Saturday, September 1, 2012

Riding Freedom, by Pam Munoz Ryan

This little book has been sitting on my "books to read" shelf--honestly, bookshelf--for a long time. So long that I didn't realize it was there, though I must have known. Apparently I got it at Goodwill for .99. A good buy, E. I'll be passing this one along, for sure. So, yeah. Published in 1989. Munoz Ryan's first novel--she'd written picture books before, but nothing this sustained. And Brian Selznick illustrated it--this of course is years before Hugo, which is why I love him so much--but it's also years before he'd really made his name as an illustrator. Anyway. I guess this is a middle grade book--maybe third through sixth? I'm always terrible with that, honestly. And I could have read it as a first or second grader, but I have students who wouldn't've been ready for it till high school. But at that point, maybe if they'd had Esperanza Rising or Becoming Naomi Leon read to them... anyway. People are reading at so many different levels. And I think this book would be okay, story-wise, for a wide range of ages. It's based on a true story, apparently, about a girl who grows up in an orphanage, and runs away at age 12 and dresses like a boy so she can get work in a stable with horses. She keeps passing--apparently the person the book is based on passed his whole life. Voted, too! Loved this. A quick read--started it yesterday, and had to finish it yesterday. So I did. Stayed up.

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