Riding Freedom
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Riding Freedom

4.6 48
by Pam Munoz Ryan, Brian Selznick

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A reissue of Pam Munoz Ryan's bestselling backlist with a distinctive new author treatment.

In this fast-paced, courageous, and inspiring story, readers adventure with Charlotte Parkhurst as she first finds work as a stable hand, becomes a famous stage-coach driver (performing brave feats and outwitting bandits), finds love as a woman but later resumes her


A reissue of Pam Munoz Ryan's bestselling backlist with a distinctive new author treatment.

In this fast-paced, courageous, and inspiring story, readers adventure with Charlotte Parkhurst as she first finds work as a stable hand, becomes a famous stage-coach driver (performing brave feats and outwitting bandits), finds love as a woman but later resumes her identity as a man after the loss of a baby and the tragic death of her husband, and ultimately settles out west on the farm she'd dreamed of having since childhood. It wasn't until after her death that anyone discovered she was a woman.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"With a pacing that moves along at a gallop, this is a skillful execution of a fascinating historical tale." –Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Middle-schoolers will love the horse adventures and the stories of her trickery…"

"Youngsters who liked Caddie Woodlawn better unreformed and who appreciate an atmospheric blend of grit, gorses, and history will want to take a ride with Charley." –Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
PW's starred review called this fictionalized biography of equestrian Charlotte "Charley" Parkhurst--who lived her life disguised as a man and was the first woman voter in the U.S.--an "ebullient and tautly structured novel that moves along at a gallop." Ages 8-12. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Joyce Rice
In the mid-1800s, it was hard to be a girl, and even harder to be a girl all alone. Charlotte could not remember the event that left her all alone, but she could remember the nights in the orphanage that followed. Charlotte hoped every day for new parents that would adopt her and take her home, but those parents never came. When Charlotte's best friend is adopted and she has to face that aloneness, she decides to do something about it. So begins the life of Charlotte "Charley" Parkhurst. Charley was the best stagecoach driver the west had ever seen, but Charley lived a secret life, with hopes and dreams she never shared. This little known heroine from history comes alive in this story of a girl, a horse, and a dream. This is a great story for middle school students who like horse stories or adventure stories. This is also an excellent choice for the older adolescent who is a reluctant reader. It would make a great adventure to share aloud with a classroom. It opens many avenues for further study about this time in history.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6This fictionalized biography of the first woman to vote in the state of California, and perhaps in the whole United States, is fascinating. Charlotte Parkhurst, known as Charley, spent most of her life masquerading as a man. Raised in an orphanage where she is the only girl, she is prevented from being adopted by the staff, who put her to work in the kitchen. Her own predilection is to be with the horses and the elderly man who cares for them. Vern's tales of escaping slavery are the seeds of Charlotte's own desperate bid for freedom after her only other friend is adopted. Her knack with horses soon enables the disguised Charley to pursue her dream of driving a stagecoach. She does it so well that she is admired and sought after, and is offered the opportunity to earn a livelihood in the California gold fields. Many trials arise, including the loss of sight in her left eye, but throughout, Charlotte remembers her friends, works hard and persistently, and fulfills her ambitions, culminating in her voting in a presidential election. The author provides a compact and exciting story about real people who exemplify traits that readers admire. A concluding note tells more about the historical facts surrounding Parkhurst's life, but kids will read it just for the adventure. The full-page, black-and-white pencil drawings are well rendered and enhance the straightforward text.Carol A. Edwards, Minneapolis Public Library

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.17(w) x 7.75(h) x 0.34(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Pam Munoz Ryan is the recipient of the NEA's Human and Civil Rights Award and the Virginia Hamilton Literary Award for multicultural literature. She has written more than thirty books which have garnered, among countless accolades, the Pura Belpre Medal, the Jane Addams Award, and the Schneider Family Award. Pam lives near San Diego. You can visit her at www.pammunozryan.com.

In addition to The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick is the illustrator of the Caldecott Honor winner, The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins, and The New York Times Best Illustrated Walt Whitman: Words for America, both by Barbara Kerley, as well as the Sibert Honor Winner When Marian Sang, by Pam Muñoz Ryan, and numerous other celebrated picture books and novels. Brian has also worked as a set designer and a puppeteer. When he isn’t traveling to promote his work all over the world, he lives in San Diego, California, and Brooklyn, New York.

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Riding Freedom 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 48 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first read this book in 4th grade. I am now in 8th grade and I still read it from time to time. It's a great story with a great meaning in it. I recommend..
Hannah21 More than 1 year ago
Riding freedom by Pam Munoz Ryan is so cool! It's about a strong young girl named Charlotte who is tired of staying at the orphanage so she cuts her hair , changes her name, gets new clothes to look like a boy, and runs away to live her dreams. I love this book because Charlotte is not afraid to get caught and punished from running away plus she loves horses.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Riding Freedom is written by Pam Munoz Ryan. This book is good because this little girl has hard times in her life and she tries to fix it. The main character in Riding Freedom is a girl named Charlotte parkhurst and she lived in an orphanage because her parents died when she was little. In that orphanage she lives in, she is the only girl and no one wants her so she runs away and makes herself look like a boy so no one will know it’s her. I liked this book because I could relate to the little girl and the problems in her life. It was a touching story and I would recommend it to other kids my age. This book will be good to read because if you like reading books about people in middle school or little kids and want to feel friendship in it and If you are feeling left out you should read this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
when i read this book,i read it in a couple of hours!! i just couldn't stop!! it is one of the best books i have ever read!! it is about a young lady who was born in the 1800 's when women couldn't do much!! she grew up in a boy's orfange only lead by the mean old cook on how to be a girl!! soon after her best friend is adopted she sets off and become's a hero for all girls!! in my eye's, that is!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its AMAZING!!!!!! But then again i ride like 5 times a week
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was so interseting that I couldnt stop reading it and read and finsihed the entire book all at once. Even if you don't love books about horses, this one sure makes you want to know a lot more anout Charley and everthing else. I really loved the book and all of this authours books are just as thirling!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is the best,if you haven't read it, I would highly recemend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book i have read of this author.
AndyMo More than 1 year ago
Do you like books that happen in 1800's? Yes, well this is the book for you. This book is about Charlotte wanting to do all of the things a girl cannot do in the 1800's. Read this book to find out what Charlotte does to get what she wants. I liked this book because it has lots of exciting parts like the middle and the end (my favorite). A girl who is in 3rd or 4th grade would like this book if they like horses and adventures.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My favorite character was Charlotte because she is brave and follows her dreams.She made plans to have a ranch, and have Hayward and Ebenezer to work at her ranch.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AMAZING! Sad at first but it all comes together
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!! It is such in amazing books read it intell the end such a great book!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it I don't whant to spoil it but you should read it it was awesome and if it gets a little boring keep reading it gets better and look for important details. I also couldn't stop reading this book, Hope you will whant to read this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was very well, written, but I'm sorry to say that I read it so long ago I can't vividly explain it in detail. I know that I did love it, however and I can still remember a few parts of it here and there. Pam Munoz Ryon obviously knows what she's doing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It is an awsome book.I love how she acts like a boy named Charley.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A book that deffinently tells you not to judge a book by it's color. Filled with action, a historical-fiction book kids won't want to put down. A must for horse lovers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book makes you feel happy,sad,and wonder what will happen next in the story.I think you should read this,I really do.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I don't usually like books that take place in the 1800's, but this one rocked. I wonder if Charlotte marries Hay?!?
Guest More than 1 year ago
I certainly love horses! I love this book. I wonder if Charllotte I mean, Hay came back to the ranch
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I randomly picked it up unexpecdadly and read it. Charlotte's story is amazing.I am glad that she actually did ride Freedom. From many things. Pam Munoz Ryan is a reccomended author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
With who? This book of course. I couldnt put it down! Im also glad Ms.Pam Munoz Ryan wrote historical fiction cauase im "ALL ABOUT THAT HISTORYx3" Its worth a million starry stars: &star &star &star &star &star &star &star &star &star &star &star...e.t.c..........TRUST MOI YOUL LOVVVVVE THIS EXCITING STORY!!!!!!!!@!!!!@!
Sparklesrich1 More than 1 year ago
I am 10 years old and I have read this book twice. My teacher read it to the class in 3rd grade and I read it by myself just this year. This  book is so amazing. I would recommend this book to 3rd-5th graders. At times it is sad and the main character is going through a lot of hard times. Over all this book has a great meaning and is so good. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An interesting book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sammple was great but i wish it would have had more pages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The sample was great. I was hopping i wiuld get to have more pages n the sample but besides that i loved it. It was great. I wiukd defently recomend books by brian selznick. The first book that i read by brian selzick was "the invention of hugo cabret" thats wha made me look for books by brian selzick and i foubd this book. (Btw the book the invention og hugo cabret its really good and u unfirtunallity cant get it on a nook :-( if u ever fibd the book like n a library get the book and read it plz its s freaking good) si all i am saying is that if u find the book the invebtion of hugo read it plz and i would read the sample of THIS book and reply to me with kamkam so i know that u r replying to me. If bu do read the book thw invention of hugo csbret tell me what u thought of the book and like i said just reply woth kamkam so i know u r replying to me Thank u Kameron