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4.22  ·  Rating details ·  1,233 ratings  ·  106 reviews
When fifteen-year-old Rachel is forced to move to Boston in 1872, she is furious. She is also lonely, for her beloved horse, Peaches, has been sold. But Rachel soon finds a horse that needs her, and needs her desperately: The Governor's Girl, a famous firehorse, has been badly burned. Rachel gets permission to care for the Girl in a stable behind her house.

As she cares f
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published October 1st 2006 by Margaret K. McElderry Books (first published 2006)
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4.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,233 ratings  ·  106 reviews

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Jun 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I LOOOOVE THIS BOOK!! i recommend it to EVERYONE, especially horse lovers or girls that dream of becoming vets for horses or any other animal. I really did enjoy reading this book and i whole-heartedly rate this book 5 stars. i wish they would have made this book into a movie because i would be there at the cinema opening day! Do yourself a huge favor and READ THIS BOOK!!!
Nov 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Fifteen year old Rachel likes nothing better than to race her horse through the Illinois countryside, much to the disapproval of her parents and the townspeople, who do not feel she is ladylike enough for their Victorian sensibilities. Rachel's father relocates the family to Boston, where he writes a series of newspaper articles on the inadequacy of the Boston Fire Department in relation to a recent series of fires. Rachel volunteers to nurse one of the FD's horses who was badly burned in a fire ...more
Apr 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I picked this book up a few times at the library (me being a horse lover and intrigued by the title and cover...) but never got around to actually reading it, but once I finally did I was sorry I hadn't taken the time to read it before. It was thrilling and described so well and differently that it was almost like sitting in a movie and watching the story play out. It had a really interesting plot line as well. It was set back in 1872, and the way it's written makes you forget where you are and ...more
Jan 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book; particularly because Rachel wanted to be a veterinarian, and that's my aspiration in life as well. I found it especially intriguing that Wilson set a fictional story during a very real American catastrophe. And of course, the involvement of a horse really peaked my interest; as a life-long horse lover, anything with a horse in it immediately grabs my interest.. But all in all, a great book! This is one that I can (and will!) read again and again.
Jul 18, 2010 rated it it was ok
I was throwing out old school junk and found an old reading log... apparently I had read this book. Oh yes, that Firehorse.

The writing wasn't too terrible, but I remember it being highly impractical. Again we have a 19th century girl acting as though she were a modern rebel. It disappoints me very much when characters start questioning their social order when they shouldn't - especially so when they are set in pre-World War environments and when they are upper-class gentry. This select group di
Jean Mazzetta
Aug 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A gripping and inspiring book about a fifteen year old girl and her passion for horses and veterinary medicine that takes place at the time of the great Boston fire of 1872. Wilson kept my emotions engaged from page one to the conclusion of the Author's Notes at the end of the book. The last sentence of her Author's Notes says it all:

This story is written for all those girls who have been told "You can't." and still decide for themselves that "I can."
Oct 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you Michaela for recommending this book........... I LOVED it.
Most of the book takes place in Boston and I could just picture that area where everything happened.
The characters were great. If you like/love horses this is a great book to read - and even if you don't you would love the horses in this book.............
Sheila Myers
Nov 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama
A wonderful historical drama. Diane Wilson has written a great story with a fast paced plot and realistic characters. Although this is a book written for teens, I think readers of all ages will enjoy it.
Oct 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
i loved this book soooo much! i was so sad when it ended bc it was my first and last book i read. isnt there any other series? I wish there was at least one more:( Btw i read the newer book, not the hard cover.. But im sure they are the same
Nov 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
it was a bit slow at the begging but it truly warmed up the pace! its vivid details,and accuracy on horse anatomy or should i say horse spirit power kept me reading to the very last page!a great read for horse lovers and those with a taste for the historical fiction isle.
Vanessa Wright
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horses
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Watson Wildcats
Oct 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read Firehorse by Diane Lee Wilson because I liked the outside look of the book and I liked the summary on the inside of the book cover. In 1872, Rachel Shelby and her family are forced to move to Boston because of her father and she is forced to give up her horse peaches.
Rachel is a little scared of her dad but then she gains some strength and some integrity, and she learned to not be scared of him. Rachel's mom does not like to stand up loudly for people but her mom learns to stand up for R
Oct 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading this book since historical fiction is my favorite genre of books. This book has useful historical facts and not only is it historical fiction, nevertheless it is so interesting! This is my second time reading this book because of the sense of thrill it has. The characteristic that truly draws the reader in closer is the suspense. The only attribute wrong with this book is that there isn't a second book in the series! Though I'm glad the ending did not leave me cliff-hanging. Mo ...more
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was really good. Once I started reading it I fell in love with the writing. The book was very descriptive and it used equestrian language. I recommend this book to anyone who likes horses and even if you don't really like horses I still recommend it.
Bailey Turner
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was probably my most absolute books
Krista C
Dec 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is an amazing story about how a girl had a fire horse
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What an Amazing book!!!!! A dream for the horse lover!!
Jun 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I feel like the climax was a bit dull but amazing read!
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: animal-classics
Looking forward to read another book by the author.
Mar 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
A straightforward narrative with few real surprises and rather wooden characters, this novel--set in the Victorian period--concerns a young girl (Rachel Selby) who moves to Boston and becomes involved in the care of a badly burned horse used by one of the fire departments in the city. By watching the vet treat the horse, Rachel decides that she too wishes to become a "veterinary" (as they were then known). When a huge fire occurs in Boston, she has a chance to demonstrate the seriousness of her ...more
Jan 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is a thought-provoking historical fiction.
I finished it in two days (I was reading it after I had finished some standard tests for school :)
The teenage female protagonist, Rachel Selby, lives with her overbearing father, her meek mother, her fun-loving brother, and her religious but rebellious grandmother.
As you can probably tell from the title, this book is about fires and horses. Two of my favorite things, which is why I picked it up in the first place.
Rachel's family moves to Bosto
Liza Taylor
I really enjoyed this book. There where parts that were dry or seemed unnecessary but overall it was very good. Set in 1872 around the time of the Great Boston Fire, it is also a time when women were only just starting to make their way in the world and there was a lot of opposition. This book deals with a lot of that. Rachel wants to be a veterinarian but everyone tells her that she can't be because she is a girl. And her father is the worst character in the whole book. I wanted to throttle him ...more
Chloe Kuckelman
I enjoyed this book because I enjoy reading about horses. This book was very well written with in depth describing words and the whole time in the book, you always knew what the character was feeling and many additional details. At times the book could get a little slow though. Overall, it was a great book because of the detail the author used in describing many of the main characters feelings.

There is a girl named Rachel who lived on a nice farm in the country along with her mother, father, gra
Jan 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: primary, ya, fiction
Rachel loved her horse "Peaches". Quite often without her parents knowledge, she would ride Peaches many miles from town, sometimes having a full out race with a steam engine. She loved, ate, and drank horses. Suddenly she finds her family moving back east to Boston and Peaches being sold. She was broken hearted until her brother took her to a nearby fire station to see the horses that pulled the engines. Upon getting there, they found that a horse, Governer's Girl, had been badly burned and inj ...more
Feb 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Set in 1871-1872 Boston, Rachel is a young Victorian age girl with her mind set on the future. She loves horses and quickly takes a burned fire station horse under her wing. Tending the Girl, and growing quite fond of Mr. Stead, the vet who treats her, she decides she wants to be come a "veternary" too. Her father, a newspaper man, vehemently objects. Although I'm sure he was a product of his time, he was a complete horse's ass (pun intended) and I found myself kind of hoping he WAS the person b ...more
Jun 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Even though the premise of this book is a little over the top, I found it very enjoyable. Rachel is a very headstrong young woman, with a huge passion for horses. When her family is forced to move to the city, they are also forced to sell her horse. She is distraught and searches for a way to replace her horse. Her brother wants to work for the fire department that is just a few blocks away. When he goes there to ask about an apprenticeship, Rachel accompanies him. There they see a horse that wa ...more
Oct 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If you're a horse lover who enjoys a good YA book every once in a while, I heartily recommend Firehorse. Rachel is a somewhat rebellious young woman who is not at all happy about being forced to Boston and leaving her beloved horse behind- until she takes in a fire station horse injured while pulling the fire engine. By taking care of the willful mare, Rachel realizes her dream to become a veterinarian- a dream that will be difficult to achieve, given that her father does not believe it is a pro ...more
May 22, 2012 rated it it was ok
I thought that this book was okay to read and the topic is about horses who are my favorite land animals. This book was mainly about this teenager girl, Rachel, who has a love for horses. She got moved to Boston because her family needed to start a new life there. That is when her brother got a job at the fire station that had a full stable of horses but not for long. Since this year there has been many fires and the fire horses became very ill so this is whan Rachel comes into the story to pla ...more
Dec 04, 2016 rated it liked it
To be honest, I only picked this book up because I absolutely loved the author's other bookBlack Storm Comin'. When I started reading this, I was thinking that it was nothing like the other book that I hold dearly to my heart.
But I wanted to give it a chance, so I kept reading it. It was not easy, but towards the end, I finally got into it, and I fell in love.
I found the relationship between Rachel and the Girl fascinating, and Rachel's determination to prove her father wrong brought everything
P.D.R. Lindsay
Jul 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
This young adult novel is based on the events during and after the 1872 Boston Fire. Aimed at horse lovers it's about the fire-horses, the real heroes at a fire. But in Boston in 1872, half the fire-horses were ill, dying of horse distemper, making the Boston fire a real disaster.

Heroine, Rachel, is appealing as she struggles to be herself. Her father moves the family to Boston; Rachel's horse has to be sold. Rachel doesn't stop sulking until her brother becomes a fireman and involves her with
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