Friday, November 9, 2012

The Girl Who Remembered Horses

Title: The Girl Who Remembered Horses
Author: Linda Benson
Publisher: Musa Publishing
Publication Date: November, 2011
Genre/Format: Post-Apocalyptic Animal Fiction/Novel
Goodreads Summary: Sahara travels with her clan in a future, barren environment where recyclables are bartered for sustenance, and few remember horses or their connection to humans. But Sahara has recurring visions of riding astride on magnificent animals that run like the wind.
     With the help of Evan, a young herder from the Gardener's Camp, Sahara discovers a valuable book and learns her visions are real. But will the hot-headed hunter Dojo kill the horses before she can persuade her clan of their usefulness? Will Sahara give up her quest to save them after she is labeled a foolish dreamer?
     Following horse tracks up a remote ravine, Sahara discovers a gruesome scene, as well as a helpless baby horse. Now Sahara must use her wits and inborn knowledge to raise the young animal, finally convince her clan of the ancient bond between horses and humans, and discover the secret of her true identity.
What I Think: A few weeks ago, I was asked on twitter if all post-apocalyptic books are considered sci-fi. I automatically answered yes, because if a book is in the future after a disaster of some sorts, it is sci-fi. It isn't until I read this book that I understand this question. The Girl Who Remembered Horses takes place after an epidemic that devastated the world. Humans now live in clans that travel, trade and scavenge. Sahara lives alone with her sister and grandfather, but finds the most comfort in her dreams. In her dreams she finds herself tending a large, beautiful animal that she has never seen yet she knows she loves. This book is the story of Sahara finding out the answer to everything in these dreams.
     Linda Benson has written a quiet yet powerful book that, although it takes place in a post-apocalyptic future, is about more than about survival. It is about finding your path which may not be the one laid out for you, it is about following your heart and it is about passion and dreams. 

Read Together: Grades 6 to 10
Read Alone: Grades 7 and up
Read With: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, The Outside of a Horse by Ginny Rorby, Gabriel's Horses by Alison Hart
Snatch of Text: "Sahara had heard the word. Horses - rare creatures hardly ever seen since the Dark Days. A chill went through her body. Something stirred deep within her that she could not comprehend. Although this was the first time in her entire twelve years that she had seen real horses, they felt achingly familiar. 
     Dojo, who prided himself on his hunting prowess, pumped his fist in the air and shouted, "Hurry! After them!" Tossing his long hair from his face, he gestured with his spear. "There goes enough meat for the entire clan!"
     Sahara shook her head. As the tangle of wild legs disappeared quickly on the horizon, she felt a thrill, a sense of recognition. Not a hunter's thrill , not a mean-in-the-stewpot, but a closeness, a feeling of kinship and protection." (p. 17-18)
Mentor Text for: Characterization, Description, World building
Writing Prompts: Sahara often dreams of horses. Write about a vivid dream you have had. 
Topics Covered: Horses, Dreams, Defiance, Education, Books, Family
I *heart* It:

**Thank you to Linda Benson for providing a copy of 
The Girl Who Remembered Horses for review**

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