Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade” as Want to Read:
I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  469 ratings  ·  62 reviews
Born on the Mongolian steppes during the reign of Kublai Khan, Oyuna's future seems decided when, as an infant, her foot is crushed by a horse. Her clan believes she has been cursed by bad luck, and she is confined to her family's tent to cook and sew. But Oyuna dreams of bringing honor and good luck to her family. Disguised as a boy and with only her beloved old mare and ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published September 30th 1999 by Turtleback Books (first published 1998)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 789)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Read this book with my 6th grader as part of her homeschool curriculum. She REALLY liked it, especially once it got going. I always love it when she can't wait to hear how it ends and finishes it on her own. Of course I still have to read it later myself (and I did)! Good story about a girl who grows up feeling like she brings bad luck, loves her horse and meets the Kublai Khan and helps him.
Margo Berendsen
Deep, happy sigh.

This was like a historical version of The Blue Sword and Hero and the Crown, fantasy stories by Robin McKinley.

Wonderful proof that the real world can be just as compelling as any fantasy world.

The setting is in the 1200's in Mongolia and China ruled by Kublai Khan, with one brief reference to Marco Polo that made me smile.

The setting is vivid and harsh and beautiful. The combination of great setting, harrowing quest against impossible odds, and several memorable characters m
Oct 19, 2011 Mary marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
From School Library Journal
Grade 6-10AIn 14th-century China, an elderly woman tells her granddaughter about her early life on the Mongol steppes, beginning with the day a horse crushed her tiny foot, crippling the young Oyuna. According to her nomadic clan's religious beliefs, this incident brought bad luck to her and her family. Thereafter, she views any misfortune visited upon her family as her fault, even her mother's accidental death. Her one joy is her new white horse. When the mare is comm
Born on the Mongolian Steppes during the reign of Kublai Khan, Oyuana's fate is sealed when, as an baby, her foot is crushed by a horse. Her clan believes she has been cursed by bad luck, and she is confined to her family's tent to cook and sew. But Oyuna believes in the words of her shamaness grandmother, and dreams of riding a swift horse and winning a great race--thereby bringing honor and good luck to her family. Disguised as a boy, with only her beloved old mare and heroic cat Oyuna sets of ...more
Okay. Writing was good, although description seemed to ramble on without being very immersive. Mulan comparisons take up about a chapter and then they end. Lots of superstitiousness.... Kind of sad, actually. With the age old modern twist of "main character learns quite literally that they can make their own luck." Lovable horse and cat companions, which is exactly like another recent read, The Blue Sword.

Also, why do I keep reading stories about twelve year old girls whose fathers try to marry
K. Bird
I am constantly on the outlook for historical fantasy featuring a strong, female protagonist in a non-Western setting. (and I am especially partial to China, Mongolia, Japan, and Korea).

So when I encountered this book I had my "please let this be good" stars in my eyes.

I think sometimes that desire to find a book obscures any kind of chance at an impartial reading, or just a general, enjoyment reading of a book.

In this case, while the main character of the book was compelling (lamed foot in a no
Victoria Dixon
Book Review I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade

Diane Lee Wilson

I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade opens with the main character as an elderly woman telling her tale to her granddaughter. So while there is never any question as to the main character's survival, this YA book nonetheless captured my imagination and I am not someone who routinely reads YA. Ms. Wilson's fantasy is fluid, descriptive and unobtrusive. You'll never realize she holds the reins. If you rate by the tears-o-meter, it is by far
Rebecca Radnor
Exciting adventure story of a disabled Mongol girl (a horse had smashed her foot as a child) during the time of Kublai Khan. One day at a horse fair, she finds a horse speaking to her, and even though the horse like her is lame, she convinces her father to buy it for her. While most thought her unlucky, her grandmother, a shaman convinces her that they are wrong, that she was 'chosen' by the horse and this explains her affinity to them -- and that yes, she really can talk to her horse. Together ...more
I really did like this book. I absolutely love the Mongolian culture, so I ate this story right up. I really liked the main character and her obstinacy and passion, and I connected well to the horse and especially the cat. :)

So why four stars instead of five? Well, even though I loved the way it was told (between the grandmother and granddaughter) it held my familiarity back. I never really felt like I ever was the main character-- I just saw her. I felt like I was being told the story-- not tha
Years ago, I read an excerpt from I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade from a collection of horse stories, and even though it was about four pages long, the idea stayed with me. So when I found this at a used booksale for a killer price, I could not pass it up.

Basically, I can compare Oyuna to Alanna from Tamora Pierce's Song of the Lioness series, or Eona from Alison Goodman's duology. Which is great, because the heroines from all of the above books have guts and a sense of adventure. Yummy.

Diane Walters
I listened to the audio version of this book. The narrator, Gabriella Cavallero was wonderful! Add to that Diane Wilson's melodic prose and I was just mesmerized by the story. It was well written. The story line was brilliant. And, because it was a love story about a girl and her horse--I fell in love, too. I found it remarkable that this young girl was able to explain her connection to her horse to all the adults and they believed her--even respected her for it. Her strength, determination, and ...more
Emma (Miss Print)

I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade by Diane Lee Wilson was selected as a Best Book for Young Adults in 1999 by the American Library Association. I didn’t know any of that when I read the book back in 2000. My copy has since disappeared, but at the time, this was a rare book that I owned. Thinking about it now, my mom must have procured my copy during her tenure as a researcher at Harper Collins.

But enough about me, this is about the book after all.

A quick and dirty way to define this book, oddly
A book set on the Mongolian steppes during the reign of Kublai Khan = must read. Because no one writes about Mongolia.

Oyuna was a very, very conventional children's book protagonist: a spunky girl who likes horses and disguises herself as a boy and has a smart cat sidekick. Clearly, she was not what made this book good.

Rather, it was the setting. The gratuitous use of Mongolian words was occasionally grating, but the details of steppe life - that I could not get enough of. The obo of the mountai
Lovely book featuring a 12-year-old Mongol girl who goes on a search for a swift horse to win the yearly races. Meeting with shamanic visions, imperial soldiers, and eventually Kublai Khan himself, she goes on a race to save the king's treasures--but at dear cost to herself.

A good book about Central Asian history for kids, mostly time-period appropriate, and with a good message about the power -- and the limits -- of luck.
I really liked the idea of this, which is you make your own luck. It is a journey for a young girl, Oyuna, who feels she only brings bad luck. Her grandmother, a shamaness, tells her to follow her heart and make her own luck. I got teary-eyed at the end. Overall, it is a good story.
Sudeeksha Maheshwarappa
I read this book when I was 13 and loved every bit of it. This is one of the few books that has stayed with me through all these years. The superbly described imagery in the book, is still vivid in my memory. Bottomline - a brilliant novel!
Beth Sutherland
This started as an effort to help my nine year old with a book report. After the first night's read-aloud, I told my husband getting through this book was going to be torturous. However, night 3 had me reading aloud well after my poor little girl was sound asleep. I absolutely fell in love with the courage of Oyuna, and had to know what luck awaited her.

My girl was slightly disappointed at how a certain critical loss was handled; she felt strongly that the characters involved were due a face-to
Amanda Caswell
I can't count the number of times I have read this book. Oyuna is maimed by a horse while living with her family on the Mongol steppes, but disfigurements are curses and she is always an outsider. She finds freedom of movement and others' opinions while riding. When the khan takes her horse, she dresses as a soldier and follows, the army discovering the disguise too late. They send her away on a solitary mission and Oyuna begins to think maybe fate has greater things in store for her. It's a bea ...more
An exciting historical adventure, with no war or rape, about a 12 year-old girl with more courage and heart than any warrior on a quest.

I, personally, was a bit frustrated by all the reliance on superstition?/ faith?. But the theme that we can make our own luck is foreshadowed throughout and revealed directly at the end, so that's good.

I think back on my childhood, and I would absolutely have loved this when I was 12. And I recommend it to anyone who looks for strong female characters, even adul
Annie Seaman
Read this as a kid (9 or 10 years old maybe?) and absolutely loved it and still remember it.
This is a wonderfully written book that tells an engaging adventure story. Oyuna and her granddaughter await the birth of a new colt while Oyuna recounts the story of her life as a young girl growing up on the steppes of Mongolia.

As a toddler Oyuna’s foot was crushed by a horse and thereby life became intertwined with horses. Oyuna traveled on her white mare to the palace of Kublai Khan when she was 13 years old in search of a horse that would bring her luck and honor.

The brutality of life on t
I thought this was a good story. There is some mysticism/religion in it, because that is the culture. Shamans are in the book, as well as mentions of the native gods and such of the people. But the adventure is good, the story well-plotted and written and I liked the characters pretty well.

The whole setting is fresh and beautiful, as I hadn't ever read a book set in Mongolia. I love Oriental people and their ways of living, and this was just the thing. I learned some about the culture and the pe
Incredible story.
THis book is the defentilly in the top 5 books that i've ever read. I love the deterimnation of the young girl and the courage she had. I borrowed the copy form my mom's friend and have still not really been able to find it agiain. I just loved it i felt like it was amazing at making me feel like i was their i found it hard to give the woman back her book. I suggest that everyone reads this book. did i mention that this book was a 1999 best young adults of the year!!! The book so deserved it!!
Kathleen Kirby Vallejo
I was not impressed with this book. It was suggested to me by a librarian who has given me other very good suggestions so I was excited to read it. But not so excited after I started it. The only reason I finished it was because I hate to not finish a book. I was bored with it, never really connected to the main character, couldn't wait for it to be over. It wasn't that it was a horrible book or poorly written, I just didn't like it.
I HATED THIS BOOK ITS ERGH I HAD TO STOP READING IT ITS SO BAD. Sorry if anyone liked it but!!! I LOVE horses.. Its so sad the hit the mare and her foal in the head with a pole to kill them and put them in the mothers grave- THE HORSES DIDNT DO ANYTHING WRONG- And when they killed the moms favorite horse and ATE it?! How would their MOM LIKE THAT?! Hated this book. My opinion dont read it.
Nov 20, 2008 cleo rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves horses or ancient Chia
Recommended to cleo by: Mom
This is a preety deacent book. At the beginning it is kind of boring but I LOVE the middle and the ending. It was very interesting to hear what ancient China was like! Go to:

If you want to learn more about it.

If I know you and you would like to borrow it that's fine with me!
Oyuna tells her granddaughter the story of her life. She was crippled by a horse as a toddler, but she loves horses anyway. When soldiers come to her ger and steal horses and men to be soldiers, she disguises herself as a boy so she can stay with her beloved mare Bayan. Her journey leads her to the court of Kaubli Khan and a chance to save the sacred herd of white horses.
Oyuna has been overprotected and warned about
bringing bad luck on her nomadic village ever since
her foot was crushed by a horse. When Kublai
Khan’s soldiers commandeer her beautiful white
horse, Oyuna disguises herself as a boy to stay with
her. Alone in 14th century Mongolia, Oyuna must
find her own path and her own luck.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 26 27 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
I did not like it. Sorry. :) 1 8 Jan 26, 2009 09:15PM  
  • The Land I Lost: Adventures of a Boy in Vietnam
  • The Kite Fighters
  • Daughter of the Mountains
  • The Master Puppeteer
  • Rickshaw Girl
  • Water Sky
  • The Ramsay Scallop
  • The House of Sixty Fathers
  • All the Small Poems and Fourteen More
  • Homesick: My Own Story
  • William Carey: Obliged to Go
  • Commodore Perry in the Land of the Shogun
  • Whatever Happened to Penny Candy?
  • Ruby Lu, Empress of Everything
  • Henry Reed, Inc.
  • Sarah Whitcher's Story
  • Om-Kas-Toe: Blackfeet Twin Captures an Elkdog (Amazing Indian Children Series)
  • Frozen Summer (Remembrance "Mem" Nye #2)
Firehorse Black Storm Comin' Raven Speak Tracks To ride the Gods Own Stallion

Share This Book

“When happiness settles upon you like a butterfly, sit very quiet and remember the colors” 9 likes
More quotes…