Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 4 to 8
- Grade: p to 3
A heartwarming picture book about an iron ore–mine horse and a timid young miner in Bell Island, Newfoundland, from award-winning author of Mr. Hirota’s Garden and The Agony of Bun O’Keefe
Out in Conception Bay, on the northern Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland and Labrador, sits tiny Bell Island, a tight-knit community where iron ore has been mined for centuries. Slowpoke The Bell Island Mine Horse tells the story of eleven-year-old Jimmy, who enters the mine in place of his father, who died in a tragic accident years earlier. To help support his family, Jimmy must overcome his fear of the underground space, the unrelenting darkness, the rumble of tramcars, and the clang-clang-clang of pickaxes. He’s not sure he’s cut out for a miner’s life until one day, his lamplight illuminates a beautiful horse named Slowpoke, with ears soft as velvet. The two soon find they have more in common than they could have dreamed, and when tragedy rears its head again, it’s up to Slowpoke and Jimmy to save the day.
About the authors
Sarah Sawler is the author of 100 Things You Don't Know About Nova Scotia. She writes a monthly column for Atlantic Books Today called “Origin Stories,” and her freelance work appears regularly in Halifax Magazine and Atlantic Business Magazine. She lives in Halifax with her partner, two children, one dog, one cat, and one bearded dragon.