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My Friend Flicka (Flicka #1)

4.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  24,577 Ratings  ·  264 Reviews
When Ken is given a horse of his own, he thinks his dreams have come true. But Flicka is a proud and spirited foal - and everyone says she's no good. Can Ken tame his wild horse and earn her friendship?
Paperback, 279 pages
Published November 5th 2007 by Egmont Books (UK) (first published 1941)
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Lisa I read it when I was 11 and FELL IN LOVE with horses and especially Flicka. It's an adult book, with adult themes, but all I saw was a boy and his…moreI read it when I was 11 and FELL IN LOVE with horses and especially Flicka. It's an adult book, with adult themes, but all I saw was a boy and his beautiful horse. I read it every 10 years or so, and I see more of the depth ... relationships, struggle, anxiety, sacrifice, love, etc. As a 55 year old, I can still feel what I felt when I was 11 ... great book!(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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C
Oct 04, 2009 C rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: junior-fiction
If you've never been West around Colorado/Wyoming, O'Hara recreates it and captures it in her novels. I didn't realize just how well until I moved here and started recognizing the scenery.

I've reread her books many times now and will likely reread them many more, hence the 5 stars. I've had to get rid of all my books a couple times in the past and have always felt like my shelves are incomplete till I've reacquired the Flicka set.

O'Hara is a depression era writer and has a bit of "Steinbeck" fl
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Linda
Feb 19, 2014 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horses
Okay, I'll say it right here at the beginning of this review - for me: Best Horse Book Ever.

In my quest as a young girl to read every single horse book I could find, I somehow bypassed this one. Maybe it was because I would appreciate it even more later in life. Although parts of it now seem dated (it was first published in 1941) it reads best as historical fiction, depicting life on a remote Wyoming ranch in the early part of the 20th century. Some things, like certain expressions and horse tra
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Mary
Mar 20, 2014 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A tough-minded, wise, and beautiful book! (crossposted from amazon)


Like so many others, I read this book as a child, but I've reread it a couple of times as an adult - am doing so now. As my sister and other reviewers have said, this isn't "just" a horse story for children. It's a very adult, very sophisticated study of a young couple and their marriage. It's also a profound character study of their younger son, and the summer that his love for a filly forces him to take large steps toward matur
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Haleigh
May 28, 2012 Haleigh rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. What a boring book.

Like any horse obsessed person, I try to see every horse-related movie and read nearly every horse related book. So, perhaps in this case, the mistake I made was that I watched the movie first and then read the book.
In the movie: 16 yo girl is misunderstood by her father. She fails final exam. Father is angry at her and doesn't want her to do anything fun except rewrite her essay so that she'll pass. Girl finds wild mustang. Girl catches mustang. Father is angry; doesn'
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Abby M
Jul 21, 2011 Abby M rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had read this book once before when I was quite a bit younger and didn't like it. I decided, however, that I'd put it back and try again when I was older. This time, reading it through, I actually did like it. I was rather surprised though, because I had heard it suggested as a children's book and I find it a bit more mature. I'd place it more in the young adults category, due to some language and subject matter.
This book is well known for being a sweet story about a boy and his horse, Flicka.
...more
Alexa SOF2014
My Friend Flika tells the story about Ken McLaughlin, who is the son of a Wyoming rancher and his horse Flika in 1941. Ken is a 10 year old boy who lives on a Wyoming ranch, the Goose Bar, with his father Rob, his mother Nell, and his brother Howard. The father sometimes gets very annoyed with Ken because he is a daydreamer. Ken returns home from boarding school with failing grades and has to repeat 5th grade. In order to be responsible Ken chooses a yearling to raise and this particular Filly h ...more
Carol Edwards
Jun 22, 2008 Carol Edwards rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think this book is my all time favorite. I say this because I have read it every 2 years or so since I was young. I can't really say that about any other book, although I am one of those people that will keep and reread, several times, books that I like. 'My Friend Flicka` is set on a ranch south west of Tie Siding, Wyoming. Since we live in this area the setting is familiar, even though things have changed a lot since 1941. Basically, it is your typical coming of age story, but it can interes ...more
Tori
I first read this book when I was eight or nine, and have wished for Wyoming ever since. It's a lovely story about a shy, dreamy kid who hates school and desperately wants his father's respect, but who can't help always doing something clumsy or forgetting something important. For the summer, he wants nothing more than to have his own yearling colt to train. His father finally, reluctantly agrees--and Ken chooses the wildest, possibly most untrainable one of the bunch.

This novel has such a sens
...more
Kaijsa
May 31, 2012 Kaijsa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2012
I loved this book! The writing is wonderful, the characters are realistic and interesting, the story is well-told and I learned a lot about horses and ranching and life. It made me want a horse of my own. While reading this book, I chided myself for ever wasting time reading books that are poorly written. I was emotionally involved with the characters and, though I would gladly have enjoyed a longer book, it ended perfectly. A new favorite!
Stratoplane
This book is so, so important to me.
I first read it (in French) when I was maybe 10 years old. It was one my dads book, it had a beautiful abstract cover with a horse silhouette on it. Each book of the series had a different color.
I read again again, and again, and again - at least once every summer. It burned Wyoming straight into my heart, forever. I finally made in to Wyoming, and then Montana in the summer of 2014 when I visited Yellowstone by myself. It was a life-changing experience and
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Santorini
I really wanted to love this book because I love horses, and I have always loved reading stories about them. It’s okay if you don’t mind lost of description, but I was disappointed.

The pace was so incredibly slow that I was worried I would never finish this book. It dragged because of the amount of description coupled with problems with the plot. I understand why so much description was used because it does make you feel as if you are actually on a ranch in Wyoming, but I am much more of a dialo
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Megan
Jan 07, 2009 Megan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: juvenile-fiction
I read this many years ago- a wonderful story about a strong bond between a boy and the horse that eventually becomes his. When I saw commercials for the movie version of this, I was appalled that they changed the main character to a girl instead of a boy... talk about character indiscrepancy!
Wendy
Aug 23, 2015 Wendy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horses-fiction
I was fortunate enough to read this as an adult, rather than as a child. Despite the simplistic writing and the fact that this is a 'boy and his horse' story, I don't believe this is really a book for children--at least not young children who have no parental guidance while reading.

At least one horse dies fairly gruesomely, and while it isn't described in detail, it's made pretty clear that the horse bled to death during an operation to remove an undescended testicle. Oh, and this is just a page
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Marsha
Mar 28, 2012 Marsha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book best suited for children, perhaps young girls who have themselves yearned for a horse or pony of their own. As an adult, at first I was irritated more often than not by the daydreaming useless Ken, who kept mumbling over and over again about getting a colt of his own, his smug older brother Howard, the irascible and overbearing father who apparently never outgrew his Army years and the yielding and almost saintlike mother. The range on which they lived was usually more enchanting ...more
Kalen
Aug 13, 2014 Kalen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found reading this book conflicting. The first half of the book was rather dull. The book seemed to lack concentration as much as Ken did (maybe that was the point but is wasn't executed well).

My updates throughout the book also show my frustration with the writing. The author uses the word colt inter-changeably with foal or yearling. I found this rather confusing and bad editing.

The last half of the story was much better but still rather slow. I also found it frustrating at the end of the s
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Rosie
Jul 07, 2016 Rosie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book . . . liked Ken a lot, a day-dreamer just like me . . . and his horse, Flicka, I loved to see him take care of it. His mother Nell was a lovely woman. I pretty much hated his father all the way through, though, and his brother was rather rotten as well :/
Rebecca McNutt
Apr 24, 2015 Rebecca McNutt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing book about the power of friendship, a father and son and a brilliant capture of Wyoming scenery.
Kelly Haacke
I chose the book, "My Friend Flicka" By Mary O'Hara. This realistic fiction book intended for children ages 7 or 8 and up is about a young boy who spends his days on his family's ranch and one day meets this horse named Flicka. His dad however does not like the strong bond between his son and the horse, however towards the end of the story the fierce loyalty between the horse and him almost costs the boy his life. I gave this book a rating of 5 out of 5 because I liked the book and I thought it ...more
Haider Hussain
Jun 22, 2015 Haider Hussain rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"It couldn't be done but the darn fool didn't know it and went ahead and did it"

Two separate lives, of a kid and an animal, are about to change for good.

First published in 1941, this beautifully written easy read tells you about the bond between men and the most graceful animal to ever set foot on the soil - Horses. The bond that emerges out of love, responsibility, companionship and respect. Mary O'Hara takes you to Wyoming suburbs where Rob McLaughlin, a horse rancher, is living a simple but h
...more
Faith Stultz
Jun 05, 2014 Faith Stultz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are no books that I read and then read again. I can't count the times I've read this book. In fact, I've read the whole series numerous times. First, I am a horse person and seek out horse books. Second, I love the journey that this series of books takes. Third I now live in WY and want to read them again. I think my favorite Is "The Green Grass Of Wyoming." It neatly ties up the first two.
Shalandra Rivera
Feb 02, 2014 Shalandra Rivera rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I loved horses when I was younger. I wasn't full-fledged horse-person who lived on horses and rode horses and smelled horses, but I did love horses. I loved real horses, I loved fake horses (unicorns, shhh they're real), and most of all I loved drawing horses.(that was the least parallel sentence I've ever written)

This was actually the first book ever that I did not complete. I had a rule that I would never put down a book that I picked up, and this was the first time that I broke this rule (I
...more
Laura Morrigan
When I was a kid I had a terrible cold. My dad brought me home this book. I remember being totally engrossed and forgetting for a while how sick I was. It is the touching story of a boy who believes in a horse that everyone else says is loco (crazy). I was touched by his devotion to Flicka. Reading this will always be a found memory.
Trice
Feb 25, 2014 Trice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Trice by: Dad's bookshelves
one of my dad's books from when he was a kid, it actually took me a while to pick this up because, shallow kid that I was, the cover made it look boring, despite the fact that I read every other horse book within reach. In my own reading, having picked it up maybe around jr. high or so, this one ranks with all the Sam Savitt and Marguerite Henry (Misty of Chincoteague, King of the Wind...) books I read. It's about a boy and a horse, but it's also about that boy's relationship with his father and ...more
Lafanda
Nov 30, 2014 Lafanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, horse
This is a good story for the young horse lover. The original book is very old and is written in the style of it's time, which could make it a difficult read for younger kids. It tells the story of a young boy who is having trouble fitting in at school and with his family due to his constant day-dreaming. The boy debates with his family about how having a horse of his own will make him more responsible, but he must prove it. Flicka is a young wild filly who the boy picks out as his own, and tells ...more
Sandy (WI girl at heart)
Love this book as a kid. Loved it even more as an adult. Great book for the horse lovers out there to read.
Katherine
I adore this book. The writing is beautiful, the story is gorgeous... I need to read the next two books asap!
Feather Dust
Aug 08, 2014 Feather Dust rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: animals
This is a timeless classic. I also loved the original movie. A must read for the horse lover or enthusiast!
Debbie Curtis
Feb 10, 2014 Debbie Curtis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My Friend Flicka. Oh, how I wanted to live on a ranch in Wyoming! I lived on a pony farm in central New York state, but still wanted to ride the range with Ken, the hero of the story, when I was a girl. One of the best horse books of my youth. I was fascinated by the lives of the family, the boys went to boarding school because the ranch was remote, and Ken came home with poor grades while his brother had an excellent report. "If I only had a colt," Ken keeps saying.
A fine book. I have my copy
...more
Jk
Jan 15, 2010 Jk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a book from the horse-crazy time in my childhood. I loved it then and I love it now.
Emma Filbrun
Oct 27, 2015 Emma Filbrun rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first read My Friend Flicka a number of years ago, and really enjoyed it. When one of my boys chose it for oral reading practice recently, I was looking forward to enjoying an old friend again. I must say, though, it wasn’t what I remembered. I remembered the high points of the story, but as it turns out, this book is more what I would call a psychological book than a story. It is definitely an adult book rather than a children’s book.

Read my full review here.

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95600
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
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More about Mary O'Hara...

Other Books in the Series

Flicka (3 books)
  • Thunderhead (Flicka, #2)
  • Green Grass of Wyoming (Flicka, #3)

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