Review of A Horse Named Sky

A Horse Named Sky A Horse Named Sky
by Rosanne Parry; illus. by Kirbi Fagan
Intermediate    Greenwillow    272 pp.
8/23    9780062995957    $18.99
e-book ed.  9780062995971    $10.99

Sky is a wild mustang, at home in the Virginia Range of western Nevada. From his earliest days, Sky learns to live as part of a herd. During a time of drought when Sky must leave his band to search for water, he is captured by humans. He is used by the Pony Express and then is captured by silver miners. There, faced with horses and donkeys who are suffering from poisoned air and water, Sky leads a rebellion to free the captured animals. Sky’s first-person narration of his adventures is engrossing and fast-paced. His vocabulary is appropriate to a wild horse; human hands are grabbers, corrals are traps, and mountain lions are claw beasts. Parry weaves historical and environmental information smoothly into the narrative. Sky’s life depends on water and the healthy plants and animals in his surroundings, so readers finish the book with a strong sense of the impact of human choices on animal and plant life. As she did with A Wolf Called Wander and A Whale in the Wild (rev. 1/21), Parry writes a convincing fictionalized life of one wild animal while addressing issues of community, survival, and care for our environment. Fagan’s realistic black-and-white illustrations convey the windswept mountain terrain and the movement of the horses. Extensive back matter includes detailed information about the historical and environmental context of the story.

From the November/December 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Maeve Visser Knoth

Maeve Visser Knoth is a librarian at Phillips Brooks School, Menlo Park, ­California. She has chaired the Notable Children’s Books Committee and taught at Notre Dame de Namur University and Lesley University.

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