Fern dreams of riding on a wild horse's back, as fleet as the wind. She makes pets of small animals and watches the bison herds as they pound over the endless grasses of the steppe. Chafing at the inequality of being female, she longs for the freedom her twin brother enjoys to run free in the wilderness. One day in early spring, Fern secretly rescues a young horse mired in the bog, names her Thunder, and tames her enough to ride. But the people of her tribe are distrustful of her bond with nature. Is she a witch? Fern's future looks bleak until a silent man in a rival tribe, known only as The Nameless One, teaches her about patience—and love.
Susan Williams's lyrical prose makes this journey to prehistoric western Asia at once inspiring and heart wrenching.
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Susan Williams writes stories for young readers because "when I was a kid, books meant everything to me." She loves visiting schools and libraries to talk about writing and to run writers' workshops. Susan Williams lives with her husband, two daughters, and many pets in the wilds of western New York.From Booklist:
*Starred Review* Set on the steppes of Central Asia 6,000 years ago, Williams' stirring coming-of-age story begins with a pourquoi tale about how the wild horse became domesticated. After Fern discovers a wild foal trapped in a bog, she keeps her find a secret; horses are prized food among her hunting and gathering tribe. She names the foal Thunder, and in between chores, she steals time with the animal. Dreams lead her to try something unknown: "Who in all the world had ever sat upon a living horse?" Eventually her community discovers her secret, and when Thunder proves her usefulness by carrying loads, Fern is allowed to keep her. Still, she wonders if the rumors whispered by suspicious family and neighbors are true: "Maybe I was some strange animal-talker person! . . . Was I touched with darkness, as my mother said?" Williams' novel combines the exciting animal story with Fern's wrenching questions about growing up, which will resonate instantly with contemporary teens. Fern aggressively strains against her mother's expectations and her society's traditional gender roles, and it is these timeless struggles, narrated in Fern's poetic voice, that transform Williams' impressively researched details into a vividly imagined, wholly captivating world. Jean Craighead George and Louise Erdrich fans will particularly love the animal connections, but most teens will admire Fern's unbending courage and her timeless search for a place in the world and a love to share. Gillian Engberg
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Book Description HarperCollins, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110060872381
Book Description HarperCollins. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0060872381 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW6.1021225