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Born to Trot

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  3,331 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
Gibson can hear the beat of the horses' hooves against the track. Trotters are the world to him.
But all he ever does is practice. He's still too young and inexperienced to drive in a real race. Only he knows he's ready for the big league. If people would give him a chance, then they would know it, too.
Gib's chance comes in a filly named Rosalind. Now Gib can prove that
Paperback, 224 pages
Published April 30th 1993 by Aladdin (first published January 1st 1960)
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Black Beauty by Anna SewellThe Black Stallion by Walter FarleyKing of the Wind by Marguerite HenryMisty of Chincoteague by Marguerite HenrySeabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand
Horse Books/Novels
36th out of 861 books — 534 voters
Black Beauty by Anna SewellThe Black Stallion by Walter FarleyKing of the Wind by Marguerite HenrySeabiscuit by Laura HillenbrandMisty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry
Best Horse Books
21st out of 351 books — 278 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Anne Osterlund
Sep 08, 2013 Anne Osterlund rated it liked it
Gibson White wants to drive horses. Not a pony. And not as an exercise boy. He wants to race. Trotters.

Finally the day comes when he gets his chance. And even though a rein breaks in his first real race, Gib proves himself. Earning another shot. If he can just get over a pesky cough.

Then the doctor announces that Gib’s cough is more than just a cold. That the only cure is a long serious rest up in the mountains.

But without horses, will Gib ever have the strength to heal?

Born to Trot by Marguerit
Jul 13, 2008 Janet rated it liked it
Shelves: childrensnovels
A donation to the Friends of the Library bookstore, I nabbed it first. Classic Marguerite Henry -- lots of interesting horse lore and great horse illustrations, with a fairly weak story tying it all together. I would have liked to spend more of the book at the harness races, and less at a sanitarium with our young hero Gibson White, who is ailing with some mysterious illness that we never get to hear about (maybe TB?). A true story with an exciting ending.
Jul 22, 2016 Judy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nf-unsorted-kids
The story of the horse isn't what caught my attention; I was intrigued by the boy, Gibson. His illness and the way it was treated (total bed rest for ages) is so very different from how we manage most sickness in this day and age.
Aug 12, 2016 Kyrie rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
Marguerite Henry does a great job of weaving facts about horses and horse racing into a tale kids enjoy. I owe everything I know about harness racing to this book.
Dec 16, 2012 Mia added it
loved it
Chris Miller
Nov 20, 2016 Chris Miller rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-it-again
Re-reading this young adult classic was a ploy to get my 9-year-old daughter to pick up another Marguerite Henry book and fall in love with horses. It didn't work. She chose the next volume in the C.S. Lewis series for her book report. Nevertheless, I enjoyed following Gibson White through his discovery that it is certainly possible to overwork one's self and one's horse -- a moral I could probably stand to abide by myself. I also liked letting my mind be carried back to a simpler time, when hor ...more
Mar 07, 2015 Kris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of horse stories, fans of Marguerite Henry
Shelves: own-it, first-edition
Growing up, I loved horse stories, and the best writer/illustrator pair was Marguerite Henry and Wesley Dennis. I've been trying to collect these books, ever since. This is a lovely hardback (sans dust jacket) 1950 first edition - a gift from my sister at Christmas. I'm sure I read this one when I was younger, but I didn't remember the story, so it was fun to read what seemed to be a 'new' story.

This book is almost two books in one. The main story is about Gibson White, a teenage boy whose fathe
May 21, 2010 Chana rated it liked it
I read this book because my 8 year old daughter insisted. She said, this is such a good book, please read it next! So, OK, I want to be supportive of her reading, I obliged and read this book.
It is a child's book and it reads like one, but it tells an interesting story nonetheless, actually two interesting stories that link together. Ben White is a famous horse trainer, harness racing for trotters, and winner of the Hambletonian horse races 4X. His son Gibson wants to do these things very, very
Mar 05, 2016 Josephine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Gib White is the son of Ben White, driver of trotting Standardbreds, and so not surprisingly Gib has grown up around harness racetracks, dreaming only of following in his father's footsteps. Unfortunately he becomes ill (Henry does not specify what) and is forced to remain in bed in a hospital for several months while he recovers. In an attempt to revive Gib's interest in life, flagging badly now that he is separated from his beloved harness racing world, Ben White deeds a new foal to his son: ...more
Jan 02, 2011 Chaynyth rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: ages 9+, those who like horses and don't mind simpler writing style
I really love this book, mostly as a nostalgia piece. It's a somewhat liberal interpretation of real events, centered around trotting races and the trotters who ran them. It's aimed mostly at children (I'd guess 8-9+) as its audience, but I like the story enough that I reread it occasionally now that I'm an adult. Great for horse lovers, solidly good child-young adult book. It was written in 1950, so the writing style and some of the scenarios are not as common in today's literature. Also the ...more
Oct 07, 2011 Wendy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horses-fiction
This book is a story-within-a-story, and the framing story only allows us to meet Rosalind, the supposed main equine character, secondhand until very near to the end, and then it's...disappointing. Or at least it was to me. (view spoiler)

The fr
Mar 04, 2016 Tania rated it it was amazing
Born to Trot is the story of one great horse in the history of harness racing, and her truly special owner and trainer. Father and son team Ben and Gibson White, trainer and owner of speedster Rosalind respectively, work tirelessly to give this horse her best chance at greatness. They do it in the face of great adversity, namely Gibson's nameless disease that has him hospitalized for years (according to my research, it was TB). In the vein of Arabian Nights, there is a story within a story - ...more
Feb 19, 2015 Joy rated it really liked it
Refreshing approach to story telling that is done by letters written as well as the usual narrative. I especially liked the good relationship the main character had with his birth family. Lots of information on trotter training and racing. New vocabulary for me (sudsing, scudding, spume, ruck).

When McSeely rejoined the group, the men sheared their words like women trimming off the extra crust from a pie.

Wherever his father sat he suddenly belonged. On a hilltop, on a fence rail, in a stable, in
Lisa James
Sep 15, 2011 Lisa James rated it liked it
Kind of a coming of age story, Henry tells us of a boy named Gib, & the harness horses that are his life's passion. When he is old enough, & a beautiful & talented filly named Rosalind comes along, they make magic together, & Gib's dreams of winning the greatest harness race in the world, the Hambletonian, are within his sights. Can they win it together? You have to read to find out.
Dec 11, 2008 Caryn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This is a story about the bond that a man has with his really good horse. They are great friends and endure some really tough times. At first, I was skeptical, but really ended up liking this book! I want to read it again, for sure, to catch anything I may have missed!
Linda Dittes
Oct 22, 2015 Linda Dittes rated it really liked it
Marguerite Henry does in 1945 what Laura Hillenbrand does today with the book Seabiscuit. Telling the story of a real horse hero story with the endearing quality so prevalent during that era. Perfect for all young horse lovers and old.
Sep 22, 2015 Serena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: animals
I enjoyed the characters, and their world and hope I get the chance to read the story again and/or to read more within the series.

My Rating System:
* couldn't finish, ** wouldn't recommend, *** would recommend, **** would read again, ***** have read again.
Dixie Diamond
Dec 19, 2007 Dixie Diamond rated it really liked it
I've always liked Henry's non-Misty books better (this and Mustang: Wild Spirit of the West are my favorites). Although all of her work was fictionalized, I think some of these less popular ones suffered less from over-sentimentalization of their equine characters.
May 30, 2009 Martine rated it really liked it
As a kid in the 1960s I looked forward to getting new horse books by Maruerite Henry for birthday or other special occasions. I was a horse fanatic.
Jan 09, 2010 Sharon rated it really liked it
Shelves: childhood, horses
This was my introduction to "trotters." As a parent, I can see why the adults did not want the protagonist racing, but as a child I was rooting for him the whole time.
Dec 17, 2010 Rachel rated it really liked it
Wanted a light read the other day, so I pulled this one out again. It's one of my favorites of Marguerite Henry's work. I love Gib's relationship with his father.
Meredith Henning
Sep 22, 2009 Meredith Henning rated it really liked it
Shelves: emma
Jul 29, 2011 Rivkah. rated it really liked it
I liked this book! It was a bit slow at the start, but this book really made me like trotter types, which lead me to one of my first horsey loves, Red a standardbred ex-racer.
Nov 09, 2015 Janice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 7-99+
I just finished reading this book for the 2nd time. It was just as good as when I read it the first time. Now we am going to give it to our Grandson.
Aug 15, 2008 Penny rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: girls who like horses
My faaaaaavorite childhood book. I read it over and over and over.

I still have my original copy, but I'm half-afraid to read it as an adult for fear my memories will be spoiled.
Heather Blackwood
Heather Blackwood rated it it was ok
Nov 26, 2011
C G rated it it was amazing
Jan 01, 2012
Noelle Boc
Noelle Boc rated it it was amazing
Jan 16, 2016
Mariah Smith
Mariah Smith rated it liked it
Nov 21, 2015
Sharon rated it liked it
Feb 08, 2013
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Marguerite Henry (April 13, 1902-November 26, 1997) was an American writer. The author of fifty-nine books based on true stories of horses and other animals, her work has captivated entire generations of children and young adults and won several Newbery Awards and Honors. Among the more famous of her works was Misty of Chincoteague, which was the basis for the 1961 movie Misty, and several sequel ...more
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