Title: Summer on Wild Horse IslandSummer on Wild Horse Island
Author: Mary Elwyn Patchett
Illustrator: Roger Payne
Pages: 116
Reading Level: 7-10
Star Rating: ★★

A vacation story, island story, and horse story all wrapped up in one!

The Story.

The Delaney family is on a vacation – and not just any vacation. They’re spending six months on the Great Barrier Reef beach recooperating from a traumatic car accident they were involved in. They’re all looking forward to a time of combined laziness and larks.

But once they arrive, Danny and David Delaney discover that there are wild horses on the neighboring island and they are determined to try their hand at taming them. They decide they want to surprise their parents by presenting the trained horses at the end of the vacation, but that means lots of extra work has to go into concealing their design…

Can Danny and David train the horses? And why are those two strange men hanging around the island?

Discussion.

The style of the story is unique – it is alternatively boring and hilarious. The actual story arc is mundane – two kids trying to train a horse without their parents knowing is nothing new – but the supporting characters, namely the vain dachshund, Pauli,and the greedy pelican, Percy, are quite funny.

David and Danny are occasionally cross with each other but work together for the most part.

An illustration on page 10 shows several natives naked from the back.

Geographical locations are described as being millions and billions of years old.

‘Gee’ and ‘golly’ are each used.

Conclusion. A so-so story.

Review © 2015 Laura Verret

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