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Chasing Painted Horses

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  219 ratings  ·  46 reviews
Chasing Painted Horses has a magical, fable-like quality. It is the story of four unlikely friends who live in Otter Lake, a reserve north of Toronto. Ralph and his sister, Shelley, live with their parents. On the cusp of becoming teenagers, they and their friend William befriend an odd little girl, from a dysfunctional family. Danielle, a timid 10 year old girl, draws an ...more
Hardcover, 269 pages
Published September 14th 2019 by Cormorant Books
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Average rating 4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  219 ratings  ·  46 reviews

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Brenda Gentles
Nov 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a great story!!!
Ron S
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
Five stars for the heart breaking character of Danielle Gadaaw, the quiet, troubled young girl that draws horses in this story of family and friendship.
Anne Logan
Dec 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’m a big fan of Drew Hayden Taylor‘s writing. His words are funny, empathetic, and entertaining all at the same time. Every book of his I read, I’m more hopeful that Canada’s indigenous population, colonizers and immigrants will one day live in harmony, a mutually beneficial arrangement where everyone is legitimately taken care of (getting clean water for every single Canadian would be a great start). But I digress. Chasing Painted Horses is decidedly not political, and because of that, it has ...more
R. Jetleb
Nov 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully written, bittersweet Canadian novel. The storyline about a young girl in a troubling situation and three of her peers who try in their small ways to help her, is haunting and thought- provoking.
Feb 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: young adults
Great storytelling; don't read the acknowledgements to not break the illusion. Definitely a book to go in reading without prior knowledge akin to a surprisingly good movie without watching the trailer. Ominous, humorous, and heartwarming tones throughout and Canadian! ...more
Alanna King
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ola-evergreen
The visions of this horse painting are like a portal between the past and the future, the rural reserve community and also the urban setting. I wish that I could see the chalk drawings that Danielle makes to feel the magic that she is creating. I like how this sort of magic isn't easily revealed to adults and also it's not strong enough to alter Danielle's reality.

I am a big fan of Drew Hayden Taylor's plays especially for the young adult audience so....I was disappointed in the first 60 pages
Tilly Wark
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was beautifully written, but also haunting. If there's such thing as a book-version of a Requiem, this would certainly qualify. This may come off as a peculiar prospect, but it's the only descriptor I could think of the entire time I was reading. Nothing else is floating to the top of my personal vernacular.

A Requiem, if you don't know, is a funeral mass. In many ways this book pertains to death, and could be thought of as a eulogy (though for me it still felt like more of a Requiem).
Karen Lowe
Dec 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
I have mixed feelings about this book. I could be a 3-star rating.

The story told was powerful. The characters were fully realized yet the writing of the story wasn't up to the author's usual high quality. I think, after reading his notes at the end of the novel, thatbrhis is because the characters were so close to him; they had lived in his imaginative world for so long.

The story structure was good. The tale the book told was relevant, meaningful and touching. I believed in each character as a
Nov 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this story. It was handled so lovingly and that came through.
Teena in Toronto
Jun 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: canadian
Ralph is a police officer in Toronto. One day around the Bathurst Street/Queen Street W area, he sees a painting of a horse on a wall. He recognizes it and realizes it was painted by his childhood friend, Danielle, who had moved away suddenly when he was ten. Harry, a homeless man who lives on the grate across the street, calls to Ralph and seems to have the answers as to who painted the horse.

Ralph, his sister, Shelley, and their friend, William, grew up on a reserve in Otto Lake, north of Toro
Feb 09, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: library-books
Ended up reading this book for a work project and honestly I am very torn with how I feel about it. On one hand, the story behind Danielle and her painted horses is beautiful and haunting, and I loved that element. On the other side of the story, I was not a huge fan of Taylor's writing style at times, especially because I found it very shaky in the beginning until the story hit its stride. There's also a lot of jabbing in the story but it doesn't go far enough? If you are trying to show a dista ...more
Sylviae Edgerton
Apr 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
I really liked this book for several reasons: it's simplicity, the spiritual in the mundane, the native-Canadian experience integrated into the story without BEING the story, the portrayal of the complex relationships between young people as they experience it, the beauty. I only gave this book a three stars but wanted to give it three and a half. I found the rhythm too slow, especially in the middle. The story was a little too little. I appreciate the simplicity but there were some scenes that ...more
Nov 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoy reading his stories, and having met him in person, makes them all the more poignant. Simply put...this story broke my heart. Having grown up around reservations, and many of the children on them attended my school, I am all too familiar with the tone and setting. This novel began as a short story and was originally aimed at young adults, but over time, he developed it into this fine but haunting read. The adult reviewers who say it appears to written for a younger audience, are in ...more
I was surprised by my love for this book! Honestly, it's a simple yet heartbreaking story of a young girl named Danielle who draws these incredible horses and deals with her troubled family life.
I was engaged and captivated the entire time I was reading. This story teaches you about compassion and love for friends and your community. It also tugs on your heart strings, but in a way that left me still wanting more!
I was also chuckling at all of the Tim Horton's references. Drew hit the nail on
Deborah Sowery-Quinn
Jul 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is my first Evergreen Award nominee read for this year (I am way behind!).Ralph is a police officer who sees something that connects him to his childhood, graffiti of a painted horse. The novel then relates the story of his childhood and the graffiti, his family, and his relationships with close friends on the northern reserve he grew up on. There is a magical quality to the story with great characters and a good flow that kept me interested.
Enid Wray
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Apparently also misses posting on this one as well...

Stunning. The writing. The characters. The narrative structure - the fluidity of memory. Heartbreaking story of neglect, and the limitations of the system. Quintessentially Canadian novel. Indigenous yes... but also universal. Open ended ending - not all wrapped up neat and tidy with bows. Perhaps new favourite of all DHT writing.
Garth Mailman
Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We are given a snapshot of reserve life from the perspective of a brother and sister age 12 and 10 and his best friend. The painted horse shows up as graffiti on a wall in Toronto on the adult beat cop’s walk. The tale switches back and forth between childhood on the reserve and life on the streets of Toronto.
Nov 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
While, at times, the verbal flourish went a bit too far, this novel captivated me, making it difficult to put down.
I do wish more had been resolved by the end but the overarching themes will leave me with a great deal to ponder.
It definitely was worth the amount of time it took to read this short novel for me.
Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A lovely, lyrical touching book. Offering a realistic narrative yet also presenting both magic and hope is not a usual approach, and the story just soars. I will definitely seek out more of this author’s work.
Blair Moch
Nov 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sweetreads-books
A wonderful story about a challenging life. Wonderful characters and a captivating story line. These are characters who will stay with me a long time. I loved the Toronto content specifically as a TO native. But regardless where you come from, you can’t help being moved by Danielle’s horse.
Dec 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: sweet-reads
It took me awhile to engage with this book and embrace the characters. Once I did I think I liked this book however I did not like the ending and I think all the characters have a lot more to be developed. I felt like the book was not finished :(
Rebecca Green
Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So beautiful. I love all of the characters in this book. I want it to be longer!
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Just wow!
Mar 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Really engaging story!
May 14, 2020 rated it liked it
The first 95% of this book was fantastic but for me, personally, the ending doesn't really work. ...more
Mary Mccullough
Jun 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Excellent read.
Susan Mclennan
Jun 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. Great flashback storyline about the children and how a major event affected all their futures.
Ben King
Jul 26, 2020 rated it it was ok
Just wasn't my cup of tea ...more
Jul 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is just delightful. Some beautiful phrases, the innocence if childhood, and just a touch of magic. I do wish Harry had a bit more opportunity to evolve as a character...
Aug 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Feels more like a YA book than an adult book, but well done nonetheless. Good for a lighter read with some funny bits and some tragedy.
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During the last thirty years of his life, Drew Hayden Taylor has done many things, most of which he is proud of. An Ojibway from the Curve Lake First Nations in Ontario, he has worn many hats in his literary career, from performing stand-up comedy at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., to being Artistic Director of Canada's premiere Native theatre company, Native Earth Performing Arts. He has b ...more

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