Cover image for Bell's Star / Alison Hart ; illustrated by Ruth Sanderson.
Title:
Bell's Star / Alison Hart ; illustrated by Ruth Sanderson.
ISBN:
9780375852046
Publication Information:
New York : Random House, [2009]

©2009
Physical Description:
114 pages : illustrations ; 18 cm
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1
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HOR Paperback Junior Animals Fiction
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2
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HOR Paperback Junior Animals Fiction
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Summary

Summary

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Reviews 1

Horn Book Review

(Primary) For kids who wonder what horses are really thinking, this new series gives it straight from the horse's mouth. Elska, a silver dapple Icelandic horse who lives in Iceland in 1000 BCE, tells her own story from her early summer birth to her separation from her mother to her attachment to human friend Amma and their eventual wrenching separation and dramatic reunion. Young horse devotees will love the horse's-eye view and will enjoy learning details about this unique breed. However, early chapter book readers may be overwhelmed by the plethora of Icelandic words and characters' names (and when Elska expects a foal of her own, inquisitive readers will wonder how that happened). In Bell's Star, author Hart is a little more straightforward and a lot more exciting. Bell's Star is a Morgan colt, born in Civil War-era Vermont. Like all Morgans, he is bred for farm work and hauling, and he longs for a place to run free of fences. When his owner Katie asks him to help carry a runaway slave to Canada, Bell's Star learns about freedom...and what it means to go home. Overly emotional and anthropomorphic for adult readers, this new series is perfect for the intended primary-grade horse-loving audience. Occasional black-and-white illustrations and long fact-filled appendices add much to both stories. [Review covers these titles: Horse Diaries: Elska and Horse Diaries: Bell's Star]From HORN BOOK, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Vermont, Early Spring 1850 I was born in a rocky paddock on a cloudy night. Light snow fell from the sky, covering my brown fur with white. My mother's tongue washed over me and warmed my skin. Soon she nudged me, urging me to stand. Rise, she told me. Danger can hide in the dark woods. I scrambled to my feet. My long legs were sturdy, my body stout. I nursed, and my mother's milk gave me strength. I hopped in the snow, trying out my legs. Mother smiled proudly as I trotted and leaped. Soon I grew weary. Mother led me into the shed, and sinking onto a soft pile of hay, I slept. Morning came, and the rising sun broke through the clouds. As soon as it was light, my mother began to teach me. There is so much to learn, she told me. I followed her around the paddock. She touched her nose to all the new things: fence, tree, water trough, hay, mud. Mud I learned quickly. As the snow melted, my tiny hooves sank into the sloppy brown mess. I was scrambling onto a dry stump when a fluttering sound startled me. A bright blue creature landed on the fence. I tensed. Is this danger? I asked my mother. Her muzzle twitched in laughter. No, my son. That is a blue jay. They are pesky and steal my corn, but they are not danger. Jumping off the stump, I whinnied to the blue jay. It flew into the trees. Blue jays have wings, my mother explained. They are free to fly to wherever they want. I peered between the fence rails. I wanted to race after the blue jay to the place called wherever they want. The blue jay had disappeared, but outside the paddock were many more new things to explore! I touched my nose to the railing, but the fence circled my mother and me, penning us in. I checked my back. Did I have wings? All I saw was brown hair. If only I had wings, I thought. I could fly free, too. Suddenly a shriek filled the air. I fled behind my mother. I flicked my fuzzy ears. Danger? Turning, I peeked from beneath her thick black tail. A creature leaped over the top railing, landing with a splash in the mud. It was as colorful and noisy as the blue jay, only bigger! Wings spread wide, it hurtled toward me. Terrified, I turned to run, but my long legs tangled. I fell in a heap. Mud splattered my white star. The giant blue jay plopped on the ground next to me. Its wings wrapped tightly around my neck, and I was trapped! Mother, I neighed. Danger! But my mother's eyes were twinkling. "Papa! Bell had her foal!" the blue jay cried out. "I see, Miss Katie," an even taller blue jay answered. "But, daughter, your joy is scaring him. Let him go so we can see how fine he is." The wings released me. I scrambled to my hooves and rushed to the far side of the paddock. My mother hurried after me and blew into my nostrils. Do not be afraid. Those are humans. The large one is Papa. The small one is Katie. They feed and care for us. In return, we work for them. Work. I did not know that word yet. My mother pushed me forward. My legs splayed, refusing to move. The human called Papa set a wooden bucket in the paddock. "Come, Bell," he called. My mother trotted over. Dipping her head, she ate hungrily. "You have given us a fine fellow, Bell," Papa said, patting her neck. Wide-eyed and trembling, I stared at the human called Katie. She stood in the middle of the paddock, her eyes as curious as mine. Then she held out one wing. This time she walked quietly to me. Her wings were soft when they stole around my neck. Then her cheek pressed against mine, and my trembling stopped. "He has a white star, just like Bell," Katie said. "And look, two white legs." "He's a fine-looking Morgan horse. Strong like his dam. Handsome like his sire," Papa said. "Soon he̵ Excerpted from Bell's Star by Alison Hart All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.