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Mustang: Wild Spirit of the West

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  3,156 ratings  ·  77 reviews
Horses were in Annie Bronn's blood. For as long as she could remember, she had been fascinated by the spirited wild mustangs that roamed free throughout the West. So when greedy cattlemen started to round up the mustangs for slaughter, Annie knew it was up to her to save the breed.
The true story of Wild Horse Annie's crusade to save the mustangs is inspiring. Readers wil
Paperback, 224 pages
Published April 28th 1992 by Aladdin (first published 1966)
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Black Beauty by Anna SewellThe Black Stallion by Walter FarleyKing of the Wind by Marguerite HenryMisty of Chincoteague by Marguerite HenrySeabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand
Horse Books/Novels
1,311 books — 638 voters
Black Beauty by Anna SewellThe Black Stallion by Walter FarleyKing of the Wind by Marguerite HenrySeabiscuit by Laura HillenbrandMisty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry
Best Horse Books
528 books — 346 voters

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Average rating 4.06  · 
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 ·  3,156 ratings  ·  77 reviews

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Jul 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Kids, horse lovers, and anyone interested in wildlife conservation
American writer Marguerite Henry, whose life spanned most of the 20th century (1902-97), was best known for her mostly nonfiction books on horse-related subjects, written for children but capable of also being appreciated by adults. Since my wife is an avid horse-lover, it's not surprising that Henry's work is up her alley. We read this one together sometime in the mid-80s (1986 is a guess), as well as the author's King of the Wind: The Story of the Godolphin Arabian, and I really liked both of ...more
Clare O'Beara
Annie Bronn Johnston tells her own story from early childhood in Nevada through a crippling bout with polio which left her trapped in a cast and learning later to walk again. She married a young man who worked on and purchased her parents' ranch. Annie had her own mustang, Hobo, and had grown up around them as working horses, so she was horrified to find that mustangs were being rounded up wholesale from the wild country and sent to petfood plants. Not only planes and trucks were used, but horse ...more
Apr 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: horse lovers
Amazing as always. Warning: It will make you want to start a political movement.
Oct 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have only read this book twice, so forgive me if the details are a bit sketchy.

Another fictionalization of a true story, but this one's a little closer to the truth. Annie's life was full of ups and downs. I rooted for her and felt sorry for her in turns. But it's her love of horses that really makes her special to you, and how she helps the mustangs is simply inspiring.

Even today, mustangs are in danger as people in the American government do their best to undo the hard work of people like An
May 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
As a kid in the 1960s I looked forward to getting new horse books by Maruerite Henry for birthday or other special occasions. I was a horse fanatic.
Brenda Cooper
Jan 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I read this book when I was about 12. It may have been the first lesson I got in the importance of the land and of animals.
A.J Betz
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
The beginning was really good then it just got boring and redundant. Honestly, during this time period there were far more pressing matters Annie should have worried about than horses. It was a tad annoying. Horses are not my fave thing and I like to stay as far from them as possible so I really didn’t care for this book. Oh well. The kids in my book club liked it so I guess that’s something.
Christian West
The remarkable true story of Wild Horse Annie's life from her time as a child with polio until her success at paying a law preventing motorised and airborne vehicles from killing wild horses in America.

This was a fantastic story to end 2018's 50 horse book challenge on.
 christine ✩
feb 2020 thoughts: honestly every time I reread this I remember why younger christine loved henry's books so much.
Anne Osterlund
May 20, 2014 rated it liked it
Annie Bronn is her father’s daughter. Nicknamed “Pardner,” she knows from the age of three that she is destined to work with mustangs. Like the one who saved her father from an early death on the frontier. And like Hobo, the horse that is both her father’s and Annie’s mainstay even after polio threatens to destroy their entire family.

Both Annie and Hobo are survivors. It should not be a surprise, then, that when the fate of all mustangs in Nevada reaches a perilous crisis, it is Annie Bronn who
May 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Okay, new favorite author and book. I loved this. The plot, the characters, and just EVERYTHING!

This book is basically a girl names Annie. Trying to save a horse breed called the mustang. What I like is that it has more than one topic. I don't want to give out any more, but this is just one. It also had her childhood and a bit of love. Of course. Gotta have it.

Why did I love this book? Well, I rarely ever cry in books. But, this book, made a couple of tears fall down throughout this book. Happy
Dixie Diamond
I've always thought this was sort of an under-appreciated work of Henry's. I'm not sure if it was simply overshadowed by the popularity of the better-known Misty books because it is a more distressing story than most of her others, or if it's less popular for some other reason. Possibly I was biased because it was Western and I grew up in Colorado and Texas and could better identify with it than with the Chincoteague books. If you can find one of the older hardbacks with color illustrations, get ...more
Kerri (Book Hoarder)
I remember reading this as a teenager and loving it. A spirited girl named Annie, who encounters more than her fair share of trials growing up, a dash of romance, and a love of horses... I was hooked. I'd have to do some research to see how accurate it is, but from what I remember, it's a good combination of story telling and history - definitely a favourite I remember.

Looking back on this as an adult, something strikes me: a woman who wasn't afraid to stand up to popular opinion, men and the g
Stephanie A.
One of my favorite books by her. Get it in hardcover if you can, because the color illustrations are breathtaking. "Wild Horse Annie" was a favorite heroine of mine in childhood, even though the story and its circumstances were old then. With the current overpopulation it's hard to believe Mustangs were once endangered, but the fact that many of them ultimately end up slaughtered has gone back to being true. The book is full of breathtaking (and occasionally heartbreaking) imagery of the wild ho ...more
Katie  Hanna
Mar 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is one of Marguerite Henry's best books. It's an engrossing story about a strong, likable, determined girl--Annie Bronn--who battles childhood polio and grows up to lead the fight to save the West's mustang population from extinction. It's a quiet story, but it has moments of deep, intense emotion--love, pain, loneliness, heartbreak, joy. The writing is beautiful and the descriptions are, again, some of Henry's best. I wish this book were better-known--it's every bit as good as "Misty of Ch ...more
Sep 06, 2014 rated it liked it
This is a Marguerite Henry book that I do not remember from my childhood, and a true horse story that I really know nothing about. This book tells the life story of Annie Bronn Johnston, who was pivotal in the creation of laws and bills protecting the wild mustang from roundup and slaughter, including the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971. A very interesting story for anyone with an interest in the history of the wild American mustang.
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
Growing up in the Midwest in the sixties, the M. Henry books were huge, especially among girls-- partly for the beautiful illustrations that my more talented schoolfriends copied, partly for the stories. The one I read most often in those days was "Mustang", though I really never understood the whole illness story because I had been taught nothing at all about polio. My mother thought that booster shots were just "money makers for the doctors" so I had no vaccines till I was 11 or 12; they would ...more
Sue Jackson
Mar 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Marguerite Henry is known for writing excellent children's books and this is no exception. It is a historical fiction book about a young girl whose love for horses turns into a quest to save them.

The book starts with a history of Annie and how she had been told from a young age to respect the mustangs. She grew up hearing the stories and formed a strong bond with her own horse. The stories and her love of that horse build the foundation of what she would later do.

Annie grew up and married someon
Amy K.
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-lit-fic
I've had this book for a long while now, on loan from a friend who suggested I'd might like it when she heard that I'd worked on a horse farm that specialized in breaking adopted wild mustangs to the saddle. If I'd known what an emotionally painful read this book would be for me, I'd have given it a pass, but I say that as a recommendation for its quality. Henry brings the reader into the immediacy of the fight to protect the last remaining wild mustangs in the United States. As a teenager, I vo ...more
Teresa Paulsen
Nov 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Mustang: Wild Spirit of the West by Marguerite Henry is a very empowering book. It follows a girl, Annie Johnston, through her life and all the struggles she faced. I really liked it because it told a historical story in a way that everyday people like me can understand. Another big reason I liked it is because it had to do with horses and was important to the future of the United States. The best part of the book was the empowering element that the author provided through the theme. Annie had ...more
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
FABULOUS historical fiction on the work of "Wild Horse Annie" and her grass roots efforts to save wild mustang from the horrid practice of plane / automobile "roundups" by dog-meat packing plants in the 50's.

Traces the history of her family dating back to her pioneer grandparents, snippets of personal life, and the match that ignited her passionate and consuming work on behalf of wild horses. Thus, the reader ... past, present, and the new future for these American heritage animals is all encap
Suzanne Thackston
Mar 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another old childhood favorite. I loved Annie and wanted to be hero, just like her. It's discouraging to think that lo these many decades later the mustangs are STILL fighting the US government for the right to survive, but Annie laid the groundwork for future activists to continue the fight to protect them. We probably wouldn't have any to fight for today had she not stood so fiercely for them back then.
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is the reason I became interested in activism focused on America's wild horse and burro populations in elementary school. This book is very powerful especially if you grew up riding/around horses as I did. I am a life long contributor to ISPBM because of this book :)
Apr 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this book! I got it as a kid and enjoyed it then as much as I do now. Full of heroes and villains and suspense and horses. Wild horses! Some very disturbing parts but worth it in the end. Such a good read to take you away!
Chilton Miller
Mar 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
An excellent story! Though I may not agree with all of Wild Horse Annie's thoughts about wild horses, she still had a wonderful story to tell.
Kim Hampton
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was one of my favorite books as a kid and I loved reading it with my 12 year old daughter. An inspiring story about fighting for what is right and never giving up.
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Have read many of Henry's books to our two daughters. This was another winner! We all learn so much and are inspired by the characters' hard work and perseverance.
Cindy Damman
May 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-out-louds
Great historical story about the west and the plight of the mustangs. Great history lesson and reminder that God created everything.
This was pretty good. I love horses, don't get me wrong, but I hate conservationalists more than I love horses, because they invariably destroy what they claim they are protecting. While I was glad the mustangs can't be slaughtered off anymore, the BLM is a terrible system and is not at all worthy of managing wildlife. Mustangs are wildlife, and as such, should be treated like any other species. Ranchers do have to thin out animals that over breed, or they loose their grazing land. There shouldn ...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

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