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Mending Horses

by M. P. Barker

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284846,850 (3.67)None
Juvenile Fiction. Juvenile Literature. Historical Fiction. HTML:A poetic and critically acclaimed historical novel set in 1840s New England that touches on prejudice, dangerous secrets, and the true meaning of family.
Daniel Linnehan is an indentured servant no more. He has his papers, his beloved horse, Ivy, and a new direction in life. But in 1840s Massachusetts, a scruffy-looking Irish teenager wearing fine clothes and riding an even finer horse is asking for trouble. After innocent Daniel winds up beaten and in the constable's custody, the peddler Jonathan Stocking takes him under his wing.
Billy, a young boy also traveling with Mr. Stocking, is not thrilled that the two must work together in a traveling circus. And when Daniel realizes that Billy is actually a girl in disguise, pieces of Billy's troubled family life come to light. All too soon, past secrets catch up to them, bringing danger and heartache.
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Showing 4 of 4
DNF after 3 chapters. Unfortunately I have a huge backlog of books to review, so if my current book doesn't hold my attention after the first few chapters I will DNF it. ( )
  katsmiao | Oct 23, 2015 |
DNF after 3 chapters. Unfortunately I have a huge backlog of books to review, so if my current book doesn't hold my attention after the first few chapters I will DNF it. ( )
  katsmiao | Oct 23, 2015 |
DNF after 3 chapters. Unfortunately I have a huge backlog of books to review, so if my current book doesn't hold my attention after the first few chapters I will DNF it. ( )
  katsmiao | Oct 23, 2015 |
This is a story of adventure, home problems, growing in midst of hatred because you are different, and love. I was surprised as I thought I was going to give this book to my teenage granddaughter. But I loved it.
The Irish when they came to America were not treated right by others. They were accused of things without many caring if it was true or not.
Mr. Stocking rescued both Nuala (Billy) and Daniel and took them under his wing. Both had different circumstances. Nuala's father was abusing her. So Mr. Stocking bought her. Daniel was in trouble for made up stories one person passed as truth. He became like a father to both of them.
What makes a father? One who beats you and treats you bad. Or one who is willing to put everything on the line no matter the cost? Daniel, Mr. Stocking and Billy became a family. They met up with a friend of Mr. Stocking's. Daniel and Billy loved working with the horses. They could not stand to see the horses mistreated and were able to train them with kindness.
Hardships and problems in life can change at the kindness of a stranger.
Peddlers, performers, or whatever a family was formed out of love. ( )
  squiresj | Aug 22, 2014 |
Showing 4 of 4
“…Barker skillfully evokes the realities of class, racial, and gender oppression in the nineteenth century through a rich cast, lifelike setting, and complex, compelling plot.”
 
“Barker’s deft sketches even endow most peripheral characters with individuality… Barker fashions a well-researched roster of circus eccentrics to serve as a colorful backdrop to Daniel’s slow flowering as a horse trainer and Billy’s pugnacious evolution towards contentment..The sideshow troupers, tragic childhoods, and near-fatal altercations—plus some gender disguise—could combine for a noisy novel, but Barker crafts a story of grace and strength.”
added by mpbarker | editSchool Library Journal, Robbin E. Friedman (Apr 1, 2014)
 
Fluid writing and a true sense of history—including fascinating insights into early circuses—raise this well above the usual. Barker’s characters are nuanced, difficult, and real, and so is her sense of horses. An absorbing look into a patch of past not often examined.
added by mpbarker | editKirkus Reviews (Feb 1, 2014)
 
“‘Mending Horses’ may be the best book I have reviewed in the past year. [The] novel is dramatic, insightful and lyrical . . . meticulously researched and smoothly paced. . . . The book has dark moments, but its message of hope and understanding should move teenagers and adults.”
added by mpbarker | editThe Greenfield Recorder
 

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Juvenile Fiction. Juvenile Literature. Historical Fiction. HTML:A poetic and critically acclaimed historical novel set in 1840s New England that touches on prejudice, dangerous secrets, and the true meaning of family.
Daniel Linnehan is an indentured servant no more. He has his papers, his beloved horse, Ivy, and a new direction in life. But in 1840s Massachusetts, a scruffy-looking Irish teenager wearing fine clothes and riding an even finer horse is asking for trouble. After innocent Daniel winds up beaten and in the constable's custody, the peddler Jonathan Stocking takes him under his wing.
Billy, a young boy also traveling with Mr. Stocking, is not thrilled that the two must work together in a traveling circus. And when Daniel realizes that Billy is actually a girl in disguise, pieces of Billy's troubled family life come to light. All too soon, past secrets catch up to them, bringing danger and heartache.

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Book description
Three outcasts—an Irish horse whisperer, a roving peddler, and a runaway fleeing an abusive father—mend each other’s broken lives as they heal a circus’s mistreated horses in 19th-century New England.
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M. P. Barker is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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