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Born to Trot

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  3,828 ratings  ·  50 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 1950)
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4.07  · 
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 ·  3,828 ratings  ·  50 reviews

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At the height of my Marguerite Henry phase, this was one of my favorites. I was fascinated by the way they trained trotters, and the different equipment they used. Read this about the same time as I discovered the Black Stallion book (Black Stallion's Flame? Bonfire?) where one of his colts becomes a trotter and Alec and Henry try to train him.
I loved this story! It's the true tale of Gibson White, Ben White, and Rosalind the horse, along with a bonus story (story within a story, chapter by chapter as Gib reads it) of Hambletonian, the great horse who was Rosalind's ancestor. It's been a long time since I read a Marguerite Henry book, but when I found this classic edition in mint condition at the used bookstore, I had to have it. Dust jacket and all for only $8. Now that's a bargain, especially when the story keeps me up at night befo ...more
Oct 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
”The boy is like you, Ben. Like you and Tom Berry and all the others. There are only five letters in his alphabet. And they spell h-o-r-s-e.”

And to think I forgot this existed. This is my favorite thing Marguerite Henry has ever written. It is better than King of the Wind. It is even better than Misty of Chincoteague. It is fabulous.

This is somehow both absolutely timeless - in that enchanted way a perfect day with green grass and sunshine and a classic sporting event can be - and so specificall
Anne Osterlund
Sep 04, 2013 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 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.
Oct 06, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: k-nf-unsorted
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.
Mar 28, 2014 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 added it
loved it
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jackie-s-books
Good story..more like two stories in one..
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
These were some of my favorite books when I was a kid...
Piper Pringle
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good book but still love Misty , Stormy, King of the Wind, & Sea Star better. Those are my favorites, but this one is still good.
Karl Zimmerman
May 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of my boyhood delights. I read it repeatedly. :)
Dec 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this story of the trotter horses is amazing anouther brelinte book by a brellinte arther marguerite henry
Marissa Hughes
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
Very good. at the beginning of him ready the book I was board with it but as I read on it got better. If you like horses then you should definitely recommend reading this book.
Mar 06, 2015 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
Rena Sherwood
This is one of many books that I adored when I was a kid, but now that I'm an adult I think, "Well, how screwed up is THIS?" It's two books in one (which I like): the fictional story of 1936 Hambletonian winner Rosalind and the fictional story of the horse the Hambletonian is named after. He is known by three or four official names, including Hambletonian, Hambletonian 10 and Rysdyk's Hambletonian. Rosalind was an exceptionally good-looking Standardbred:


In contrast, here's Hambletonian (the foun
May 21, 2010 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
Jul 23, 2011 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: R ...more
Jan 02, 2011 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 up ...more
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
Nov 12, 2009 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 - Gib ...more
This is the story of a famous and successful harness racer, Rosalind, and her owner, Gibson White. I read this book so many times as a kid that the pages on my hardback copy started to go soft! This story is based on truth, but is very fun. Forced to spend a long time in the hospital, and longer in a nursing home type of recuperation, Gibson follows the budding racing career of his filly from afar. The book has a very unique feel, the kind of genteel Southern flavor that racing used to have perm ...more
Chris Miller
Nov 20, 2016 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
Feb 19, 2015 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 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 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 18, 2015 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.
Jan 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: animals, 20th-century
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 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.
Corinne Evans
Jun 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's about a boy who wants to ride in a race, and he does.
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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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