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Justin Morgan Had a Horse
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Justin Morgan Had a Horse

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  7,762 ratings  ·  226 reviews

Joel's face suddenly lit up as if he had thought of something for the first time. He spoke now to the horse, as though he were the one that mattered. "Why, come to think of it, you're just like us, Bub. You're American! That's what you are. American!"

In 1791 a Vermont schoolmaster by the name of Justin Morgan comes home with a two-year-old colt named Little Bub. Taken as

Hardcover, 89 pages
Published 1945 by Wilcox & Follett
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Average rating 4.04  · 
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 ·  7,762 ratings  ·  226 reviews

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Although I do indeed very much appreciate Marguerite Henry's Justin Morgan had a Horse as a story in and of itself (the sweet and loving connection between Joel and Little Bub which not only endures but grows stronger and stronger over the years, and that it is young Joel who first notices there is something extraordinary and truly special about Justin Morgan's little horse), and believe that the main message presented is necessary and of both historical and contemporary significance and value ( ...more
May 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Meet Marguerite Henry, one of my favorite childhood authors. Why? Because all the stories I read by her were about horses, and like most young girls, I was horse crazy. Justin Morgan Had a Horse was her only chapter book that I remember reading through three times. I recommend it to all fellow horse-lovers out there. The true account (with a fictional twist) of how the popular breed Morgan came to be in the late eighteenth century, you’ll find it inspiring and fun.

It all begins in 1791 when lika
Liz F.
I really loved this book!! It was so fun to read! :D
5 stars.
I just reread (?) the 1954 edition and it was *not* the book I remembered. So, maybe when I was a child I was fortunate enough to read the original 1945 edition, the one that is about 1/2 the length the more available one? Maybe I focused on what I saw as the strengths of the book, based on my enjoyment of other books by Henry & Dennis? I am going to try to find an original to compare the two for myself. I'd be willing to bet the older is better. Even the artwork of this newer book seems coarser ...more
Joy Rojas
Apr 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I LOVE this story! It almost made me cry at points! :) Such a great read, especially if you like horses! :D
Christine Meunier
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horse, 2019
Review to follow.
Abigail Wallace
Jul 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
I never was a horse crazy girl, but I loved Misty of Chincoteague even still. MISTY is Marguerite Henry's best known horse novel. When I stumbled over this one last month, looking for a good read aloud for my 7 and 9 year old sons, it was a no-brainer! With the high drama of horse, his boy and their nation coming of age, not to mention thrilling horseraces and backbreaking hard work complete with both heartache and happy endings, JUSTIN MORGAN did not disappoint! All that in 170 pages. JUSTIN MO ...more
Feb 02, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you went to Vermont, back in the time of the late 1700s... you would meet Justin Morgan. He was a man who had a problem. It all started because a farmer owed Justin some money. The farmer couldn't pay the debt, so instead, he gave a horse. To some people, that would be a wonderful thing to receive, but Justin didn't need a horse. He needed money.

One might say, "Sell the horse"--but that's just the problem. No one wants to use their money on a small, (VERY small), scrawny animal, who is weak
Feb 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another Newberry Honor book by Marguerite Henry.

I'm not a horse person. But I'm quite taken by Henry's horse stories. One of the things that impresses me about Henry is that all her stories are based on true stories and the amount research she does to write them is tremendous. And it shows in the final product. The illustrations of Wesley Dennis add another level of enjoyment to her stories.

Here she relates the story of the the runty colt that grew up to become his own breed and the boy who be
Aug 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the story of one young man's devotion to both Justin Morgan and his remarkable horse. ...more
Christy Peterson
Read this aloud to Hope.

It’s a nice little horse story with a message about not judging worth from the outside.

I assumed that even though it is historical fiction, that it would stay pretty close to what is known of the true account. Unfortunately, it is as close to what is known, as a Disney movie is true to its book.
 christine ✩
christine over here suddenly remembering all her childhood horse books
Julie Havener
Jan 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Marguerite Henry classic about the Morgan horse breed with a bit of Vermont history thrown in. Great children’s book, easy read.
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Highly recommend. Henry's books make wonderful read-alouds.

Every time I read a book by Marguerite Henry it becomes a new favorite. I've never yet opened one I didn't love. Her stories are sweet, beautifully written, and carefully researched. You will learn something. They are engaging enough for adults and children alike. They carefully introduce vocabulary. They teach virtue.
A wonderful, touching horse story that I somehow missed reading in my preteen and early teen horse loving years. The relationship between Joel and Lil Bub was very special, and this book was all the more enjoyable because it is basically a true story about the horse that founded the Morgan horse breed.
Feb 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We read this book as part of our American History studies this year. It takes place just after the Revolution and covers several more years on past the War of 1812. My kids really enjoyed it but then we haven't read a Marguerite Henry book that they didn't love. ...more
Sam Wagner
Just finished the book and I was thoroughly disappointed. Though the book is descriptive and uses multiple artistic elements, it simply lacked action and relatable characters. The book can be completely summed up with merely the title.
Dec 28, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, newbery-honors
I suppose it probably isn't fair to give this book only 2 stars but... meh. Ashley is NOT an animal person and this book was boring as all get out... ...more
I read this long ago back when I only read books about horses.
Michael Fitzgerald
Jul 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is the original 1945 edition (89 pages). This version (not the expanded rewrite from 1954) was the Newbery honor book. The illustrations are well done, and they suit the book perfectly.
I liked but didn't love this story. I appreciated Joel's concern, love and dedication toward Little Bub. The story was interesting but didn't fully draw me in. ...more
Leah Markum
Little Bub, Justin Morgan's horse, knows how to make a statement. From the first whinny in chapter one as a "too small" colt to the "deep snorty rumble" he obliges to President Monroe at the peak of the horse's fame, he frames the history of the first of the Morgan breed in style.

Justin Morgan Had a Horse depicts the real story of how the Morgan breed came to be. It hauls logs, pulls carriages, out races Thoroughbreds on the 1/2 mile, possesses a sweet disposition and calm manner, and packs all
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the beginning of this story Justin Morgan ends up getting two young horses. These horses came from a farmer who owed Justin Morgan quite a bit money, but because of his circumstances all he had to offer was these two colts. One of them was a nice strong colt that could fetch some good money, and the other was a tiny weak colt named Bub, that Justin Morgan expected to only be a burden and an extra mouth to feed. Although it turned out that these colts were such great friends that Justin Morgan ...more
Holy moly that was boring. I think the only reason I made it through was because I was listening to it and the narrator was doing a great job.

Ugh. Horse books are not my favorite thing to begin with, but Henry's other two Newberry winners, King of the Wind: The Story of the Godolphin Arabian and Misty of Chincoteague were much better than this one. Joel goes with his teacher (yeah, I don't understand why he's on a summer trip with the schoolmaster either) to claim a debt, but the debt is paid w
Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a young girl, I desperately wanted a horse as so many girls do. My parents bought be Marguerite Henry's Misty books instead. As an adult, I'm no longer a horse person other than to appreciate their beauty, but I have a nine year-old daughter who's a lot like me. While she read the Misty books on her own, I read this to her as part of our school curriculum. We both enjoyed it immensely. I appreciated the historical aspects of it as well as the kindness and affection portrayed between the chara ...more
Suzanne Thackston
It may be that all Marguerite Henry books don't deserve 5 stars. I'm sure they're flawed. But you won't hear about their flaws from me. I grew up on them.
I met my first Morgan before I read this book, so she's not responsible for Morgans being one of my absolute most favorite horse breeds. But this clinched it for me. And real Morgans, like Bub, not the nervous fancy hybrids so popular today.
This is an ageless timeless classic. If you have a horse crazy kid- or any kid- or if you or anyone you
Megan Green
My son won this novel in our library's Summer Reading Challenge last summer but it's been sitting on the bookshelf since then. When it was his turn recently to choose our next read-aloud chapter book he found it again and asked if we could read this one. I honestly had no idea what it was about so I looked into it before we started it and found out that it's based on a true story about one of the first truly American breeds of horse. And it turns out, that's a pretty interesting story! There are ...more
I think if I read this on my own even as a kid, I'd probably be a bit bored, but my sons seemed intrigued by it and kept enjoying it as I read it to them out loud. It was a good story regardless.

Joel is a kid and his schoolmaster is named Justin Morgan. There is a little horse that Joel takes a real liking to that Justin Morgan gets ownership of and Joel wants to train it (or as they say, "gentle it"). The rest of the story is about Joel's relationship with the horse.

This book is based on hist
I absolutely loved this book when I was a child. I loved all of Marguerite Henry's books, but this one was a special favorite. So when I stumbled upon a copy, I had to take a look. I tried to keep my expectations reasonable--it is, after all, a children's book. But wow, have writing styles ever changed. There's tons of dialogue, and it's all written out in a clunky attempt to convey the sounds and cadence of a "folksy" dialect. I found myself cringing every time someone opened their mouth. ...more
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What if the one thing you wanted in life was the one thing you couldn’t have? Should life therefore have no meaning? This book tracks the life of a little horse from the perspective of a child who grows up over the course of the book. This book shows that looks aren’t everything and that hard work matters. I like how this book shows the importance of paying ones debts. I like how the story includes an impossible obstacle and the main character’s determination to never give up.
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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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