Reading & Writing

"The Flying Horse" will Gallop into the Hearts of Young Readers!

The Flying Horse will Gallop into the Hearts of Young Readers!  Written by Sarah Maslin Nir with illustrations by Lyle Frazier


I first became acquainted with author Sarah Maslin Nir when I read her memoir “Horse Crazy”. This book inspired me to start riding again in my sixties after a long hiatus from having my own horse. Even though “The Flying Horse” is the first in a series of fictional middle-grade novels, we are never too old to read a good horse story. 

"The Flying Horse" tells the story of a horse and a girl growing up and the events that happen to bring them together. The chapters alternate between a 7th grader named Sarah (just like the author) living in New York City and a Netherlands-born horse named Trendsetter.  Sarah and Trendsetter both are trying to live up to the expectations of others. Sarah as a top student and Trendsetter with his breeding legacy. Sarah’s decision to no longer do homework, because she is bad at spelling, and Trendsetter’s crooked hoof bring these two together with the help of a cast of wonderfully written kind characters in this charming story.   

The writing is lyrical and memorable. Describing how horses don’t celebrate birthdays was one of my favorites. “Each morning is a reset: a day to wake up, shimmy the dust off one’s fur, flick the wood shaving out of one’s tail, and take on what comes.” And it continues in a lovely prose from here. 

There’s kindness in this book which I really liked, especially for young readers.  There are beautiful lessons imparted throughout the book, like the importance of being resilient.  Sarah’s grandmother, Frieda, and her teacher, Ms. Moses, really understand Sarah and some of these moments even brought a little tear to my eye, as they were so tender and positive. If everyone had a teacher like Ms. Moses the world would be a better place.

This story, and I predict the two others coming in the series, will be on young riders bookshelves for years to come.  It is reminiscent of stories from my childhood, where I wanted to read passages over and over again. I felt for Trendy like I did for Misty back to my own childhood and reading Marguerite Henry’s “Misty of Chincoteague” book. 

I still fondly remember the day I finally got to go to Chincoteague Island when I was 20 years old to see the actual ponies I had fallen in love through reading. I imagine horse girls everywhere will now dream of seeing the beautiful Lipizzan horses from Nir’s rich descriptions in this book. 

This book will truly make your heart soar! Gallop over to your nearest bookstore and add it to your collection!