Ms. Yingling's Reviews > The Winter Pony

The Winter Pony by Iain Lawrence
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Mar 29, 2012

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Read in March, 2012

A white pony is taken from the wild and used in Robert Scott's 1910 expedition to reach the South Pole before his rival Amundsen. The conditions are brutal, but after several years with horse breakers who are very cruel, James Pigg, as the horse is called by the men on the expedition, is pleased to be treated kindly and ready to work hard for the men. In alternating sequences, the preparations and progress of the two explorers are detailed. The horses and men all battle the elements the best they are able, but the end result is grim and death-filled.
Strengths: The South Pole exploration is certainly a great story of survival and battling the elements, and I can't think of too many other stories on the subject. We live in a world where there are very few frontiers left to conquer, so reading a story of one such adventure from the point of view of a horse involved is innovative and interesting. I didn't think about this title originally for my survival readers, but it will be great for them.
Weaknesses: Hesitate to give this to horse-loving girls, since so many horses die! There's something about Lawrence's work that I have trouble connecting with. I can't promote his Wreckers books as much as one of our teachers does.
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