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Misty of Chincoteague

(Misty #1)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  42,959 ratings  ·  1,226 reviews
"You'll never catch the Phantom," says Grandpa. "That horse is fast as the wind. She's escaped from every roundup on the island!"
But Paul and Maureen want the beautiful wild mare for their very own.
"I'm going to capture her myself," says Paul.

When Paul finally overtakes the Phantom, he makes a surprising discovery. Running at her side is a brand-new, silvery-gray colt - Mi
Paperback, 60th Anniversary edition, 176 pages
Published December 26th 2006 by Aladdin (first published 1947)
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Average rating 4.04  · 
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 ·  42,959 ratings  ·  1,226 reviews

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Start your review of Misty of Chincoteague (Misty, #1)
Jun 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was one of those cases when bedtime arrived, and it was time to start a fresh chapter book, but I hadn't visited the library that day, and so pulled a book from my own collection off the shelves. It wasn't one I'd planned on reading aloud because I thought maybe it was too old-fashioned, and the details of the wild pony round-up tradition on Chincoteague Island might be a little esoteric for present-day youth, but it worked out well; another beloved book from my childhood is now beloved of ...more
Marguerite Henry's Misty of Chincoteague novels truly present one of my all time favourite horse-based children's literature series (or rather, the first three books rank amongst my personal favourites, as I really do not at all like the fourth instalment). And as such, I have never been able (or even all that willing for that matter) to write an actual review of the first three books of the series. I did recently pen a very critical review of the fourth book, of Misty's Twilight (which was publ ...more
I loved this story. I do think it was mis-named. It should have been Phantom of Assateague Island. The story is more about the Phantom and the legend built up around here than Misty. Misty is like a secondary character in this story.

I didn't know this was based on a true story. This tells the history of how the wild horses ended up on Assateague Island to begin with. It's fascinating. It was written in the 40s and some of their thinking comes through of course. Paul and Maureen are children liv
Jun 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Reread this for the first time since I was little while staying in Chincoteague and it was just as magical as I remember!
✨Bean's Books✨
Jul 11, 2019 rated it did not like it
Ok so this story is cute but I have some issues with it. First and foremost being WILD ANIMALS SHOULD REMAIN WILD! Nobody should be allowed to buy a wild animal, let alone children. Ok I get the Pony Penning was for population control, but come on now. As innocent as this story was intended to be and as well written as it was, I personally found it to give off the wrong message to younger readers.
Maybe I'm being too harsh on this book I don't know, but it just rubbed me the wrong way.
This was one of the earliest books I read on my own, in part because Mom read it to me until I knew it by heart. She's a horse nut & gave me my first pony when I was 5. We then lived on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, not too far from Chincoteague. We went there for the round up one year & I got to put a real place to the book. The 'Paul' in the book was in his early 30's then, as I recall & I supposedly got to meet him. I was pretty young, about 7 or 8 I guess. I was told he was Paul, anyway. I ...more
Sep 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
I had a pony as a kid & lived on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, not too far from Chincoteague. We went there & I got to put a real place to the book. The 'Paul' in the book was in his early 30's then, as I recall & I supposedly got to meet him. I was pretty young, about 7 or 8 I guess. I was told he was Paul, anyway. I don't think we got to see Misty, but one of her foals - Stormy? Anyway, it was a memorable book, all my kids read them & my wife too. ...more
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More than "just" a horse book.

Children have a chance to learn some history and about life in a small, semi-isolated community, and to see what children can accomplish with hard work and patience. I love the theme of freedom & independence. I love the dialect and descriptions that bring the setting alive. I love that it's based on reality.

And I love the tidbits that are sprinkled throughout, for example Grandpa's notion that "Facts are fine, fer as they go, but they're like water bugs skittering
Kellyn Roth
One of my favorite books as a kid, I still love Misty of Chincoteague. Of course, it only makes me want a horse more ... but it's a pleasant sort of pain. ;)


I might review this later on, but basically, it was as cute as I remembered.
Susan Henn
Jun 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
6/10 A favorite story from my childhood - reread for a summer book club. Well written - good tension and suspense. Both male and female horse lovers have a character to relate to in the book and for an old book, (written in 1947) the girl wasn't thrust into a traditional female role! As an adult reading the book, I found myself thinking more about the rightness or wrongness of the actions and feeling more for the wild horses than for the desires of the children. I felt the rounding up of wild ho ...more
Jul 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Extremely dated but charming. Often unintentionally hilarious. Our two favorite lines were:

"Grandma's mixed some goose grease with onion syrup fer ye"


"Maureen came running with the razor".

And to think we credit advances in antisepsis for the drop in childhood mortality rate!
Feb 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Vicariously fulfilling every young girl's dream: a pony of her own. ...more
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This 1948 Newberry Honor book is a simple, yet memorable, tale of childhood (that I missed out on during mine thanks to Lovecraft and Tolkien) that has great heart and memorable characters--most of which were real. A terrific sense of time and place allows it to transcend its 1940's stylings and makes it one of the 20th century's great moral fables for younger readers.

This was a book that I checked out from my school's library 43 years ago, but never read (I did return it, though). I did find my
debbicat *made of stardust*
Oct 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: animals
It was wonderful! I read it sometime during my teen years. I love books about animals actually. It's a beautiful story. ...more
Jennifer Morrill
Jan 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I've read this, and most of Marguerite Henry's books when I was younger and now it is nice to relive them through my daughter's eyes.

When reading this...I remember thinking the same thing as a child. Why was this book called Misty of Chincoteague when it's primarily about her mother, the Phantom.

It's an exciting book. Paul and Maureen are endearing characters. Younger readers might have trouble understanding the dialect of the books. Grandpa and Grandpa in particular have have heavy accents whic
Aug 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Got a little choked up at the end there reading it to my kids. All the warm, fuzzy, childhood memories of curling up with this book at their age... a delightful story for the ages, and a beautiful re-read.
Sarah Grace Grzy
Nov 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
As a horse lover, I loved this entire series! So well written and very interesting! Based on real events.
Serethiel Sequoia
Jan 25, 2017 marked it as to-read
I read this a loooooooooong time ago, back in first or second grade. I don't remember much of it, other than there being a horse and maybe a shipwreck? So I think I need to read it again. :P ...more
Valerie Kyriosity
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
I know I read this as a girl, but not a shred of it remained in my memory after four decades or so. I loved everything about the book, and the narration by Edward Herrmann (Grandpa Gilmore/narrator of Boys in the Boat) was the icing on the cake...or maybe the mane on the pony.
Oct 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: childhood
I've been trying to reread some favorite books of my childhood. I was just kind of "meh" about it reading as an adult. ...more
Phil Jensen
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
What's the difference between this and a great animal book like Shiloh? I'd say it's the animal.

I went in expecting this to be mainly about a horse, but instead it was mainly about a couple of boring kids. There was no real sense of character. Dick and Jane were sweet, hard-working kids who loved horses at the beginning, and they were pretty much the same at the end. How can kids age a whole year without changing? The only character who seemed real was the hairy-eared grandpa.

The horse was real
Jun 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: horse-obsessed kids and the parents who read to them
Recommended to Gaijinmama by: My Mom, when I was about 7!
Shelves: kids
Just finished reading this old favorite with my 8 year old son. It was not only my favorite but my Mom's; the book was published in 1947. What little kid doesn't go through a phase of loving horses...even kids like my own who live in the city and have never seen a real horse!
It is a fun, engaging read but I had to fix the regional dialect in some places, because English isn't my son's dominant language. I also got my feminist panties in a twist because the gender roles are truly antiquated. The
Oct 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Paul and Maureen Beebe who live with their grandparents on Chincoteague Island dream of owning the Phantom, a horse no one caught for the past two years in the annual roundup on Assateague Island. They save to purchase the Phantom from the fire chief. Paul catches Phantom and her new foal he calls Misty. When they get to the sale, they find a "sold" sign on Misty, and the fire chief informs them Phantom was also sold. Through a stroke of luck, they are able to purchase them anyway. I'll leave ou ...more
So, since I've been staying on Assateague Island, with the wild horses coming through our campsite at least once or twice a day, I thought it only right to download this book onto my Kindle and get in the spirit of the island. I read a lot of books about kids and horses when I was little, but I can't remember if this was one of them. Henry sets a good atmosphere, and very well describes the island. This book was definitely written in the forties. The main character are a young brother and sister ...more
Oct 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: horse lovers
This really should have won the Newbery award, rather than just the honor. Although more time is spent on the Phantom of Assateague than Misty of Chincoteague, it doesn't detract from the book in any way. Marguerite Henry has a way of painting a picture for her readers and seamlessly weaving in pieces of history; she always makes for a great read, and this one is no exception. ...more
Jan 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Luke's book review: This is one of the best books I've ever read. I whipped through it in 6 days - it was that good. This is a book about a horse called Phantom and her colt Misty. My favorite part of the story was when the Phantom (Misty's mother) raced against the Black Comet and Firefly and won! ...more
Apr 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Based on the "Misty" books, this is a short story of the wild ponies being rounded up, and being forced to cross. The Phantom and her colt, Misty, are among the horses. Misty gets trapped in a whirlpool, and the bystanders don't think the little colt will make it. Young Paul jumps in and saves the colt. Nice illustrations. ...more
Jess the Shelf-Declared Bibliophile
A beautiful series from my childhood that fostered my love for animals.
Jan 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
We listen to the hoopla audio of this together, and it was such a good read. I loved getting to enjoy Henry's books once again. ...more
Cindy Kubley
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A feel good read

This is a cute story about the ponies on Assateague Island. It shows how a brother and sister work together in order to get the great Phantom horse. It leaves you feeling happy and content.
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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

Other books in the series

Misty (4 books)
  • Sea Star: Orphan of Chincoteague (Misty, #2)
  • Stormy, Misty's Foal (Misty, #3)
  • Misty's Twilight (Misty, #4)

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These twelve books are so consistently adored, they have become regulars month after month in our data of most popular and most read books on...
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“Maybe she’s looking for us,” Maureen would say hopefully. “Maybe!” nodded Paul.” 0 likes
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