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Centaur Rising

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  338 ratings  ·  80 reviews
One night during the Perseid meteor shower, Arianne thinks she sees a shooting star land in the fields surrounding her family's horse farm. About a year later, one of their horses gives birth to a baby centaur. The family has enough attention already as Arianne's six-year-old brother was born with birth defects caused by an experimental drug—the last thing they need is mor ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published October 21st 2014 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
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Jane Yolen Longer but with a slightly different cast of characters and set back in the '60s because having it set today with cellphones and ipads and internet…moreLonger but with a slightly different cast of characters and set back in the '60s because having it set today with cellphones and ipads and internet blogs and photo bombs, etc. no such secret could have been kept for longer than a minute!!--Jane Yolen(less)

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3.51  · 
Rating details
 ·  338 ratings  ·  80 reviews

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Kathy Martin
Sep 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
CENTAUR RISING was a sweet story that combined historical fiction with fantasy and a very engaging way. Thirteen-year-old Arianne lives on a horse farm with her mother and her younger brother Robbie. Robbie is six and a thalidomide baby who was born with grave physical deformities. He doesn't have a pelvis his hands which are fused together grow out of his elbows. There is nothing wrong with his brains, though. He is full of six-year-old jokes.

They get up in the night one August to watch the Per
After one of Ari's family's horses mysteriously becomes pregnant, she gives birth to a centaur. There are good elements that play here--Ari's search for magic, her realistically complicated family, a compassionate presentation of disability; combining centaurs with equine therapy is an effective source of inspiration. Even the corny songs may have worked for me when I was in this age group--the predictable and trite and exaggerated elements are all well within genre standards. Yet I find myself ...more
Nov 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sff, juvenile-and-ya
This was a rather sweet kids' book that took me by surprise. I wasn't one of those kids obsessed with horses and horse books and this was sort of a fantasy take on that -- a pony on horse farm in the 60s miraculously gives birth to a Centaur child. The story is largely involved with the small family (mom, daughter, who acts as our first person narrator, and thalidomide son) that owns the farm plus the vet and their one farmhand trying to keep Kai secret and safe followed by the inevitable melee ...more
Aug 11, 2017 added it
I LOVE this book. One of the best I've ever read. I definitely recommend this book for young readers.
Crystal ✬ Lost in Storyland
Centaur Rising is unique from other urban fantasy books I've read in that it explores how an isolated incident of magic will be received by the human world. This is definitely the part that I loved most about the book. From seeing the family's initial reactions to how they dealt with keeping this secret to how they deal with peoples' reactions upon learning their secret. (Because you really can't hide a growing centaur boy forever.) Robbie's reaction is especially precious. Having been homeschoo ...more
Jan 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s
Immediate reaction - It was a good enough story just not very special.
It might have to do with the Centaur having to be so young - though he ages fast.

I also thought Yolen should have done a better job of linking the book to the 1960's. She only mentions thalidomide which might not mean anything to children today. I only had a vauge sense that it was around in the early sixties (thanks to Billy Joel's We Didn't Start The Fire"). Even I was off a bit when the drug thalidomide was used which is t
Oct 11, 2014 rated it liked it
Arianne and her family live on a horse farm in the 1960s. Arianne's rock star father abandoned them after her little brother Robbie was born. Robbie is a thalidomide baby with physical disabilities. One night the family goes out to the field to watch the Pleiades and Arianne witnesses a white light jumping in among the horses. Then their old pony Agora becomes pregnant and gives birth to a centaur. The little pony boy, who they name Kai after Chiron, becomes the focus of the family, the stable m ...more
Sep 28, 2016 rated it liked it
I liked this, but didn't love it. The problem was pacing, the things they feared were too easily resolved and too soon and the book fizzled to an end like a dud, not a firecracker. It also felt more than a little preachy. Not a bad book, but not a great one, either.
Dec 03, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: j-fiction
UGH! Really??
La Nave Invisible
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasía, 2016-2017
Hace años, una amiga mía y yo estuvimos buscando libros de un campo en concreto: los centauros en la fantasía. Buscábamos una novela que los incluyera como elemento principal y, aparte de Harry Potter, poco se salía de la norma de las novelas románticas. Hasta que apareció Centaur Rising, de Jane Yolen, una autora que desconocía por completo.

En España, Ediciones B publicó en la década de 1990 las dos primeras partes de su trilogía Great Alta: Hermana luz, hermana sombra y Blanca Jenna, además de
Lynn Dixon
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Jane Yolen uses a clever technique in her novel Centaur Rising by subtly incorporating tads of history in this fantasy. A young mare gives birth to a centaur, who is half horse and half boy after being exposed to a meteor shower. The mother’s pregnancy baffles the family because this young mare had not mated to their knowledge.
The mother Hannah, her daughter Ari and son, Robbie work on getting to know the young centaur, Kai and spend most of their time trying to shield him from outsiders. They
How do you handle a miracle? How would you handle a mythical creature not of this world who is born in your backyard?

Stories abound of humans who come in contact with the ethereal; many do not end well. When a centaur is born to a family rife with problems, hard decisions have to be made.

This is a family who loves each other fiercely, although the nature of that love varies from one person to the next. All of the characters are limned out, from the practical and stolid Martha who loves horses mo
Jun 19, 2018 rated it liked it
A sweet tale of a Centaur born on a struggling horse farm. A piece for middle grade readers, it is a quick read, with characters who are fairly simple.
Michaela Piccolo
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really sweet, magical little story about how our disabilities and differences make us beautiful and unique. I loved it.
Oct 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a very fun story. How in the world could a family have a centaur born on their farm and keep it a secret? Yolen makes this impossible event work and tells an enjoyable story.
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shows how people will support what people call "abnormal" "weird", etc.
Reseña de Centaur Rising en La Nave Invisible .
Cheshire Public Library
Centaur Rising is a middle grade to young adult novel by Jane Yolen. Arianne has always wished for magic in her life, a meteor shower and some team work might just make that reality. During the Perseid meteor shower, Arianne thinks she sees a shooting star land in the fields surrounding her family’s horse farm. About a year later, one of their horses gives birth to a baby centaur. The family wants to protect the young boy and has had enough attention already. Arianne’s six-year-old brother was b ...more
Built off the backbone of a short story first published in Bruce Coville's collection Half-Human, Yolen has fleshed out the original story into a full middle-grade novel. I was very pleased to see this, as I thoroughly enjoyed Half-Human and "Centaur Field" was one of the better stories in it. Most things about the story are the same, but the setting is more firmly grounded in the mid-1960s, main character Arianne's baby brother who died at birth survived in this version but with severe birth de ...more
Sharon Tyler
Oct 29, 2014 rated it really liked it

Centaur Rising is a middle grade to young adult novel by Jane Yolen. It is currently scheduled for release on October 21, 2014. Arianne has always wished for magic in her life, a meteor shower and some team work might just make that reality. During the Perseid meteor shower, Arianne thinks she sees a shooting star land in the fields surrounding her family’s horse farm. About a year later, one of their horses gives birth to a baby centaur. The family wants to protect the young boy and has had en
Sep 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
I usually stay away from horse lover books. I've never really been into equestrian fictional books, and the few I've read have been paranormal books. I partially picked this book up because it had been YEARS since I've read a book by Jane Yolen. I was pleasnatly shocked that I really enjoyed this book. Actually, after reading, I just wanted to tell all the characters,


I loved how the time period did not overshadow the overarching theme of disability and belonging. I had no idea there was a time
Arianne is a girl who lives on a horse farm with her mother and brother, Robbie. During the Perseid meteor showers one summer their pony got pregnant. Only it was with something other than a horse. Because when 11 months later the little filly was born it wasn’t a pony…it was a centaur. Of course Ari and her family must hide the fact that a centaur lives in their barn (how many scientists or zoos or reporters would love to exploit a baby centaur) but that proves to be a little harder than expect ...more
Katie Fitzgerald
May 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'm not sure I will ever be a full-fledged fantasy reader, but clearly my Fumbling Through Fantasy project has at least weakened my resistance a little bit, because I willingly borrowed a fantasy novel from the library! In Centaur Rising, Jane Yolen tells the story of a 1960s family whose lives are forever changed when their horse gives birth to a centaur. Arianne and her six-year-old brother, Robbie, already have their share of problems, as Robbie is a thalidomide baby, with the accompanying ph ...more
Sarah Monsma
Feb 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
Arianne experiences a rare occurrence of family togetherness on the night of the Perseid meteor shower. As Arianne, her mother, and her brother lie on blankets in the pasture, their old pony comes to join them. The pony goes running off when one of the shooting stars seems to come to Earth, and a year later that old pony becomes the mother of a mythical beast.

The baby centaur sends Ari’s life into chaos. But it also causes great changes to the insular life Ari has led since her brother was born.
Aug 18, 2015 rated it did not like it
The year is 1965 and a meteor shower results in an aged pony giving birth a year later to a centaur. The setting is the New England farm of teen Ari, her Thalidomide-disfigured younger brother, Robbie, her mother, Hannah and stable manager Martha. The family is immediately protective of the centaur they name Chiron, or Kai; they vow to keep him hidden from the outside world. The friendly vet, Dr. Herks, is also let in on the miraculous birth and with the help of a “Quarantine” sign on the farm, ...more
Jun 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Centaur Rising is the story of a struggling horse farm that gets a big injection of magic when one of the ponies gives birth to a centaur. While I didn't love this book, I did find it interesting and will likely be passing it on to my horse-crazy nieces.

Fair warning that, for a book aimed at 8-12 year olds, this one has some heavy stuff. First of all, our main character Arianne's little brother Robbie is severely handicapped, since his mother had take Thalidomide. But I liked that his handicap d
Set over a two-year span from August 1964 to August 1966, this story imagines the complications that ensue from an unexpected birth. Arianne and her family are trying to eke out a living from their horse farm when Agora, their pony, gives birth to a centaur. Arianne is sure she saw a shooting star land in their field a year before, and for her, all the myths about centaurs have come true right in front of her eyes. There is beauty and magic and other worldliness about the magnificent creature th ...more
Jul 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Alice, Librariansteph, Marti, Elissa, Nadine, Jeannie
Recommended to Martha by: NetGalley
Shelves: 3-6-fantasy
Centaur Rising is a unique gorgeous fantasy about a creature from another world. When a meteor lands on Hannah's horse farm, her daughter Arianne witnesses a falling star drop into their horse field and she immediately wishes for magic. A year later her wish comes true with the birth of a centaur named Kai. He has a real baby head and shoulders and the rest of him is pony. The family quarantines the farm to keep inquiring eyes away, but with their riding lessons and horse boarding business, they ...more
Sep 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-books-2016
Centuar Rising was the first novel that I have read by Jane Yolen.

The book is about a girl named Arianne who has a disabled brother (Robbie) and a single mother. One day, a centaur is born on their farm. The centaur poses a threat to the farm but is a therapeutic aid for the previously-bullied Robbie and for Arianne, who is trying to find her happy place with her distant mother and aggravating brother. Will the centaur be found? Or will this troubled family keep the joy of the centaur to themse
Arianne’s family is scraping a living out of their ranch. Her mother is stressed, as she attempts to please difficult owners who board horses with them and bring their children for riding lessons. Her brother, afflicted with birth defects, is a sweet-tempered, homeschooled child, who can’t help with the endless chores that a horse farm generates. When one of their horses gives birth to a centaur, Arianne is not certain if it is a blessing or a curse.

Arianne’s family tries to keep the centaur a s
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Jane Yolen is a novelist, poet, fantasist, journalist, songwriter, storyteller, folklorist, and children’s book author who has written more than three hundred books. Her accolades include the Caldecott Medal, two Nebula Awards, the World Fantasy Award, three Mythopoeic Awards, the Kerlan Award, two Christopher Awards, and six honorary doctorate degrees from colleges and universities in Massachuset ...more
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