Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Wind Rider

Susan Williams
Laura Geringer 2006

In this beautiful novel, Susan Williams imagines how humans and horses may have begun their long friendship. A young girl of a hunter-gatherer tribe finds a young horse trapped in a bog. The girl's struggle to free the horse, tame it, learn to ride it, and then earn acceptance for her new friend from her tribe is only the beginning of the adventure. Told as only someone who loves horses, nature, and people could, this story moved me more than any other I have read this year. It is a book about life, about growing up, about courage and love.

Although the book is billed for middle grade readers, I thought the themes were more appropriate for young adults.


  1. Hi Rebecca,
    I just happened upon your very nice review of Wind Rider this morning. Thank you! I was interested in your comment that it felt as if it were written for older readers than middle grade. That was my intention. I was startled to open up the book and find it listed for ten and up. When I brought that up with my editor, she said that they wanted it to be eligble for the Newbery. There really is nothing in it that a ten year old should not read, and there are some very precocious readers out there, so it has not been a problem.

    It did not win the Newbery, but did get starred reviews from Kliatt and Booklist, made the ALA's Amelia Bloomer List for literature which promotes equality for women, won the Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Award, the University of Rochester's Eiseman Award, and was a Book Sense Pick. So it hasn't done too badly! Oh, and it's been translated to German.

    Currently I'm working on a sequel. The working title is from a dream: "In the Shelter of the Sky." This new book is definately for teens, as the Night People and Horse people have some violent interactions over the use of horses and one of the characters gets badly injured in a horse race.

    Thanks for writing about Wind Rider, and good luck with your own books, Rebecca.

    Susan Williams Beckhorn

    "It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. I have never met Susan Williams Beckhorn but I have heard that she is trying to be both. You can read her blog, "Tales from Toad Hill," at http://susanwilliamsbeckhorn.blogspot.com." --E. B. White

  2. Well, congratulations, Susan! I loved your book, and I'm excited for your next one to come out.