Cover Image: Horse Boy

Horse Boy

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Member Reviews

What a lovely and heartwarming story. I flew through it, it was a pleasant writing style, easy to follow. I read this one in one sitting!
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Very enjoyable tale, clear and direct writing style and full of adventure and heart in your mouth moments. Will be a permanent fixture on the shelves of the shop.
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4.5/5 stars

This book is exactly what its description suggests: a prehistoric survival adventure about a boy and a horse.
The cover of the book grabbed me at first, then the prehistoric settings sounded good, too. But then over time, I lost my interest, but since I requested it, I had to read it. My expectations were not too high. I wasn't a fan of the book at the beginning, so I was surprised at how much I liked it in the end.
Oak is at first quite a selfish and a bit annoying protagonist. The prehistoric world wasn’t something exciting either, the presentation of the world was pretty boring. The story starts at about page 50. Oak’s survival story, getting to know and making friends with Horse was much more interesting. I liked Oak’s development and the story was full of twists. The end was not ordinary either. I really liked the ending.
Surprisingly, I really loved this book. I recommend reading it, especially if you love good character development or love reading survival stories :D
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This was a fun read! Reminded me of Michelle Paver’s Wolf Brother series just set a bit later as they’ve discovered farming. Loved Oak. Really enjoyed the story itself. A fantastic read that I would definitely recommend
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This was a simply beautiful story that I thoroughly enjoyed. Different to what I usually go for, Horse Boy is the story of Oak - a fairly arrogant and cocky boy who is son of the chief of the Deer clan. However, after altercations, he ends up far from his clan. He befriends an animal he has never met before - a horse. It is the beautiful story of how they both get home, facing dangers together, rival clans, the rough terrain and surviving when there really does look like there is no hope.
Beautifully written by Tanya Landman and highly recommended.
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This is one of those books you simply cant put down. I read it in one sitting, it's gripping from start to end. Vivid descriptions poised with poetic prose set the scene in dramatic settings akin with primitive nature from nomadic and settlement clan ancestry.

Immersive character descriptions such as 'simmering with resentment.' Give this book a rare and evocative feel. I found myself championing for Oak: a seemingly Insular, conceited and far removed from tribal belonging character, who undergoes a transformation. Realisation dawns as his journey through unfamilar and treacherous surroundings enlighten him with an understanding that status might make you a leader but respect earns you followers.

Reminiscent of folk lore and tales told around campfires as the flames dance and lick the star speckled night sky. Tales meant to make childrens eyes grow wide with fright and intrigue.

I really love the rhythmic flow of the writing in beat with the story like a horse graciously galloping through a field with their mane flowing in the soft, gentle breeze. 

This story has a lot of great writing examples that I cannot wait to share with my Y6 class.
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I raced through this story as fast as a galloping horse!

I don't often read Middle Grade, but I'd heard a lot about this one, and I'm a sucker for human-animal bonding stories. I was not disappointed in this regard.

The setting of 'Horse Boy' is painted in broad but deft brushstrokes. I suspect Landman has merged a few eras and cultures in early human history, but the result is a unique prehistoric world and time, where farming has barely begun, and the aurochs still thunder across the plains, but horses are mysterious myth-like creatures. Captivating.

The narrative style, the language and the events are mature for Middle Grade, though completely realistic given the prehistoric setting. There's mention of someone's father being gutted by an aurochs, and Oak - our main human character - kills and butchers prey. The one thing that did feel too childish to me was how long it took Oak to figure out what happened to Fang. I'm sure any child reading this book will work it out in an instant. 

Of course, it's the relationship between Oak and Horse that gives this story its heart and its pull. Fans of 'How to Train Your Dragon' (the film version at least) will be delighted by the striking parallels. For me, the icing on the cake was the inclusion of Horse's own thoughts. This never felt silly - Horse thinks in simple words and concepts (Leader! Safe! Good!). It was adorable and heart-warming.

The ending took me by surprise with how emotional I found it, and how bittersweet it was - not a trace of mawkishness. I would absolutely love to read a sequel!

(With thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for a free copy of the ebook, in exchange for an honest review)
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Full of heart and courage. 

This book is going to be one of those books that will inspire the generations to come. An epic journey of friendship and understanding this will touch the hearts of millions.
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Beautifully written novel for children.  Set in prehistoric times, this is an adventure story about Oak, a son of a clan chief who becomes separated from his clan.  A favourite children’s author as her novels are always atmospheric.  I would definitely use this in my teaching for KS3 students.  

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for this review copy.
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Have you ever read a book which has, quite literally, taken your breath away? A seemingly innocuous story which has somehow managed to lodge itself deep in your heart? That’s how I feel about Horse Boy. 

I read the last page and sat in silence. Speechless. Stunned. And not because of any alarming plot twist or extraordinary reveal, just because of the almost unbelievable emotional reaction I had to it. I loved it. I loved every moment, every word, every idea. 

Afterwards, I sat and considered this book review. How could I articulate the kaleidoscope of emotions, the raw feeling, this book evoked? What exactly was it that I loved? The writing is beautiful, certainly. The characters are multi-faceted and so intricately created that they gallop off the pages and into the room. The dual narrative is exceptionally powerful. The story is totally original and completely unpredictable. It’s fast-paced, emotional and gripping. All of these things certainly work together to make a great book, but Horse Boy is more than the sum of its parts. The reason I had such a reaction to it is, I suppose, quite simple: I connected with it. 

This seems bizarre to me. The story of a boy and a horse, set in a prehistoric world is about as far removed from my life as can be, but yet the connection I felt was undeniable. I was profoundly moved by it. 

Horse Boy isn’t just one of my favourite books this year, it’s one of my favourite books of all my years. If I could give a higher than five star rating, I would. I would highly recommend this book to children (and adults) aged 9 and over. I will undoubtedly be sharing it with my Year 5 class and I hope it makes their souls sing in the same way it did mine.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a book I might never have picked up myself - a book that will stay with me long after the cover has closed.
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