Horses In History Books (Review)

A story blended with historical fiction gives any reader a wonderful immersion into a time gone by, while enjoying a creative idea.  It is a chance to understand a different historical perspective often overlooked.  Mattie Richardson’s Horses in History Series written by Author Mattie Richardson/Appaloosy Books are lively reads from a horse’s viewpoint, and provide a supplemental resource for those studying American History.      


There are four books in this history series, giving an inside look into Native American Tribes, The Pony Express, Remember The Alamo, and The Civil War.

20191111_090121Appaloosy, written when the author was just thirteen, is a fresh approach to how the Native Americans responded when the white man continued to take over their sacred space. 

This book focuses on the Nez Perce tribe the owners of Appaloosa horses.  It is here we meet Storm, a free spirited horse with an attitude.  Taming him is equal to harnessing the wind, and no man has been able to do such a feat, except a young brave named White Feather. 

With General Howard deciding all Native Americans are to move to a reservation, White Feather and Storm become an unstoppable force, until an unprecedented night raid causes Chief Joseph to rethink the white man strategy of moving to a reservation.

  • Recommended for ages 8-14
  • Fourteen Chapters or one-hundred sixteen pages
  • Supplemental resource for Native American studies
  • Nez Perce vocabulary with spelling and meaning
  • Blast from the past stating real historical facts about the time period
  • About the author gives reference to Mattie’s age and accomplishments

20191111_090129Dusty’s Trail, is an exciting peak into the past when communication was limited to a rider and a horse, known as the pony express.  This quarter horse comes to be known as the fastest around.  And his intelligence makes him easy to train, except there is only one problem, he is afraid of everything. 

Each time Dusty is spooked he runs like the wind is chasing him, which will cause a lot of problems the longer he is en route.  When a surprise attack by the Indians throws his rider off balance and ultimately off of Dusty a guilty conscience will get the best of him, forcing him on a quest to search out his missing rider and friend.

  • Recommended for ages 8-14
  • Ten chapters or sixty-six pages
  • Supplemental resource for The Pony Express
  • Pony Express article from 1860
  • Words and terms for familiarization
  • Blast from the past stating real historical facts about the time period
  • About the author gives reference to Mattie’s age and accomplishments

20191111_090137Golden Sunrise, words to never forget ‘REMEMBER THE ALAMO!’  The setting is Texas, before it became apart of the United States, Mexico wants to control it.  Until a group of young Texans decide revolting was their only choice for gaining freedom.  Their mission to defend the Alamo by defeating Santa Ana and his regiment.

Meet Aurelia, the golden horse, who becomes enlisted as does her rider to take on this daring feat of courage and bravery.  Whether she wants to or not she must endure a blood bath of a battle.  And when her beloved rider perishes for the mission she finds her world turned upside down.  Her refusal to eat causes much confusion until her beloved rider’s younger brother comes for her.  In the end she will learn to trust again.

  • Recommended for ages 8-14
  • Eight chapters plus an Epilogue or eighty-five pages
  • Supplemental resource for a study about The Alamo
  • Spanish words used throughout the book
  • Blast from the past stating real historical facts about the time period
  • About the author gives reference to Mattie’s age and accomplishments

20191111_090113Day And Night, the Civil War a battle no man or horse ever wanted to experience.  Meet Tucker (a horse in the U.S. mounted infantry) and Shiloh (a horse in the Confederate volunteer Calvary) born on the same farm in Missouri from the best breed possible, the Morgan bloodline.

These two horses will be separated, and sold, by the growing concerns of trouble.  This marks opposite journeys of learning what it means to be on the Union or Confederate side of the line.  And slavery, an issue that leaves no person or horse untouched and the effects of this coming war will be catastrophic.  Tucker and Shiloh will each acquire different life lessons fighting for the side they believe in, but in the end fate will reunite them as the brothers they once were.     

  • Recommended for ages 8-14
  • Twenty-four chapters plus an Epilogue or one-hundred thirty-six pages
  • Supplemental resource for a study about The Civil War
  • Civil War-era words and terms used throughout the book
  • Blast from the past stating real historical facts about the time period
  • About the author gives reference to Mattie’s age and accomplishments
  • Enrichment guide (with answer key) is filled with activities and history to be used alongside this book.  Includes: Reading comprehension, Vocabulary, History, Soldier’s Life, Living History, Geography, Horses and History, Creating A Story, and Biography Reading.

20191110_080212~We were able to read three out of four books (Appaloosy, Dusty’s Trail and Golden Sunrise) during read aloud time.  My horse-loving, fourth grader really enjoyed each book, but her favorite was Appaloosy. 

“The book was really funny with the horse being so sassy!”  ~M age 9  

It was quite exciting when we started reading Dusty’s Trail and realized it was about the pony express, because we were able to incorporate this book into a current history lesson.  She understands more now of what the horses and riders had to endure on each mail delivery.

Each book brought about different discussions and various questions as to why this history happened, and each was an entertaining read.  She cannot wait to start Day And Night, for it correlates into her current American History studies, and no horse book will be left unread!

Bringing history to life through literature gives any reader a fresh perspective on what could have been.  And Mattie Richardson’s Horses in History Series are creative historical fiction novels shared from the horses’s viewpoint.

Get ready for some horse’n around entertainment as your child enjoys reading about Native Americans, The Pony Express, The Alamo and The Civil War!  Happy Trails….

~~Simply Passionate~~











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