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Justin Morgan Had a Horse by Marguerite…
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Justin Morgan Had a Horse (original 1954; edition 1971)

by Marguerite Henry, Wesley Dennis (Illustrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,12357,318 (3.84)13
Member:alsvidur
Title:Justin Morgan Had a Horse
Authors:Marguerite Henry
Other authors:Wesley Dennis (Illustrator)
Info:Rand McNally (1973), Paperback, 176 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:animals, horses, Morgans, made into movie

Work details

Justin Morgan Had a Horse by Marguerite Henry (1954)

  1. 10
    A Morgan for Melinda by Doris Gates (bookel)
  2. 00
    A filly for Melinda by Doris Gates (bookel)
  3. 00
    Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham (kaledrina)
    kaledrina: similar main characters (Bowditch as a child, Joel; Bowditch as an adult, Justin Morgan); indentured children, drive for success
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» See also 13 mentions

Showing 5 of 5
I'm not a horse person and not particularly fond of horse books. Therefore, I have little to compare this one too as a "horse" book. It was a pleasant and easy read, based on the real story of the sire of the Morgan Horse Breed. As such, it would appeal to young child interested in horses and early American History. For myself, it wasn't the best Newbery book I read, but it was decent. ( )
  empress8411 | Jan 21, 2014 |
A little horse that looked like nothing makes it big
  butterkidsmom | Jan 18, 2014 |
”Well, the farmer didn’t want to be beholden to anyone; so he gave the singing master a fine big colt named Ebenezer. And for good measure he threw in a mite of a colt called Little Bub. And that Little Bub…” Joel paused, smiling awkwardly. “He be the one who took on the schoolmaster’s name, Justin Morgan.”

This is a darling children’s book about the horse line called the Morgan Horse. The book starts in the late 1700s, telling the story of the earliest traceable horse in the line. When a schoolmaster takes a student with him on a trip to the Green Mountains to visit Farmer Beane in Springfield to get some money which was owed him, the story of the Morgan horse is born. Instead of his money, Justin Morgan receives two colts – Ebenezer and Little Bub. Joel Goss, the student who comes along for the adventure, loves Little Bub from the very beginning. The beauty of the book is the love story between boy and horse throughout the years.

There is quite an interesting list of books consulted listed in the back, along with descendants of the book’s subjects. The illustrations by Wesley Dennis were a beautiful addition to the story. ( )
1 vote countrylife | Jul 3, 2012 |
Love this story. I've read it a dozen times easily - it takes me maybe an hour - but in that time, there's a lot of richness. Simple language expressing some very strong emotions and bonding between the boy and the horse, and between the boy and his various friends. I don't know how accurate the history is - I suspect the general outline is correct (a schoolmaster was given a colt in payment of a debt, the colt turned out to be both a good worker and a fast runner, possibly the part about carrying President Monroe for a few minutes); the details, especially Joel's feelings for and care of the colt may be invented. Not sure about the part where a "dark-eyed stranger" paid a lot of money for the horse and, apparently, then sold him to a bad master, or a series of bad masters. That seems awfully convenient, story-wise - and awfully similar to King of the Wind, also by Marguerite Henry. But true or not, it's a great story, and one that rewards rereading. ( )
  jjmcgaffey | Apr 30, 2012 |
A childhood favorite re-visited.Is the story as good as I remember? – YesWhat ages would I recommend it too? – All ages. Children will enjoy the single storyline; while adults enjoy an easy afternoon read (especially while waiting on a bus, show, doctor, or other appointments).Length? – Reasonable for an afternoon.Characters? – Memorable, and few enough that you won’t forget who is who.Setting? – Real world, even includes President James Monroe.Written approximately? – 1954.Does the story leave questions in the readers mind? – Yes! By the end Joel is an adult, yet he still seems to be written about as a kid with no family relationships. Did he marry? Did he speak to either of his parents again? Is this to keep characters down? What really happened to this very real character? What happens to the horse after his return. How long did the horse live?Any issues the author (or more recent publisher) should cover? – Yes. At one point Joel attempts to buy his horse back with $5.00. How much would that $5.00 be today? What about the $25.00 he does eventually buy the horse back for, how much is that worth today? (I can just imagine a kid reading this and asking their parent to go buy them a horse for $5.00.) ( )
  AprilBrown | Oct 16, 2011 |
Showing 5 of 5
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Marguerite Henryprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dennis, WesleyIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
To my Morgan horse, Friday, and to Fred Tejan, who gentled him
First words
This is the story of a common, ordinary little work horse who turned out to be the father of a famous family of American horses.
The little reddish-brown colt stopped nibbling grass.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
"This is the extraordinary tale of a little workhorse, who, after being born in obscurity, becomes one of the greatest breeding stallions of all time. In this true story Newbery Medal-winning author Marguerite Henry and artist Wesley Dennis celebrate the life of the only horse ever to establish a breed all by himself -- the Morgan."
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 068971534X, Paperback)

Joel Goss knows that Little Bub is a special colt, even though he's a runt. And when school teacher Justin Morgan asks Joel to break the colt in, Joel is thrilled! Soon word about Little Bub has spread throughout the entire Northeast-- this spirited colt can pull heavier loads than a pair of oxen. And run faster than thoroughbreds!

This is the story of the little runt who became the father of a world-famous breed of American horses-- the Morgan.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:33:35 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

An unusual work horse raised in Vermont and known originally as "Little Bub" becomes the sire of a famous American breed and takes the name of his owner, Justin Morgan.

(summary from another edition)

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