Ned Ackerman Spirit Horse

ISBN 13: 9780590397209

Spirit Horse

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9780590397209: Spirit Horse
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A gripping survival/adventure story about a Blackfoot boy who tames a legendary wild stallion.

Running Crane wants nothing more than a horse of his own. He dreams of riding not just any horse, but the spirit horse of the Snake people -- a majestic and wild white stallion. But Running Crane is young, and an unskilled rider - unlike the great warriors of his new band, the Kainaa. When Running Crane joins the Kainaa warriors in a horse raid on the Snake People, he is separated from the rest of his party. He discovers the beautiful spirit horse alone on the prairie. Finally he has the chance to prove his worth to the Kainaa band and to make his dream of taming a magnificent horse come true.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 5-8?An informative and fairly engaging story of one boy's adventures amid the Blackfoot in the 1700s. Chosen to take part in a horse raid on the Snake People, Running Crane battles his self doubts and the torments of a jealous bully. When the raiders get separated, he survives bears, hunters, and hunger, and finally encounters the spirit horse, a marvelous beast that had escaped from the Snake People and now roams wild, never having been ridden. Though Running Crane fears horses, he uses cleverness and courage to befriend and eventually tame the magnificent creature. On his return to his people, he rescues the war leader and finally vanquishes his treacherous rival. The events are all seen through the eyes of Running Crane, yet the boy himself has little depth or individuality at the beginning. Once his survival trek begins, however, his character starts to develop. His bravery and resolve are hinted at initially, but become manifest as he confronts each challenge. He repeatedly uses ingenuity rather than strength or physical skill. Several scenes generate excitement, yet suspense is limited, since it remains fairly clear throughout that Running Crane will succeed. The narrative is filled with brief, but fascinating details of Blackfoot life and culture, including descriptions of tools, skinning procedures, and hunting techniques.?Steven Engelfried, West Linn Public Library, OR
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Running Crane's mother has married a member of the Kainaa band, and he still feels like an outsider. When he is unexpectedly chosen to participate in a horse raid on the Snake People he sees it as an opportunity to prove himself. The unrelenting bullying and hostility from Weasel Rider, another boy chosen for the raid, makes everything more difficult. But when the raid goes wrong, Running Crane finds himself lost on the prairie and driven by dreams to find and tame the legendary Spirit Horse. This story of the lives of the first people follows the conventions of the coming-of-age story perfectly. All the elements are in place: overcoming fear, self-doubt (and the doubts of others), and obstacles both natural and man-made. Running Crane must learn to survive, accomplish a great deed, defeat an enemy, earn the mentorship of an elder, and reach a moral and spiritual awakening. Reminiscent of Armstrong Sperry's Call It Courage, this is an exciting story with a richly satisfying conclusion. (Fiction. 10-14) -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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