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My Friend Flicka (1941)

por Mary O'Hara

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Séries: Flicka (1)

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Through his intense devotion to the colt Flicka, a young boy, living on a Wyoming ranch, begins to learn about responsibility and gain a better understanding of his brusque father.
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It seems Ken can't do anything right. He loses saddle blankets and breaks reins... but then comes the worst news yet: a report card so bad that he has to repeat a grade. How can you tame the dreamy mind of a boy who stares out of the window instead of taking an exam? Enter Flicka, the chestnut filly with a wild spirit. Over the course of one magical summer, both will learn the meaning of responsibility, courage, and, ultimately, friendship.
  PlumfieldCH | Dec 21, 2023 |
Month of January 2022: Young Reader’s Classics

READING LEVEL: 6.0 AR POINTS: 15.0
(Ages 8-12 years, grades 3-7)
Originally published in 1941.


3.5 rounded up to 4...better than average, not a great story...but a good story

You will see a lot of the author’s own life sprinkled into this novel. The question is...just how much is of her life? She used her own real 130-acre ranch, which sat over 7500 feet in altitude between Cheyenne and Laramie, Wyoming, as the setting. In the story, Ken McLaughlin’s father is an ex-Army officer. The author was really married at the time, living on the ranch and writing this book, married to a Swede named Helge Sture-Vasa. He previously worked with horses in the U.S. Army Remount Service. The name “Flicka” is Swedish for little girl. The McLaughlin family in the story had a Swedish foreman working for them. Also, the author had a son named Kent. In the novel, the protagonist is named Ken.

Ken McLaughlin's father was MEAN! Constantly insulting and cutting him down. Screaming and hollering, “You cost me money every time I turn around”, “I didn’t think you’d amount to anything”, or just downright calling him lazy and good for nothing. He was also constantly snapping at everyone around him, barking orders, and having everyone walking on eggshells, especially his wife who was constantly trying to console him to ease his temper against Ken...who he literally treated like he hated. Some might call this "tough love", but, at times it was extreme.

So, where does this come from? Was this really the character of the author’s own Swede husband, her second husband, who’s marriage dissolved after 11 years. Or could this have been her father’s actions toward her growing up years? Mary's father was a Reverend, and against his wishes, she married her third cousin, Kent Parrot? Was Mary really the dreamy, insecure little kid portrayed in Ken’s character? Or was this Kent Parrot's character? Their marriage also dissolved. I wonder!!! So, this was how I was reading the story, trying to figure out what was real. One thing is for sure, she SURE DID KNOW A LOT ABOUT RAISING AND BREEDING HORSES! And by the time you finish reading this, you will also know how much work goes into breeding and training them.

This is a slow, meandering type of story, which I love because it’s outdoors. Ken is a dreamer because he obviously feels like the failure his father makes him feel like in life. He’s awkward. He’s clumsy. He ruins just about everything. He has a habit of drifting off into la-la land, dreaming of places he loves, things he loves, but mainly of a horse of his own. He fails 5th grade because he doesn’t turn in a 2-page report because he was busy daydreaming in class and now has to repeat. His father is irate because now it’s going to cost him more money. But, his mother gets him. She talks some sense into the cranky old man, and they decide to allow Ken to choose one colt to raise and train up because Ken needs to feel successful of at least something.

Ken picks out the most unlikely rambunctious colt from a bad blood bronco. Of course, his father shows total lack of faith that Ken can train this pony and points it out at every opportunity. But, Ken does it. Slowly but surely, he wins over the trust and love of this horse named Flicka. This turns out to be a good little story of what love and perseverance can bring. Not great, but good! I didn’t like the daddy being downright hateful at times.

I did think I was the only mother in the world whose kids thought their mother never slept. I had three kids and each one of them, from age 2 to 4 years, would quietly walk into our bedroom and to my side of the bed at around 4:00am in the mornings. I’d sit up before they even got there and ask, “What it is sweety? You need to cuddle?” I’d slide over and they climb in bed for a couple of hours. Well, when my son was four years old, he literally asked me what Ken in the story asked his mom, “Don’t you ever sleep at all, Mother?” She always seemed awake every time Ken walked into the room and reached her bedside. haha….

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mary O’Hara Alsop, born July 10 1885 in Cape May Point, New Jersey. She was the third of four children born to Reverend Reese Alsop and Mary Spring. Mary O’Hara, her artist name, married her 3rd cousin, Kent Kane Parrot, in 1905 and had two children: Mary Parrot (b. 1908-1995) and Kent Parrot Jr. (1911-1995). Their marriage dissolved.

In 1922, she married a Swede by the name of Helge Sture-Vasa. He was the horseman. In 1930, they bought the Remount Ranch in Southeastern Wyoming, in Laramie County, which provided beautiful views for her writing inspiration but not much profit due to the Great Depression. They raised sheep and bred horses. It was here she wrote the trilogy, her most cherished works: My Friend Flicka, Thunderhead and Green Grass of Wyoming. They lived there until 1946, sold it and moved to California. Their marriage dissolved one year after moving to California.

She then moved to Connecticut and continued to write plays and musicals and novels. In 1968, she moved to Chevy Chase, Maryland, and lived until her death on October 14, 1980. She died at age 95.

TRILOGY SERIES

#1 My Friend Flicka (1941)
#2 Thunderhead (1943)
#3 Green Grass of Wyoming (1946)

BOOK-TO-MOVIE

1943 - “My Friend Flicka”, starring Roddy MacDowell
1945 - “Thunderhead, Son of Flicka”, starring Roddy McDowall, Preston Foster, and Rita Johnson.
1948 - “Green Grass of Wyoming”, starring Peggy Cummins, Charles Coburn and Robert Arthur.
2006 - “Flicka”, the protagonist is a girl instead of a boy, played by Alison Lohman, also starring Maria Bello, Ryan Kwanten and country singer Tim McGraw.

TV SERIES

“My Friend Flicka” - ran from 1956-1956 & again between 1959 and 1966, then ran again in the mid ‘80s. ( )
  MissysBookshelf | Aug 27, 2023 |
Dit boek kan ik niet lezen zonder dar de tranen me over de wangen lopen. Nu ik ouder ben, zie ik er meer in dan toen ik het als tiener las. Nog steeds is het prachtig! ( )
  elsmvst | May 20, 2021 |
I read this at some point in my childhood and it was okay. Not my favorite horse story, and the only major thing I can remember about it is an episode involving barbed wire. ( )
  beautifulshell | Aug 27, 2020 |
Loved it. I wish I had the other books. ( )
  Bookoftheworm | Aug 16, 2018 |
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» Adicionar outros autores (20 possíveis)

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Mary O'Haraautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Sibley, DonaldIlustradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Tunnicliffe, C.F.Ilustradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Zengerer, IngeborgTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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High up on the long hill they called the Saddle Back, behind the ranch and the county road, the boy sat his horse, facing east, his eyes dazzled by the riding sun.
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Through his intense devotion to the colt Flicka, a young boy, living on a Wyoming ranch, begins to learn about responsibility and gain a better understanding of his brusque father.

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