My almost 12 yo son read this through in one sitting and moved it into his top 5 favorites book list! I felt like the book started out a bit slow, but he did not feel that way. The first 50 pages or so give hints of the adventures ahead, but spend a great deal of time with character development and describing abbey life. It’s a great way to help acquaint students with that way of life, so it is 50 pages well spent. I might start this as a read aloud for the first few chapters, and then hand it over for them to read on their own after the adventure is fully under way. It truly is a wonderful, suspenseful, and at times intense story that teaches wonderful lessons through the actions of a young but brave main character worthy emulation.
When a simple farm boy befriends a strange and beautiful horse that has wandered onto the lands of Abbey St. Simon, the boy cannot begin to imagine the adventures he will have upon its back. As all of Christendom hangs in the balance, young Hugh embarks on a mission with unfaltering bravery and a sense of duty that will leave even the most powerful leaders and hardened warriors awestruck. Against all odds, Hugh is determined to save his people from the Saracens, with help from one of their very own majestic steeds.
“Set in the tumultuous times of the Crusades, this beautifully written story is an example of how a book can portray a violent time period without graphic details and can powerfully contrast right and wrong while remaining completely uplifting and appropriate. This adventurous tale has everything that makes a book good and beautiful: high moral and educational value, exemplary writing, and an intriguing plot.” —Jenny Phillips
This book is a suggested read-aloud for the History Year 1 course and is included in the optional History 1 Book Pack.
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