Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 9 to 12
- Grade: 5 to 8
- Reading age: 9 to 12
Powerful, spirited, and beautiful, horses have literally changed the world.
From the time people first rode horses more than 5,000 years ago, these amazing creatures have changed the way humans live, travel, fight, work, and play. In her captivating, story-telling style, author Elizabeth MacLeod brings to life some of the most exciting examples of how horses have influenced the course of civilization.
Read about Bucephalus, the valiant horse that led Alexander the Great fearlessly into battle; the mighty Mustangs used by the Native peoples to hunt buffalo; hard-working pit ponies that helped fuel the Industrial Revolution by hauling coal out of mines, and the Pony Express, that helped revolutionize the way people communicated. There are six chapters in all, including one about Seabiscuit, whose triumphs at the racetrack provided people with hope and encouragement during the dark days of the Great Depression, and Sybil Ludington’s horse Star, an unsung hero of the Revolutionary War.
Horses hold a natural fascination for many young people. What better way to introduce them to world history than through the stories of these magnificent animals.
About the author
Liz is one nosy author, which is why she loves writing non-fiction. She’s very curious about why people do what they do, and likes sharing with kids the amazing facts and secrets that she uncovers.As a kid in Thornhill, Ontario, the idea of being a writer never crossed Liz’s mind—she figured most authors were already dead and they definitely weren’t Canadian. Besides, it was science that interested Liz.But writing was already part of Liz’s life. After dinner on school nights, Liz and her two brothers would trudge up to their rooms, close their doors and start to do their homework—or so their parents thought. A few minutes later, a piece of paper would come sliding under Liz’s door. One of her brothers had drawn a picture, usually of some weird creature.Liz really couldn’t draw (still can’t!), so the only way she could respond was to write a short story, often about a mad scientist or space alien. She would slip the story under her brother’s door and—well, not a lot of homework got done.At university, Liz studied sciences—there was hardly any writing involved at all. But after university, she was hired as an editor at OWL magazine, where she could combine writing and her love of science. But it wasn’t long before Liz had a goal: to write a book. Her first one was about lions and since then she’s written more than fifty others.Royal Murder: The Deadly Intrigue of Ten Sovereigns (2008) is one of her favourite books because royalty has always fascinated Liz. She loved going behind the scenes with monarchs from Cleopatra to Dracula to find out just what they would do to hold onto power or protect their families.Bones Never Lie: How Forensics Helps Solve History’s Mysteries (2013) was the winner of numerous awards, including the Crime Writers of Canada 2014 Arthur Ellis Award in the Juvenile/YA category. Liz’s latest book with Annick Press, Galloping Through History: Incredible True Horse Stories (Spring 2015), combines, once again, her outstanding storytelling skills with her passion for history. This time her love of animals also shines through as she recounts the stories of six horses that changed the way humans live, travel, fight, work, and play.Liz lives in Toronto with her husband, Paul, and their cat Cosimo. While she writes, he is usually sprawled across her desk—often right on the book she needs for research!
- Nominated, Rocky Mountain Book Award
“A hit with horse lovers.”
Resource Links, 06/15
“Lively . . . detailed and informative.”
“Thoughtful, well-written book offers valuable insight.”
National Reading Campaign, 05/25/15
“MacLeod is a master researcher and a very adept storyteller.”
Sal’s Fiction Addiction, 06/04/15