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Thunderhead (Flicka #2)

4.20  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,590 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
A follow-up to the childhood classic My Friend Flicka. "That rare achievement, a sequel to a great and richly deserved success that in no way falls short of its distinguished predecessor . . . a fine and singing story."--New York Times
Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 1st 1967 by Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group (first published 1943)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Sep 17, 2015 Beth rated it really liked it
This is the best of O'Hara's trilogy. Everybody secretly wants a horse like Thunderhead -- even people who have horses and should know better. Goblin / Thunderhead is a fierce personality wrapped up in a horse's body. As he comes into his own, he wavers on the edge between triumph and infamy, and this novel explores the tragedy that is always twinned with greatness.
Be forewarned, this book is brutal in places -- but so is real life when the sanitation of what we call civilization is stripped aw
Sandra Visser
An enjoyable and readable adventure that deals more with the interpersonal relationships on the farm than one would have expected from a YA book about horses. The book was initially aimed at an adult market and this can be seen in the sometimes overwrought descriptions of the emotions experienced by parents Nell and Rob. Some descriptions of the landscape, although evocative, are a bit drawn out and halt the pace of the story, which is already thinly spread over almost 400 pages. The cruelty of ...more
Feb 25, 2016 Kwilson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read the entire trilogy multiple times in childhood. Thunderhead was always my least favorite. As a preteen, crazy for horses, Flicka was my favorite. As a young teen, the romance in Green Grass appealed to me the most. Rereading the triology now, as an adult wife and mother, I have found Thunderhead to be my favorite of the three. As a child, I found Nell and Rob's story extremely boring and skipped over many parts. Those parts are the most enjoyable now
Nov 20, 2011 Fleur rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My favourite childhood book. I read the trilogy it belongs to dozens of times. Actually, although I was horse mad, the angst and effort of the boy Ken is as engaging as that of the eponymous equine hero. The three books - My Friend Flicka is the first, this the second and The Green Grass of Wyoming is the third - totally entranced me, and left me with a lifelong wish to see Wyoming. Ot at least the Wyoming of the book. I still mentally quote from it!
Jul 15, 2009 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great "slice of American life" but so much more too. The relationships between father and son, husband and wife, brothers... something young readers can handle and yet very mature themes for us adults. Grand. Everything you want in a book, when you're looking for a really good book to read.
Sandy (WI girl at heart)
Finished Mary O'Hara book "Thunderhead". I have read this book a number of times as a kid and still love it as an adult.

Great "horsey" story. Very quick read with glimpses of a slower paced life on a horse ranch.

Would I recommend this book to others: Yes. Would I read it again: Yes,
Harini Srinivasan
If you love animals and the outdoors, this is sure to be one of your favourites! A sequel to My Friend Flicka, this book about Flicka's son completely outshines both the previous book and the one that follows, Green Grass of Wyoming. A real tour de force!
Loved this one - Ken's expeditions in the mountains are such epic, beautiful moments of poetry. It's a book I've read many times, but it's the first time I'm reading it in English - and as an adult. Some things haven't changed : the nature written by Mary O'Hara is still so painfully beautiful - and what made me want to visit Wyoming. Ken's trips in the mountains are still so exciting. I also loved reading about Rob & Nell's relationship - Nell, in particular, is someone I'm identifying more ...more
Rena Sherwood
This is a really bizarre book, a bit schizophrenic at times. That's only appropriate since the main character, the first foal from Flicka (from My Friend Flicka) goes through a phase where he is known as Goblin and then matures into Thunderhead. Thunderhead/Goblin is arguably the most interesting character in the My Friend Flicka trilogy but his surroundings can be appalling at times.


This series is one of those books which were considered perfectly innocent books for children's libraries when I
Elizabeth Ritchie
Jun 24, 2015 Elizabeth Ritchie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't read this book for a while even though I had read Flicka as I didn't like the name of the book. I was young at the time though and that is what I based my decision on. When I finally decided to read it, I thought it was a very enjoyable book. I would say though, personally that as a horse lover, I did get upset at certain point and I personally would not recommend to children under 12 years old.
Dec 05, 2010 Denise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the middle book of a trilogy. I happened to pick up this book and I'm sure it would add to your reading pleasure if you had read the 1st volume (My Friend Flicka) but "Thunderhead" can be read as a stand-alone without any loss of understanding the story. There is also a volume following "Thunderhead" called "Green Grass of Wyoming".

This is supposed to be a kid's book but by no means is it juvenile. In fact, it covers some aspects of life that usually aren't found in children's books such
Darlene Otet
Mar 08, 2015 Darlene Otet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this as a child, loved horses!
May 23, 2014 Kari rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This one was as odd, in odd ways, as My Friend Flicka. I liked it better in some ways and not as much in others. Neither is my favorite book, but when I first heard Flicka as a kid I couldn't appreciate the west at all. Having lived in northern Colorado for a decade now, I can read both books much better.
Sep 03, 2012 Christina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: youth, pony-books
I did not like this as much as I liked My Friend Flicka, but I'm still glad to have finally read it. Certainly, there are places where the story drags and my attention waned. When it's about Ken, and Thunderhead, horse racing and stallions fighting and exploring the mountains, those parts are wonderful and exciting. The time spent in Nell's head is less fun. A little was all right, but it takes up a huge portion of the book without contributing a lot to the horse story.
Sep 14, 2015 Wendy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was, in my opinion, pointless and horrible. The whole plot with Thunderhead ended up meaning nothing, and the Rob/Nell subplot was pointless torture. There was no reason for it at all, and I just hated Rob and wished Nell would leave him. I came close to throwing this book out the window, I was so spitting mad. I kept going, though, hoping the resolution would make it all worth while, but it didn't.
Mary S.
This series is a CLASSIC!! I love them so very much, mostly because of everything! The personalizing of the horses, the breathtaking descriptions and even the people are perfect! (Not unbearably perfect. Just DECENT. No modern slang!) And if you're worrying about being too young to read this, I read it at 7! So read this if you love good writing, horses and old books!
We love
Jan 26, 2016 We love rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: a
Oldest liked this one better than the first. There is a lot of language in these books, just FYI!
Nov 13, 2013 Tracey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read Flicka years ago, had never read Thunderhead until now. A good part of the story focuses on Rob & Nell's relationship and the hardship of life on the ranch rather than the life and times of Thunderhead. Still an interesting story even if it was slow going some of the time, an insight into ideas about horsemanship in the 40s.
Apr 14, 2009 Rob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know these books are always thought of as youth books, but I think that stops at Thunderhead. Very adult story that happens to be, in part, anyway, about a teen-aged boy. Or, perhaps, a better way to think about it is a very serious story for teenaged readers.

I certainly liked it better than My Friend Flicka.
Jun 28, 2012 Phyllis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed it very much. I would not classify it as a children's book as quite a bit of the story concerns problems between the parents of the teenage boys in the story. They live on a huge ranch in Wyoming and the father tries to support his family by raising and selling horses.
H. Gibson
Chronicles of Han Storm Book Club Read

A classical book describing life, relationships and survival in the Australian Bush. Subconsciously, the lessons stuck and helped me through tough times in my own life. A definite read for any child that likes animals.
Wendy Webber
Jan 06, 2013 Wendy Webber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The writing of the wild horses particularly was completely captivating. It takes you into another world of appreciation of the beauty of these fine creatures. It seemed to the me the writing in this sequal was even better than the predecessor. Loved it!
Angela Castro
Jul 23, 2013 Angela Castro rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite books ever--I read it in my horse-crazy days back in the early 60s and it was actually my dad's copy from when he was a boy. I still have the book and will treasure it always. This is truly an enduring story as are all of O'Hara's books.
Jun 28, 2009 Ady rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I remember seeing the movie over and over as a little girl and then my dad deleted it from the VCR tape...that was a disaster!!! Love d the book...made me want to go to Wyoming...I ended up close enough in Colorado ;-)
Heather Denigan
Thunderhead was a bit over my head, like the rest the series, at the time when I picked it up. But I still remember it being compelling and I liked it better than My Friend Flicka. Needs a revisit, I think.
Jan 09, 2010 Sharon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hit this one at the height of my horse mania. I actually kept it when my grandmother's neighbor loaned it to me (along with "My Friend Flicka). Oh well, if that's my worst crime, I'll be doing fine.
Apr 15, 2009 Suzanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I can't believe I didn't read these books when I was a kid. Thought I devoured all the horse stories that were ever written. I'm definitely saving these for my grandchildren!
The sequel to My Friend Flicka, this is another lovely book about Ken growing up with his horses. It portrays Ken's changing self quite well and, I feel, quite realistically.
Jan 05, 2009 Alyssa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I actually liked this sequel better than My Friend Flicka. (or it's just been a long time since I've read it). I liked how you were privy to the horse's consciousness.
Aug 18, 2013 Morgan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cool book =] Got the 1945 hardback version from my granddad, and when I finally bothered to read it I wish I had sooner! Makes you feel like you're really there.
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Mary O’Hara Alsop, an American author, screenwriter, and composer, was born July 10, 1885, in Cape May, N.J., to Reese Fell Alsop and Mary Lee (Spring). She grew up in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y., where her father was an Episcopal clergyman.

In 1905, Ms. O'hara married Kent Kane Parrot, whom she later divorced. Her second marriage to Helge Sture-Vasa from Sweden in 1922 also ended in divorce in 1947. Ms
More about Mary O'Hara...

Other Books in the Series

Flicka (3 books)
  • My Friend Flicka (Flicka, #1)
  • Green Grass of Wyoming (Flicka, #3)

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