Derby Day — Books for the Horse Lover


May 6, 2017 marks the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby, the “greatest two minutes in sports.”  The Grade 1 stakes race for 3 year old Thoroughbred horses has been held annually at Churchill Downs since 1875.  If you are like me, this means almost nothing to you aside from a visit to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, NY while at a library conference.  More likely horses have come into your library through horse loving readers, a near cult.  Check out and suggest the following books to your horse fanatics.





A Horse of Her Own by Annie Wedekind A Horse of Her Own
By: Annie Wedekind

At summer camp Jane feels like an outsider among the cliquish rich girls who board their horses at Sunny Acres farm, and when the horse she has been riding is sold to another camper, she feels even worse until her teacher asks her to help train a beautiful but skittish new horse, and the experience brings out the best in her.  Ages 12 and up

National Velvet by Enid Bagnold National Velvet
By: Enid Bagnold

In mid-twentieth-century England, fourteen-year-old Velvet Brown, determined to turn the unruly horse she wins in a raffle into a champion, learns that she needs more than hard work and dedication to achieve her goal of riding her horse in the Grand National steeplechase.  Ages 9 and up

Shadow Horse by Alison Hart Shadow Horse
By: Alison Hart

Thirteen-year-old Jas tries to prove that the owner of the farm where she works has killed her favorite horse, Whirlwind.  Ages 10 and up

King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry King of the Wind
By: Marguerite Henry

Follows the adventures of the Arabian stallion brought to England to become one of the founding sires of the Thoroughbred breed and the mute Moroccan stable boy who tends him with loyalty and devotion all his life.  Ages 8 and up

Cowardly Clyde by Bill Peet Cowardly Clyde
By: Bill Peet

For a war horse, Clyde is an abysmal coward, but he finally decides that even if he isn’t brave he can at least act brave.  Ages 4 and up

The Horse in Harry's Room by Syd Hoff The Horse in Harry’s Room
By: Syd Hoff

Although no one else could see it, Harry was very pleased to have a horse in his room. Ages 4 and up

War Horse by Michael Morpurgo War Horse
By: Michael Morpurgo

Joey the horse recalls his experiences growing up on an English farm, his struggle for survival as a cavalry horse during World War I, and his reunion with his beloved master.  Ages 10 and up

Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry Misty of Chincoteague
By: Marguerite Henry

Two children from Chincoteague help in the annual roundup of wild horses on a nearby island. They work hard to raise money to buy a mare and her foal, Misty. After almost losing their beloved horses to another buyer, the two children begin to care for and train them – and discover that genuine love can mean letting go of the loved one.  Ages 10 and up

Leroy Ninker Saddles Up by Kate Dicamillo Leroy Ninker Saddles Up
By: Kate Dicamillo

Forging an instant bond with spaghetti-loving horse Maybelline, horseless cowboy Leroy Ninker inadvertently risks eternal loneliness when he forgets a vital rule about Maybelline’s care.  Ages 6 and up

My Friend Flicka by Mary O'Hara My Friend Flicka
By: Mary O’Hara

Through his intense devotion to the colt Flicka, a young boy, living on a Wyoming ranch, begins to learn about responsibility and gain a better understanding of his brusque father.  Ages 9 and up


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