Monday, August 24, 2009

HOOFBEATS - Katie and the Mustang Book Two

What a delightful story about a young orphan girl traveling west with a wagon train! Again, a child is paired with a stallion but it actually works in this story. (She doesn't ride it)

Katie Rose lost her immediate family (in Book One I guess) and wants to travel to Oregon to find her relatives. She will walk the 1,000 miles on foot, leading her Mustang - how she happened to have this horse must also be in Book One.

She has quite an adventure as she begins her journey and this Book Two only covers the start of the trip through crossing the Missouri River.

The HOOFBEATS series has other authors, but the four books by Kathleen Duey are all about Katie and the Mustang. The descriptions of the obstacles - rain, mud, stone-throwing boys and even fire - are unforgettable. I especially liked how well Duey explains the horse's reactions, both from the viewpoint of Katie and the Mustang.

This is a "must read" for horse lovers of all ages, but I suggest you start with Book One! I plan to find the other three books about Katie and the Mustang!

The author's site is and there is a page about Katie and the Mustang Books on the Hoofbeats Page.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Walk in the Woods

I know, I know. This isn't a horse book. But if you trail ride, you will enjoy this humorous adventure on the Appalachian Trail.

A Walk in the Woods, by travel author, Bill Bryson, had me laughing till I cried! He and a friend spent six weeks on the AT starting in Georgia. His description of their escapades - the people they meet and the places they visit - are too funny!

My husband picked up the book at a Borders while there for another purchase. Our son, who lives in Philly, has walked several sections of the AT, mostly in the Pennsylvania area. Over the past few years, he has hiked anywhere from a long weekend to a couple of weeks. We received a few photos and a short journal from the first trip, but not much else. We're always glad to hear from him when he's back in civilization.

We thought the book would give us insight to the trail that our son enjoys so much. There are thousands that walk it like our son, and there are the So-Bo and No-Bo hikers (South Bound and North Bound) who take months to do the whole AT. My son also met the HoBos - the ones who live on the trail!

When we finished Bryson's book, we both wanted to read more by him and bought three others. I was not impressed with The Lost Continent, a description of the author driving through America. Too negative; he puts down southerners, RVers, religious people etc. I liked it better when he made fun of himself and his reactions to the situations he had on the AT, rather than his dour (and mean spirited) outlook on this country in general.

Maybe it's because he was born in the Midwest, lived in Great Britain for decades, returned to America and now lives in Britain again. I didn't bother finishing that book, but began one he wrote about his travels in Australia. It's better, but not as funny as A Walk in the Woods.

Find Bryson's books in a bookstore or