Pony

I waited a while to read Pony by R. J. Palacio.  I’m not sure why.  If you haven’t read it yet, don’t wait.   It’s different and special ~ a hero’s journey and Wild West tale rolled into one.

Silas is different.  He has a special relationship with his dad – a boot maker for a living, an engraver and photographer too.  Both Silas and his dad read widely and deeply.  They know many things that others do not.  Silas realizes he may not know things that most most everyone knows.  He just hasn’t needed to know them yet.  He will as the need arises.  Silas love to read and discover right along with Pa.  He helps with the chores around the house.  Hunting is a challenge.  He does not like the woods.  They speak to him in a way that makes him very afraid.  He passed out the first time he tried to go in with his father.  He’s not gone back since.

Silas is special.  He can see ghosts.  One, Mittenwool, has been with him since birth.  They are best friends.   It’s Mittenwool who woke him up on the night the gang came and took Pa.    That was how Silas heard all that was said and saw the three men and the horses.  It’s Mittenwool who agreed to go with him to see if they can find Pa and bring him home. That is how Silas found the courage to overcome his panic and push on.

At the edge of the wood, one of the gang’s horses, the pony finds them.  Silas takes this as a sign.  He must go into the fearsome wood, find his father, and bring him home.  And so their journey begins – Silas, Mittenwool and Pony.

It’s not an easy journey.  Terrible things have happened in those woods – and while you and I might feel the ominous energy, Silas can see the horrific ghostly proof.  There are others traveling through the wood – and while you and I might be skeptical and suspicious, Silas hasn’t had much experience with others in the world and trusts them.

I would have turned back many times, but Silas continues.  He is pushed forward by his love of family, the kindness of friends and his courage to do the right thing.  It is an amazing story that will stay with me long after the cover has been closed.

The book is illustrated with old daguerrotypes, tintypes and other photographs Pa may have taken.  And is further enriched by quotes and passages from books, likely to have been in Pa and Silas’ library

What a story!

Happy Reading! 📚

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