I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade by Diane Lee Wilson (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, March 2010 rerelease; originally published in 1999), 272 pages
Like the climate and terrain on the steppes of Mongolia, Oyuna’s life hasn’t exactly been easy. Since her foot was crushed by a horse when she was an infant, her parent’s have coddled her, keeping her inside and away from the one thing she loves: horses. And it’s not just that she loves them, but being on horseback is what gives meaning and joy to her life. She feels whole, rather than crippled, when she’s riding.
I read my fair share of horse stories when I was a kid. They weren’t my favorite books, but I definitely enjoyed them. When I saw this one, though, and it was set in Mongolia? I jumped! Also: What a great title!
As expected, I loved the part the setting played.
I didn’t expect — and didn’t appreciate, either — the heavy emphasis given to the superstitious, spirit-driven religion. I can’t fault its presence in the story, but this was my major complaint about the book. Because of this I personally would be cautious about giving it to a child to read without discussion during and afterward.
I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade is a fun horse story for kids, with an exotic setting starring people from a different culture and time. While I can understand why a shell story was used, the transitions between it and the main storyline were abrupt and sometimes it took me awhile to realize what had happened.
About the author
Diane Lee Wilson lives in San Diego and has written several books about horses.
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I received this book from the publisher.