The Summer of the Dancing Horse

The Summer of the Dancing Horse

by Eth Clifford, Mary Beth Owens

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-- Once again, Clifford serves up a slice of America in another time. It's 1923, but the characters, not the period, take center stage here. As in The Man Who Sang in the Dark (Houghton, 1987), a mother of two is introduced, but this woman is strong and capable, keeping her family going while her husband is recovering from TB. Her eldest child, Sam, has been forced to grow up too fast; he's bossy, determined, yet loving. Ben, the family friend (and eventual adopted son), is slow, but gentle and kind, an abused child who ``can say more with his eyes than we can say with words.'' The book's central character, however, is Bessie, the youngest. Clifford recounts her eighth summer, an ordinary season filled with special times and people, with hard work and small treasures yearned for and earned. Owens's soft pencil illustrations gracefully convey the range of emotions in the everyday lives of these characters, adding depth to a story brimming with realism and nostalgia. Residents of this small town are still struggling to accept the legacy of World War I, and it's a palomino horse named Pegasus who has the grace to help some of them transform mourning to joy. A quiet, moving story, simple, yet rich with symbolism. --Susan Oliver, Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System

Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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