Horse Boy

By Tanya Landman (Walker Books)

Horse Boy By Tanya Landman title=

Anna's review
Horse boy is about a boy called Oak, who is living in the Stone Age times. He is the Chief In waiting of the Deer clan, has two friend and an older sister called Willow. Oak was really excited for this summer, but everything turned upside down. Now his has boring responsibilities on his shoulders, a suspicious older sister and no friends. That’s not all, as Mother Earth is causing problems for everyone and friendly clans instantly turn into enemies. After all this, Oak has found himself lost, in a world outside of the Deer clan, while danger lurks in every corner...

I liked this book, but I feel that it is mildly boring at times, but that just might be me because I am a very picky reader. It is a LOT like Wolf Brother (which is a compliment) and I feel like in Oak’s struggle to get home, in his adventures, he realised that he boasted a lot and was proud for many things. So, not only did he adventure home, but he moved from being insufferably proud, to being humble and not a total nuisance to be around. I would rate this book four and a half out of five.

Ibrahim's review
In the book, I found the Deer people the most interesting because of the way that they navigated around.  I did not like Ashe because I did not like his clan. 

From reading this book, I learnt how they navigated.  I also learnt about the important bond between a horse and a boy.  The way that they travelled around was very interesting as I had never thought of people travelling around like that.

The plot was very exciting and I really liked the writing.  I would definitely recommend this book to other readers.

Hamza's review
This book is great, it shows how the boy and horse - who was then prey - bonded. Also, I love the fact the horse was given its own voice and was an equal in the boy’s eyes.

The narrative style, the language and the events are realistic given the prehistoric setting, the story is totally original and completely unpredictable. It’s fast-paced, emotional and gripping. All of these things certainly work together to make a great book.

I would highly recommend this book to people who love animal-human bonding stories and children (and adults) aged 10 and over. Although the story is great, some of the words will be complicated for small children to understand.

Phoebe's review
Horse Boy, a gripping novel that definitely deserves a sequel. I’ll be honest, it took me a while to really get into the book at first, it took a few chapters to really grasp my interest. However, the book was difficult to put down after the conflict had been reached. This book presents a beautiful sister and brother relationship between Willow and Oak. The book also has a very clear message, that trust is a key thing in any relationship. However, at a few points I couldn’t help but feel a little patronised, like the author didn’t have any trust in their audience to interpret what some of the take- aways from the book should be. For example, at the end of the book, Oak is getting ready to tell his story about what happened and we are told that they expect him to boast about his survival and how he was going to do the opposite because he had grown. We are directly told both of these things, and it just read as though the author felt they had to spell it out for us because we couldn’t take that away ourselves.

I did enjoy the writing style of writing used for Horse’s thoughts and especially when Oak and Horse were communicating but not out loud, the way Horse was able to understand Oak’s ‘suggestions’ without having to be told out right is a very subtle way to show the development of their relationship. Though I think that Oak’s character arc was handed to use on a silver platter, I enjoyed reading both of the characters grow together.

Daniel's review
Horse Boy, a very mind-twisting book. The plot of this book is very mysterious and would at times make you go back a page or two to make sure you didn't miss out anything as the story developed. I found the Horse to be the most interesting character, because he showed how animals would actually think. he wouldn't just consider 'Thing' a friend automatically, he had to figure it out, he showed confusion, fear, and intelligence.

This book was most likely set all the back in the Stone Age, which makes this all the more interesting as Horses were nothing but rare to find, which makes how Boy formed trust with him very enticing. 

The Story stands out as it doesn't work as a fable because doesn't physically speak with Boy, he telepathically speaks with him through the thought of mind.

I would recommend Horse Boy to everyone it was great, I thought the detail was fantastic.

Avi's review
I found Oak the most interesting character because he wants to achieve a lot and make his father proud which makes him stand out more to me. Nevertheless, I liked all the characters.

From this book I learned that a long time ago people thought that all animals were prey and did not even think before hunting them. They also did not have a lot of knowledge about all animals as they did not know what horses were and it makes for an interesting contrast with the modern day ideas about animal rights.

This story was set in the [6th century BC], and I found that interesting because from that period to now, people were able to find out so many new things about animals and in that long period of time, we still have not discovered all the animal species in the world.

The plot was exciting because it was about animals and humans bonding which often seems hard to do since we do not speak the same language. Oak also tries to see the world through the horse’s eyes which makes us understand that what the horse sees, and feels, is just as important as what humans see and feel.

The thing that stands out the most to me in this book is that it is about a boy and horse getting to know each other which is unusual but interesting.

I would recommend this book to other people.

Poppy's review
I found Willow (main character’s sister) interesting because she was very good at making weapons and she was not a girly-girl which is good in a story. I did not really like Ashe (chief) because he made war with the Boar clan over the valley. He got too cross and created a war which he should not have done. People will now suffer because of his choices.

I learnt about the mage going to a cave to predict what will happen which was interesting. The time that it was set was interesting because we are reading something similar in class (Wolf Brother) and I am enjoying it.

The plot was like an adventure because lots of exciting things happen in it. Each chapter ends in a way that makes me want to read on.

The thing that most stands out is the fact that these people have never encountered horses before. 

I would recommend to pupils who are interested in hunting and/or horses although I like it too as it is more than just about horses, it is about how people can argue and cause battles.

I would give it 8/10.

Ryan's review
It is implied that the characters are nomadic hunter gatherers, so set thousands of years ago. His tribe and another have a dispute, the boy is separated from his tribe while he is chasing a horse , which are not seen and regarded as mythical. He and the horse have a series of adventures as they try to return to their respective packs.

Good adventure story, the author links the adventures of the boy and the horse well as it is written from both perspectives. Strong writing, good portrayal of emotions and characters, Gripping and relaxed throughout ( but not boring!) Lots of twists and turns

Definitely for the age range 10 - 13.

Zainab's review
Honestly I did not enjoy Horse boy due to reasons that the book was hard to follow and was not exciting enough. I did not finish the book as I read half way through and nothing big had happened yet the story did not move me in any way and overall was not very suitable to read for the younger generation. I did not connect with any of the characters and did not find the book worth reading on. Therefore I would not recommend it. I also felt that it was too much just from one person's point of view and therefore not really seeing the side of any other character's perspective.  

Kaida's review
The character I found the most interesting is Willow because she is very caring towards her brother. She is also very outgoing and resilient. I didn’t like Willow’s father because he killed one of the people in their crew and changed the rules. I learnt from the past from the book that they didn’t live in proper houses, they lived in little huts. An interesting thing about the book that shows the history/time it was set is when the people killed animals and cooked it over a fire because they didn’t have access to ovens like us today.

The plot was very strange and rule breaking because, the leader of the clans killed another in the group and said they no longer respect anyone of those type, they killed and fought instead. The thing that mostly stands out of the book to me is how caring Willow is towards her brother. I would recommend this book to another pupil because it shows and teaches a lot about the past. There is nothing about the book that I did not like.

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