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I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade

( 18 )

Overview

"No ordinary horse story...Horse lovers or not, readers will be riveted."
-Publishers Weekly Starred Review

"Ambitious and fast-moving."
-New York Times

When Oyuna was a baby, a horse accidentally crushed her foot, cursing her family with bad luck. Oyuna vows to restore good fortune to her family...but how?
One fateful day, soldiers from the great Khan's army invade her village to steal horses and gather new soldiers. In hopes of bringing honor to her family, Oyuna courageously ...

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I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade

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Overview

"No ordinary horse story...Horse lovers or not, readers will be riveted."
-Publishers Weekly Starred Review

"Ambitious and fast-moving."
-New York Times

When Oyuna was a baby, a horse accidentally crushed her foot, cursing her family with bad luck. Oyuna vows to restore good fortune to her family...but how?
One fateful day, soldiers from the great Khan's army invade her village to steal horses and gather new soldiers. In hopes of bringing honor to her family, Oyuna courageously disguises herself as a boy and joins the soldiers on their quest. With only her horse and her cat to keep her company, Oyuna sets off on an amazing journey across deserts and mountains-a journey that will change her life forever.

What Readers Are Saying...

"An enchanting adventure."

"This story of courage, friendship, and bravery is complete with the addition of a life lesson that leaves a mark on the reader's heart: never give up on your dreams."

"A book I'll never forget."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402240270
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/1/2010
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 332,620
  • Age range: 9 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 1010L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Diane Lee Wilson has always ridden horses and has an extensive collection of horse books in her home in Escondido, California. She is the author of Black Storm Comin', a Booklist Editors' Choice, a VOYA Top Shelf Fiction Pick and a Book Links Lasting Connection, and Firehorse, which received a starred review in Booklist, is a Booklist Top Ten Mystery/Suspense for Youth, and a winner of the ALA Amelia Bloomer Project.

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Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from Prologue and Chapter One

Prologue

"Grandmother! You came!"
"Of course I came."
"But it's so far, and with your leg being-"
"Never you mind what can't be changed. How is she?"
"I don't know. Not well, I think. She's just been circling all day."
"Circling." The wrinkled face nodded. Papery eyelids drooped, then lifted on dove gray eyes flecked with gold.
"That is good. Circling brings luck. Circling...completes the journey."
Head bobbing, the heavily robed old woman lifted the latch and limped into the stable's shadows. She pulled the shivering girl into the sweet-smelling grass piled in the corner. Together they silently marveled at the swollen sides of the white mare that stood, ears pricked, staring expectantly into the night.
"See?" A knobby finger was thrust from beneath the fraying edge of the deep blue silk robe. "She knows to wait for the right time. We will wait with her." Opening her robe and pulling the young girl within its warmth, the old woman continued, "Your mother tells me you have many questions-about what happened in the past." A sigh, like a weak breeze sifting through dried leaves, floated into the darkness. "That was long ago, a different time, a different land even. But perhaps, before the night is through..." The white ears of the mare flickered forward and back, trying to catch the low tones drifting through her stall. But the woman whispered her story only for her granddaughter, whose small body curled beneath her arm. It was the ninth day of the ninth month; the moon rose full. The time had come.

1
The Black Mare

I don't remember on which day it happened. I do remember the earth warm against my back, the dirt soft beneath my fingernails as I cried out. So it must have been June, or maybe July, for the months of summer are but fleeting visitors in Mongolia.
Before the hands came, pulling me up, before the voice joined mine, wailing, in that brief moment of chaos where all becomes calm, there was the mare. As I lay upon my back, a helpless, whining toddler, she lowered her head to nuzzle me. Like the falling of night her great dark head pushed away the pale sky, for she was all I could see. Warm gusts from her giant nostrils blew across my face. Silky black hide, stretched over bony sun and shadow, framed liquid eyes. I stared into their depths. Like black water on a moonless night, they hid what lay beneath, yet drew me in, breathless.
I think that in that moment I did hold my breath, stopped crying.
Then the mare lifted her hoof, passing it over my head, and moved on. She picked her way daintily now, as if fearful of crushing a flower. But there it was already-my crushed foot. With the rushing pain came the blood; with the blood, the screams. I remember my mother hurriedly wrapping my foot in a silk sash of pale blue-the color of good luck. The blood seeped through anyway, warm and wet, and I could smell it. It is the same smell as when a baby goat plunges into your hands from its mother's womb. The smell of birth.
This was my birth into the realm of the horse.

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Table of Contents

Outside Hangchou, China-ad 1339 ix
1 The Black Mare 1
2 Twilight Is a Magical Time 3
3 A Discovery, a Decision 9
4 Lightning! 17
5 Flight 27
6 The Night Brings Surprises 29
7 Noises 37
8 The White Mare 47
9 In the Ger of Echenkorlo 53
10 "You Are Chosen!" 65
11 The Mountains' Cold Breath 69
12 Riding, Riding, Riding 85
13 Welcome Once, Welcome Again 87
14 The Luck That Lurks upon the Steppe 97
15 Wolves in the Water 109
16 The Fat Woman with the Fast Horses 113
17 Discovered! 125
18 Genma's Dreams 135
19 Bayan Is Lost to Me 143
20 Our Heads Brush the Skies 151
21 The Morning 161
22 In the Grave of Echenkorlo 163
23 A Gobi 175
24 Ice-Fire, Earth Serpents, and the Jade Green Eyes 185
25 At the Court of Kublai Khan 195
26 To Test the World's Wisdom 209
27 My Life in the Palace 217
28 Spring 1281 221
29 Bayan's Gift 237
30 The Festival Race 245
Glossary 259

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 18 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(14)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

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Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2012

    Great story on determination, and hardship

    I like that the book had hardships but it was even with rhe amount of love and caring. It had a lot about horses, and there breeds. The determination of the main charachter in the book is what really got me reading the book

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 6, 2011

    Beautiful Book

    This book really sets you back into ancient Mongol times, painting a beautiful picture of the rich culture and way of life. It is a stunning story of a young girl and her journey with her horse. It proves of people and horses' relationships, and how you can always chase your dreams even if you have a disability. In Oonya's case, she has a crushed foot. This book has the right sense of love, family, and adventure.

    This is a great book, but if you aren't interested in animals of horses it is probably not right for you.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2002

    Well written

    I rode a horse of milk white jade was very welll wriiten. It made the reader feel like they were in Mongolia with the main character. The author did a terrific job of capturing the truth and beauty of the story. Two thumbs up

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2009

    A Memorable Journey

    Set in Mongolia during the reign of Kublai Khan, Wilson tells the fantastic story of a girl, Oyuna, who sets out on a journey to find good luck. Oyuna is "cursed" with bad luck due to a childhood incident; she dreams one day of leaving the confines of her tent and winning a great race on a swift horse to bring good luck and honor to her family. The ensuing journey makes this book difficult to put down! Oyuna's bravery and loyalty as she goes after her goal, with the aid of her determined sidekicks, provide for a great read. The real journey is watching as Oyuna evolves, making important discoveries about herself and her "bad luck". The characters are vivid and real, and the additional look into early mongolian culture is fascinating! I would highly recommend this book to any young adult looking for an adventure.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2004

    Great!

    I read the book in less than 3 days! It is very good. Although i was confused at first because she is telling the story. Great book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2003

    I Rode A Horse of Milk White Jade

    I Rode A Horse of Milk White Jade by Diane Lee Wilson is a historical book about courage and a girl named Oyuna who loves her horse, Bayan. But when a group of soldiers who were sent by Khan take her father¿s horses and animals Oyuna risked her life to go on a long and dangerous journey. Out of nowhere lighting struck, and Oyuna was lost, but then she heard a faint sound calling her name, She was full of joy when she was reunited with her father. Except her mother died looking for her. Oyuna thought it was her bad leg that caused the bad luck. After the incident Oyuna¿s father took her out to get a horse, but the one she chose was a weak mare. Five months later after the festival, Oyuna came across her shamaness grandma. They stayed and talked for a while, and later her shamaness grandma told her she was the chosen one. Oyuna was confused but her grandma told her that the white mare she has shares a special talent with her. She was to run in the race next year and win, because Bayan (her horse) was there for luck. One thing that captures my attention was towards the end. When Oyuna approached Khan I thought she would have been punished or have something horrible happen to her, but there was an interesting twist that came along. Instead, Khan believed what she said and showed her around. They also became friends and tried to help each other save the dying mares. Another thing I like about this book was the courage Oyuna had. Oyuna didn¿t care about what might happen to her because she loved her horse. Oyuna is also a motivated girl who didn¿t give up. When she wasn¿t able to ride a horse because of her bad leg, she didn¿t give up hope. Later when she became stronger and was able to ride her horse again. I admired Oyuna¿s personality because she risked her life to saves the one thing she loved riding, horses.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2001

    Captivating!

    A captivating adventure!This book is beautifully written, you can feel, sense and smell what is going on. It is a wonderful adventure that leaves you wanting to read more! The detail in the description is incredible...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2001

    All About Honor (REVISED)

    I would really recommend this story to anyone, no matter what age or interest. I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade is a beautifully written tale about crippled Oyuna, a girl who would do anything to bring honor back to her family. With spirited eyes, Oyuna sets off on an adventure that could mean death to her as much as anything. She and her faithful compainions, her loyal cat, and her beloved mare, troop on, hoping to find honor in the way no one could have expected. This intricate tapestry of storytelling will take your breath away. You may find a friend in Oyuna as you share her adventures in this wonderful novelette.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2000

    All about honor!

    I would really recomend this story to anyone interested in a lengendary novel that tells you a tale of a girl who whould do anything to bring back honor to her family. Setting out for a swift horse, bringing back an old mare. With her faithful cat and her new old mare with spirited eyes Oyuna goes on an adventure that could surely mean death to her as much as anything, but is hoping to find honor in the way no one can expect. I would truely recomend this novel that takes your breath away as it goes from present time to old times. You may find a friend and find that you share her adventures in this book, 'I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade.'

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 9, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    I absolutely loved the book Firehorse by Diane Lee Wilson so whe

    I absolutely loved the book Firehorse by Diane Lee Wilson so when I discovered she had more books I was super excited. I wanted to try I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade because the back description sounded almost like the Disney movie Mulan. Yeah, it wasn't. I thought this book was decent, but the plotline jumped just about everywhere. I'm kinda disappointed. If you want an awesome book about girl power, read Firehorse.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2013

    Great story

    This is a great book!!! Full of adventures and action. It is worth it the money! This book is about a girl named Oyuna, she lives in Monglolia dearing the reign of Kubla Kan. When she was just a baby a horse stepped on her foot, coursing her family. This is about how she goes on an adventure to try to bring her family good luck.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 27, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    from missprint.wordpress.com

    I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade by Diane Lee Wilson was selected as a Best Book for Young Adults in 1999 by the American Library Association. I didn't know any of that when I read the book back in 2000. My copy has since disappeared, but at the time, this was a rare book that I owned. Thinking about it now, my mom must have procured my copy during her tenure as a researcher at Harper Collins.

    But enough about me, this is about the book after all.

    A quick and dirty way to define this book, oddly enough, is in terms of a cartoon movie. The plot here is similar to the legend of Mulan, which I know from the Disney version released in 1998 (I can't believe it's been a decade, good grief). Although her motivations are different, our heroine does follow a group of soldiers while disguised as a boy. The difference? Mulan went to war to fight the Huns. The main character of I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade is a Hun.

    At the best of times, living on the Mongol Steppes involves harsh conditions. For Oyuna that is even more true. As a young child, almost beyond the range of her memory, a beautiful horse came near Oyuna. Fascinated, the child knew that her future-her entire life-would be tied to horses. She knew this to be true even as a horse stepped on her foot, effectively crippling her for life. Add into the bargain the fact that every member of Oyuna's family are now anxious to keep her away from horses for fear of another unlucky incident that will further burden the family with bad luck.

    Every family member except her grandmother that is, who (as the back cover convenienty points out) tells Oyuna "The horse claimed you as its own and invited you upon its back to travel with the wind." Oyuna believes in her grandmother's words even more when she crosses paths with a swift, white horse.

    Positive that their fates are cobbled together, Oyuna dresses as a boy and follows her horse when it is commandeered by the Khan's army. Oyuna's path leads her not only to her horse, but also directly to the court of Kublai Khan, and-even more valuable-the knowledge that she has the power to change her own luck once and for all.

    If my mom hadn't given me a copy of this book, I never would have picked it up. But I'm glad the book came into my possession. Oyuna is an arresting character, with a strong narrative voice that makes this work of historical fiction feel very contemporary and relevant. Not an actual princess, Oyuna can't strictly be called an "anti-princess" heroine. All the same, I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade presents a strong girl making her own way (in a great story).

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 27, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    from missprint.wordpress.com

    I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade by Diane Lee Wilson was selected as a Best Book for Young Adults in 1999 by the American Library Association. I didn't know any of that when I read the book back in 2000. My copy has since disappeared, but at the time, this was a rare book that I owned. Thinking about it now, my mom must have procured my copy during her tenure as a researcher at Harper Collins.

    But enough about me, this is about the book after all.

    A quick and dirty way to define this book, oddly enough, is in terms of a cartoon movie. The plot here is similar to the legend of Mulan, which I know from the Disney version released in 1998 (I can't believe it's been a decade, good grief). Although her motivations are different, our heroine does follow a group of soldiers while disguised as a boy. The difference? Mulan went to war to fight the Huns. The main character of I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade is a Hun.

    At the best of times, living on the Mongol Steppes involves harsh conditions. For Oyuna that is even more true. As a young child, almost beyond the range of her memory, a beautiful horse came near Oyuna. Fascinated, the child knew that her future-her entire life-would be tied to horses. She knew this to be true even as a horse stepped on her foot, effectively crippling her for life. Add into the bargain the fact that every member of Oyuna's family are now anxious to keep her away from horses for fear of another unlucky incident that will further burden the family with bad luck.

    Every family member except her grandmother that is, who (as the back cover convenienty points out) tells Oyuna "The horse claimed you as its own and invited you upon its back to travel with the wind." Oyuna believes in her grandmother's words even more when she crosses paths with a swift, white horse.

    Positive that their fates are cobbled together, Oyuna dresses as a boy and follows her horse when it is commandeered by the Khan's army. Oyuna's path leads her not only to her horse, but also directly to the court of Kublai Khan, and-even more valuable-the knowledge that she has the power to change her own luck once and for all.

    If my mom hadn't given me a copy of this book, I never would have picked it up. But I'm glad the book came into my possession. Oyuna is an arresting character, with a strong narrative voice that makes this work of historical fiction feel very contemporary and relevant. Not an actual princess, Oyuna can't strictly be called an "anti-princess" heroine. All the same, I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade presents a strong girl making her own way (in a great story).

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2000

    Highly Recommended

    An absolutely delightful book! Smoothly written ejoyable for all ages.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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