Cover Image: Pony


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Member Reviews

I loved this book! I found myself slowing down over the last few chapters because I did not want it to end, always a sign of an enjoyable book. Thank you Netgalley, Penguin Random House and the author for the chance to read this in advance, in return for an honest review.
The story is told from the point of view of Silas Bird, a 12-year-old boy who lives alone with his Pa at the edge of the woods in nineteenth century America. His mother died when he was born, Silas was struck by lightning and recovered - and his best friend is the ghost of an older boy called Mittenwool. 
 His Pa, Martin Bird, is an inventor, a pioneer in photography. One night three armed men arrive to take them away so that his Pa’s talents can help their sinister boss. His Pa shows a steely side when he only agrees to go with them if they leave his son behind and he orders Silas to remain in the house until he returns.
The next day, the fine pony the men had brought to collect Silas returns to the house alone. Silas takes it as a sign that he must follow his Pa and somehow save him, though this means entering the dark woods…
The adventure that follows is full of twists and turns, reminisces and excitement that unravel the mystery of why Silas Bird was taken, and on a deeper level our connections to each other. It is beautifully written with many tender passages that show the love shared by father and son. The use of old photographs and quotes of verse at the beginning of some chapters was a bonus – I always love looking at old photographs and wondering about the lives the people led back then and it seems the author does too. R J Palacio takes us on a lyrical journey with this story to show us something of the world these people lived in, what they may have experienced or believed, all the while charting Silas Bird’s courageous journey to adulthood. It is a very moving book with a satisfying ending. 
In all, it is a ghost Western with a heart, has vibes of the film the Sixth Sense crossed with Shane, and I would recommend to young adults and older adults alike!
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Pony is a historical adventure story set in nineteenth-century America. Silas, an introverted boy, lives with his father. His father's abduction threatens his happiness, and he finds the courage to search for him with the help of his friends.

This is a vividly described adventure story with human antagonists and supernatural elements. It shows the power of friendship and love. Silas' world is intricate and full of vibrant imagery that draws the reader into the story. It is aimed at the young reader but has appeal for older readers too.

I received a copy of this book from Puffin Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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I adored this book from the start. It grabbed attention and kept you guessing. The characters were very likeable  and I loved the way the story progressed. No spoilers, but the ending was great. A lot of action to keep my attention. Will definitely recommend this book to young and old.
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A wonderful story that seems to hover between the living and the dead to the extent that you don't actually know who is indeed alive. I tried to encourage my 10 year old to read it as he has been reading wonder at school, but sadly he wouldn't, so I did instead and thoroughly enjoyed it. It has ghosts, gunmen, adventures and loving family so will  tick a lot of boxes for young readers.  Thanks to the author, publisher and Netgalley for my arc.
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I loved this book so much, it was brilliantly written and I just loved the old style pictures they really added to the enjoyment of the book. Giving it that period details made you really feel like you were part of the past and got you in the mood for reading it. Its also giving an insight to the child of what is was like in the past. I loved the mystery around most of the characters. I started reading this to my 9 year old daughter but I soon realised she wasn't getting into the book but I was so I read it myself. I would of thought this book was more orientated to the young adult aged 12 and up, but adults like me will love it aswell. The adventure aspect of this book was amazing and it grabbed me and I wanted to read more. Its a great book for those who do reading challenges and need a book for a coming of age story. Its also great for a western book. I loved the fact that the book had so many twists and turns that I didn't see coming. There was plenty of action to keep you on the edge of your seat. Its a page turner which I just could not put down. I connected well with the characters as there was plenty of detail that made you love or hate them. There was a great sense of atmosphere with this story. I love stories with tension that whats going to happen next or what will he do next. The ending was super brilliant but I'm not going to give anything away. Thanks to the author and publishers for bringing this tremendous book to life for us all to enjoy. Also posted the reviews on amazon, waterstones, Google books, Barnes&noble, kobo and goodreads  and my blog
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I really enjoyed this story - it was not what I had been expecting.

Silas goes on a journey to rescue his father with only a ghost as his companion and a pony to guide him.   His father is taken away by a group of counterfeiters leaving his son behind to wait for him to return. After the arrival of Pony, Silas makes the decision to find his father. He  has the ability to see ghosts and is forced to face his fears in the woods where he comes across a Marshall who agrees to let him accompany him as he follows the outlaws.

At times harrowing but fundamentally a story of hope and love.

A beautiful story.  Read in one sitting.
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Lovely well written book, full of adventure and beautiful characters. Warm and kindness flowing through out the characters , with a beautiful adventure.  Highly recommend the book.
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This is the new novel from the author of Wonder. I have to say I thought that author was a man, but I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s because she writes so well as male characters. 

 It’s technically categorised as middle school age. I really enjoyed it though, it’s a specific type of kids book which doesn’t patronise or pander, and actually was quite frightening in parts. They are the best books I remember from growing up like Watership Down or Little House on the Prairie.

Silas lives with his Dad in a hut in late Wild West America, along with their old dog Argos and Silas’ ghostly best friend, Mittenwool. One day, some men come at night and kidnap SIlas’ Dad, so he sets out on a mission to save him. With Mittenwool at his side and the strangely marked Pony they left behind, he has to cross gorges and go through forests, meeting and avoiding people along the way.

Silas isn’t really alone, as he can see other ghosts around him. Sometimes this is good (like with Mittenwool) and sometimes it’s not – like when he needs to get through the forest in the dark, which was the site of a battle and is full of dead people wandering around in their afterlife, looking for redemption. 

Some of it is harsh – exactly as I remember books being at that age.  Somehow it’s quite comforting, and I found myself rooting for Silas and Pony along the way.

The best stories are the ones who have characters you want to meet, and I wanted to meet everyone (well, nearly everyone) Silas is sensitive and clever, and full of courage. 

I recommend this for fans books like Bridge to Terabithia, Whiskey When We’re Dry maybe August . 

Thanks as always to Netgalley and Penguin Random House for the DRC.
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This was such a beautiful book - so well-written with characters that really came to life.  Silas is such a beautiful character and his adventures are so well described.  Highly recommended.
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I loved Wonder and so did my children so this was always going to be a hard act to follow. What Palacio wisely does is writes a very different book and it's just about as successful! 

Set in 1850's America, Pony is the story of a young boy called Silas and his ghost best friend Mittelwood who set out to rescue his kidnapped father. The story has a real magical quality to it and whilst I couldn't love it quite as much as Wonder it's a great book in itself.
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My thanks to the Author publisher's and NetGalley for providing me with a Kindle version of this book to read and honestly review.
As a gruff somewhat grumpy Yorkshire man who turned 64 while reading this book I seriously doubt I am the target audience. However I loved it, well written and researched a beautiful story of love in all its many forms. Clever heart warming with brilliant characters throughout. In parts old fashioned western with shoot outs, part detective mystery, part paranormal ghost story, but always completely and utterly entertaining, engaging from first to last page. Poignant and sad at times that brought tears to these grumpy old eyes.
Totally recommended.
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I was sent an advance proof copy of Pony by R. J. Palacio to read and review by NetGalley. I absolutely adored this book! So beautifully written and so tender, it tells the story of young Silas Bird and his quest to find his kidnapped father. The novel seems timeless and at once both real and ethereal. I will definitely be buying myself a physical copy of this book to keep for myself and will be recommending it from the rooftops!
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I loved Wonder and so was looking forward to another book by the same author. Pony is very different but also has a central character of a boy who is different. 
Set in 1860, Silas lives with his father in a semi remote cabin, his mother having died at his birth. Martin Bird, his father, is a photographer and also makes boots for a living and they live a quiet life together.
Silas has a secret. He can see spirits and has a constant companion, Mitterwool, who goes everywhere with him but who can't be seen by anyone else. His peers tease him for his differences and gradually he retreats to avoiding them. 
Then one day some men appear demanding that Martin goes with them to make counterfeit money for a week. Reluctantly, to save his son, Martin agrees.
This story is about Silas looking for his dad. At the start, I wasn't sure whether I liked the story but warmed to it by the end
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Silas lives with his father out of town. His only companion apart from his father is Mittenwool- who by the way is a ghost. When three men arrive one night & take his father at gunpoint his father tells him to stay where he is. Once the men have gone Silas is in a quandary. What is his father has escaped, what if he has fallen off a horse & is lying somewhere waiting to be rescued? When the pony with the white face that accompanied the men  arrives outside the house Silas takes this as a sign he should go wherever the pony takes him. With just some food & the violin that was his mothers he sets off. Silas's quest mixes the wild West with ghost stories making the reader gallop along with him & Pony accompanied by the mysterious Mittenwool.

Having read & loved 'Wonder' I was drawn to 'Pony' to see if the author could capture the magic in a different setting- they definitely could! I loved the descriptions, the characters & the mystery. Thanks to Netgalley & the publisher for letting me read this great book.
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This is a nice story that I enjoyed and would recommend to pupils that I teach. I liked the writing style and look forward to more from this author.
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To me, 'Wonder' by this author is one of the most beautiful childrens books ever written. And I am thrilled to say this offering is just as beautiful if not more so.
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This was such a beautiful book and, in my opinion, R.J. Palacio's best work yet. 

I loved Wonder, but Pony resonated more with me. Silas is such a sweet character and you just can't help but fall in love with him. I found this book to be beautiful and heartbreaking and I believe this will stay with me for a long time.

This is definitely a book I'd read again and again.
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C.S. Lewis once said, "A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest" and that, to me, sums up Pony perfectly.

I read R.J. Palacio's other book, Wonder, last year and absolutely loved it. I had a feeling that Pony would be very different though and I was right - it was genre-bending, mysterious and full of adventure. 

Set in 1860, Silas embarks on an unforgettable journey after his dad is kidnapped by three men on horses. Weaving his way through the forest with his sidekick, Mittenwool (technically a ghost but more like a brother) and a 'magical horse' that turned up on his doorstep following the kidnap, Silas joins forces with an agent who happens to be hunting the same men. But can the pair find Silas' father before it's too late?

I honestly thought I'd found my favourite book of 2021, until I read Pony - I had no idea what to expect as the blurb is quite vague (for good reason); I thought it would be a nice easy read with it being middle grade but it was so much more than that. Although the audience is technically children, I felt like it was written to be enjoyed by adults alike which is no easy feat for an author. The writing was simple yet engaging with witty one-liners, loveable characters (as well as boo-worthy villains), and a twist of the supernatural (something which, ironically, made the story come alive). There were a number of themes that were well researched and explored, and I love how some of the authors personal interests were woven into the story. 

I'm already excited to reread this one, both as an adult and with my future child. I already know it will be a staple in our household.
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Having read and loved Wonder by R.J. Palacio. I was over the moon on getting an advanced copy of Pony to read and review.

Pony is a totally different book from Wonder, but it just as good, if not better. Pony is set in the USA in 1860 and the main character is called Silas who can see ghosts. After his father is taken by a group of counterfeiting gang, (they want Sailas' father due to his skills. ) 

Silas and Pony go after these counterfeiters to help and free his father. 

Pony is a brilliant book that I couldn't put down and have and will be recommending it to my friends and family.
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Pony by R J Palacio
This book was totally different from Wonder but it was a beautiful story. The setting is USA in 1860; Silas is a young boy who was struck by lightning but survived and is something of an oddity. He has sixth sense in that he can see ghosts, and one in particular, which makes him the butt of so much teasing and bullying that he is home schooled.  Silas’s mum died in childbirth so it is just him and his dad who is a shoemaker and photographer.
One day strangers arrive at their home and take away his father. They are part of a counterfeiting gang and want his father’s skills. Although warned by his father to stay at home, Silas senses danger and determines to find his father.  This is where Pony comes in and where the adventure begins.
R J Palacio is a wonderful storyteller and her characters are well developed, particularly the relationship between Silas and Mittenwool.  Not everyone believes in ghosts and the experience in the woods may be a little scary (plus the violence in the gunfight may need a warning attached), but this is a work of fiction not fact.
There are other strands to the story which result in a satisfactory conclusion when everything is drawn together.  I really enjoyed reading Pony and would recommend it to older children.
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