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Misty of Chincoteague (Misty #1)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  37,406 Ratings  ·  944 Reviews
On an island off the coasts of Virginia and Maryland lives a centuries-old band of wild ponies. Among them is the most mysterious of all, Phantom, a rarely seen mare that eludes all efforts to capture her—that is, until a young boy and girl lay eyes on her and determine that they can’t live without her. The frenzied roundup that follows on the next “Pony Penning Day” does ...more
Hardcover, Repackage edition, 176 pages
Published November 30th 1990 by Aladdin (first published January 1st 1947)
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Jun 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
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
Marguerite Henry's Misty of Chincoteague novels 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 published ...more
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 ...more
Sep 17, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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 skitter
Susan Henn
Jun 19, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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!
Kellyn Roth
Jun 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. ;)
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
Jennifer Morrill
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
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!
Rebecca McNutt
May 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Definite classic and a well-written, descriptive book with vivid imagery and vibrant characters.
Sarah Grace
As a horse lover, I loved this entire series! So well written and very interesting! Based on real events.
Liv Fisher
Jan 25, 2017 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
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
Enchantress  debbicat ☮
It was wonderful! I read it sometime during my teen years. I love books about animals actually. It's a beautiful story.
Jun 16, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Raevyn Oswald
Didn’t care for this one. Maybe it’s because I’m not a horse lover. But I thought the writing was mediocre, and the dialogue annoyed me after a while—it takes a lot of skill to pull off a country dialect or other unusual vernacular. Believe me, I know: I’ve tried to write some myself, and it turned out pretty bad, lol.
What I did like: The ending was satisfying, leading into the sequels without being a cliffhanger.
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.
Oct 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Vicariously fulfilling every young girl's dream: a pony of her own.
Nov 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
For the animal book that I selected to review this month, I wanted to look beyond dog and cat fare. Immediately I thought of horses, and then of Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry. One of these summers my husband and I hope to travel to the islands of Chincoteague and Assateague in New England, and when we do I’ll have Henry to thank.

Imagine growing up on an island where wild ponies roam. For Paul and Maureen Beebe, it leaves them with an insatiable desire to have one for themselves. They
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.
Oct 22, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: older children and parents reading with them
This book was selected as one of the books for our youngest daughter's fourth grade 'book café' and I was chosen to lead the discussion for it. We all listened to this story narrated by John McDonough on audio CDs (ISBN13: 9780788737336) as I followed along with this book.

The narrative is dramatic and heartfelt and I am a bit surprised that I never read it before. The narrative is engaging, and Mr. McDonough did a great job with the different voices, pacing, and tone of the story.

The story is
Dec 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult-lit
Gosh, I read Misty of Chincoteague back when I was in elementary school, so about 30 years ago! I still remember this book in a hazy way. I remember reading it, and although I have never been a girl who loved horses, this book pulled me in, and held me in its thrall. The way Marguerite Henry described these wild horses was beautiful, and had a way of sitting me right down in their world. I don't know how this book would hold up for me now, but I sure do remember liking it when I was young.
Candy Atkins
Nov 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are some books I wish every kid would read. This is one of them.
Nov 27, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
This is the book that made me think, "I'm going to be a writer someday."
Rena Sherwood
This is a classic children's story that may seem a little tame to modern kids. Henry writes about a time and place where I wish I could live. That Chincoteague is long past, however. It's a modern touristy place with all kinds of modern problems now.


Misty of Chincoteague was a real pony. She had a different pinto pattern as a foal than as an adult (I think -- not %100 percent sure.) This is a fictional version of her early life as a foal. Despite Misty being the title pony, her dam Phantom actu
Jan 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I never read any of Henry's books as a child. I am not sure why, but it seems like I didn't want to be one of the girls who only read "horse books" and so in my mind that meant I shouldn't read them at all. Or perhaps it was because I lived in the middle of a big city and we had little money and so I knew as a child I would never really have a horse or even get to ride one. I'm not certain, but I am glad I read it now. I really enjoyed this book. It, of course, centers around a horse...or actual ...more
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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
More about Marguerite Henry...

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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