Pony by R.J. Palacio is a whole new kind of wonder!
What would you do for someone you love? Just how powerful are the bonds between us and those human beings we have never met, those human beings who are our friends, those human beings who believe in doing what is right? Are we surrounded by those we cannot see?
1860: It was night when Mittenwool wakes twelve-year old Silas Bird to warn him that riders are coming. Pa has his rifle cocked and ready. When the riders show up they have their own guns drawn. It's a matter of minutes before Pa agrees to go with them. He's riding out into the night with strangers and he tells Silas to stay home - don't follow. A few minutes exploded the cautious, protected life Silas had with his father and his "imaginary friend" named Mittenwool.
It doesn't take long before Silas believes he has waited long enough. Anything could be happening to his Pa and Silas is determined to go find him even if it means following the trail and tracks all the way to the Woods that have terrified him for years.
The journey In R. J. Palacio's PONY begins. Silas and Mittenwool leave their home and head out with Silas riding a horse, Pony, that is not his own. They are headed to the Woods which for Silas is the one place he never wants to go again and as they look for clues and signs showing where riders might have passed through Silas hears and sees the ghosts that scare him so deeply. Can a boy, a ghost and a pony track a pack of criminals? Can Silas really save his Pa?
This is the story of Silas, Mittenwool and Pony and their journey together to bring back Martin Bird, Silas' Pa. Martin Bird is raising his son alone after his wife died in childbirth. Father and son have made a home in Ohio and Martin is earning his living as a bootmaker and practicing as a photographer to satisfy his soul. He is a genius with photographic apparatus and that is exactly why the riders showed up in the night. It seems one counterfeiting organization has need of Martin's excellent skills with photographic equipment.
A few days of travel pass before Silas and Mittenwool find themselves tangled in outlaws, counterfeiters, and some deputies who have come to arrest the men who are holding Martin Bird.
That's the story line. But this story is so, so much more. Silas Bird can see the people on the other side of the veil who have chosen not to leave. He can see them and he can hear them. They are a great part of his life and they connect to him with their emotions, their pain and their love for those they have left behind.
In this beautifully crafted story, we meet strangers, loved ones, those dedicated to the law, and those dedicated to honor, integrity, loyalty, friendship, and above all, love. Some of them you want to see in jail and others you wish you could make a part of your own life because the power of the connections is so amazingly wonderful and that is what really matters after all.
A timeless adventure of the heart. A glorious coming together of great souls and weak souls. A profound opportunity to look closely at the people in your world - near and far. A timeless journey toward a destiny you never imagined.
304 pages 978-0553508116 Ages 10 and up
Keywords: historical fiction, father/son, adventure, law, crimes, counterfeiting, horse, ghosts, loyalty, honor, love, 12 year old, 13 year old, 14 year old, 15 year old
Recommended by: Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com