Gabriel's Horses (Racing to Freedom Trilogy #1)

Gabriel's Horses (Racing to Freedom Trilogy #1)

by Alison Hart


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The year is 1864, and a young Kentucky slave dares to pursue his dream of becoming a jockey.
Twelve-year-old Gabriel loves to help his father—one of the best horse trainers in Kentucky—care for the thoroughbred racehorses on Master Giles’s farm. But the violence of war disrupts the familiar routine of daily life on the farm. When Gabriel’s father enlists in a Colored Battalion, Gabriel is both proud and worried. But the absence of his father brings the arrival of Mr. Newcastle, a white horse trainer with harsh, cruel methods for handling horses and people.
Now it is up to Gabriel to protect the horses he loves from Mr. Newcastle and keep them safely out of the clutches of Confederate raiders.
Alison Hart mines the complex relationships of the Civil War in this gripping work of historical fiction. Young readers will experience the danger and drama of a time when war split the country and human beings were segregated into owner and owned based on the color of their skin. Background historical material and photos are included.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781561455287
Publisher: Peachtree Publishing Company
Publication date: 02/28/2010
Series: Racing to Freedom Series , #1
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 253,461
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Alison Hart is the author of more than sixty books for young readers. Hart was a teacher at Blue Ridge Community College and lives in Virginia.

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Gabriel's Horses 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
gbestici on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing. I am in a club where we have to read fifteen books and this is my favorite out of all of the books. Alison Hart creates a historical, life like wonder. She doesnt show you What Gabriel is doing, she lets you in. She lets you know what it's like to be him and how his love of horses is so deep. This is a great book for all ages and I highly reccommend it! :)
gatorteacher2 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Trite narrative voice. The author obviously knows a lot about horses, but her main character's thoughts, words, and actions left a lot to be desired. Her treatment of the main character was patronizing. Other characters were stereotypical: kind white master, mean white horse trainer, smarmy white jockey/lackey to mean trainer, wise father, kind and sweet mother. Lacked imagination. Some good action scenes, but not worth wading through the rest of the novel to get to them. Young adults really into horses might like it, but all other reader should avoid this novel. It's not worth your time.
debnance on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Gabriel¿s father is free, but his mother is a slave, making Gabriel a slave, too. All three work on a horse farm, training and caring for horses that will one day race. It is the time of the Civil War and Gabriel¿s father is given an opportunity to join the Union Army and earn enough money to buy his family¿s freedom. This leaves Gabriel to care for the horses and protect them from Confederate raiders and a new cruel horse trainer.I liked the story a lot, but the characters and the plot felt a little too pat, a little less nuanced than I might wish for.
caro488 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Civil war Kentucky - thoroughbreds, racing, slaves, Confederate raiders. Carefully crafted, lyrical when talking about the connection between man/boy and horse
SunnySD on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Set in Kentucky during the Civil War, Gabriel's Horses tells the story of a thirteen-year-old boy who wants nothing in the world more than to be a famous jockey. A precarious enough dream at the best of times, but Gabriel faces the added challenge of being a slave. His father, a free black man, is a respected horse trainer, and is working to earn enough to buy the freedom of Gabriel and his mother. When his father enlists in the Union Army for the bonus that allows him to buy Gabriel's mother's freedom, Gabriel is faced with a hard decision -- the man whom the master hires to replace his father is a cruel taskmaster. Worse, he has a nasty habit of whipping both the horses and the slaves. Can Gabriel make the right choice, saving both the horses and himself? The added complication of a raiding party of Confederate soldiers out to take all the horses adds yet another layer of suspense.I'm not always a fan of historical fiction, but this was a fast, engaging read. Gabriel is a likable character, and his confusion and distress are believable. The supporting characters are roundly human and don't come across as overly stereotypical. The horse-related details are accurate (poorly written horse books are a major pet peeve) and don't distract from the overall story. I'll definitely be hunting down the sequels.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DreamofGina More than 1 year ago
This book was on a Summer Reading list for my 6th grade son. Originally apprehensive about yet another slave book written by a non-Black, I was thoroughly surprised by the author's ability to connect. Written for a younger audience, I enjoyed how she conveyed the hardships of slavery without the graphic content not fit for this age group. The story itself was engaging; I most certainly would like to read the rest of the trilogy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amy95 More than 1 year ago
Gabriel's Horses is a very good book. It's exciting at some parts and the other parts are enticing. I think it has a very intersting story that makes your heart race. You have to keep reading to see what decisions the characters are going to make. I would recommend this book to ages 9 and up. Even adults would find this book exciting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
From the first chapter, this was a greate book! All horse lovers should read it.