worlds of Wonder Science Series for Young Readers (University of New Mexico Press).

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Horse of Seven Moons 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bin-daa-dee-nin and You-his-kishn carry their badly wounded brother, Nzhu-¿a¿c-siin, into a cave. For the moment, they can breathe. But tomorrow, what can they do? Return to the Mescalero Apache reservation from which they¿ve run to escape the filth, disease, and starvation that killed their father and mother? No! They¿ll remain in the mountains, raiding ranches, until they escape to Mexico, or die at the hands of the white soldiers. Bin-daa-dee-nin prays to the Mountain Gods for help. A beautiful--and completely tame--pinto horse appears. The boy can ride it instantly. Surely this is the answer to his prayer. Now he can hunt. He and his brothers might just survive. But, the army comes. The Apaches flee one way, and the horse runs another. Rancher¿s daughter, Sarah Chilton, finds it. It becomes hers, until the terrifying night the Apaches come raiding. A boy about her age snatches the horse out of her father¿s corral. From this beginning, Albuquerque author Karen Taschek¿s youth novel, HORSE OF SEVEN MOONS, turns into a frightening turn-of-the 20th Century cat-and-mouse game between two cultures trying to survive in southern New Mexico. Bringing their opposing lives and values together through the horse--Moon Dancer to Sarah, and Moon that Flies to Bin-daa-dee-nin--Taschek presents the plight of the Apaches fighting to stay free in their home lands, and the anguish of the settlers struggling to protect ranches they have built. She shows the conflict in realistic fashion, using language that is simple and direct, but never simplistic. Neither settlers nor Apaches like each other, and neither considers how the other might feel. Yet, the reader sympathizes with both by the end of HORSE OF SEVEN MOONS. The fate of Bin-daa-dee-nin, Sarah, and Moon-that-Flies/Moon Dancer leaves happiness, pain, and a touch of sadness--as life can do. Both adults and young people will enjoy HORSE OF SEVEN MOONS.