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Justin Morgan Had a Horse (1945)

por Marguerite Henry

Outros autores: Wesley Dennis (Ilustrador)

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3,156194,252 (3.93)30
An unusual work horse raised in Vermont and known originally as "Little Bub" becomes the sire of a famous American breed and takes the name of his owner, Justin Morgan.
  1. 10
    A Morgan for Melinda por Doris Gates (bookel)
  2. 00
    Carry On, Mr. Bowditch por Jean Lee Latham (kaledrina)
    kaledrina: similar main characters (Bowditch as a child, Joel; Bowditch as an adult, Justin Morgan); indentured children, drive for success
  3. 00
    A Filly for Melinda por Doris Gates (bookel)
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Little Bub, Justin Morgan's horse, knows how to make a statement. From the first whinny in chapter one as a "too small" colt to the "deep snorty rumble" he obliges to President Monroe at the peak of the horse's fame, he frames the history of the first of the Morgan breed in style.

Justin Morgan Had a Horse depicts the real story of how the Morgan breed came to be. It hauls logs, pulls carriages, out races Thoroughbreds on the 1/2 mile, possesses a sweet disposition and calm manner, and packs all those characteristics into a tiny body that originally no one thought would be worth any money. Marguerite Henry consults with many historians, surviving relatives of some of her book's characters, and many history books to make her horse stories as authentic as possible. That and great story telling makes all of her books fascinating reads.

The narrative follows Joel Goss, initially a ten-year-old boy joining his teacher, Justin Morgan, on a peregrination to Massachusetts. Morgan has debts to repay, and he was hoping a friend that owed him had the money. Instead Morgan and Joel leave with one colt...wait, it seems the friend saw Joel eyeing the other colt, so the friend left the gait open and...two colts. Joel and Little Bub begin their story.

Morgan can't find anyone willing to buy such a small creature and had Joel gentle and train him. Joel aims to buy Little Bub one day, but in the meanwhile a novel passes. Little Bub grows in fame. He's able to do everything one can expect from a horse, and then some. Size doesn't matter. However, money does and Joel has to keep saving.

I love Henry's books for many reasons: the horses, the history, the friendliness of the people, and the bond between the main human character and the main equine character. Joel wants a life filled with love and horses, and he's willing to find a way to make that happen even though his father forces him to sign on as an apprentice to the town's inn and sawmill owner. Little Bub gets rented and owned all over, competes all over, but Joel finds a way to accompany him. I imagine those movies where bad things happen to the animals--and even though this rarely happens in Henry's books--I feel like Joel is a projection of myself, and assuring the safety of the horse everywhere he goes.

I'm amazed how long-lived Little Bub was. The book runs from around 1794 to maybe 1815--the book is vague at some points, but shows official dates at others. Little Bub was put to work almost immediately--trained over his first winter in Vermont, and logging by summer. So he couldn't have been as tiny as the earliest chapters make him sound, which was perhaps a yearling. I'm going to suppose he was born in 1791 to be barely old enough for the heavy hauling he did. He's perfectly healthy around 1815. I'd imagine 24 years is exceptional for a horse in that time period.

Little Bub, who adopted his owner's name Justin Morgan, was the little horse that could ( )
  leah_markum | Oct 28, 2022 |
I live in Vermont, my name is Morgan, and I really like horses. So yeah, one of my favorite children s books. ( )
  Ghost_Boy | Aug 25, 2022 |
The story of a horse who sired a breed of American working horse- the Justin Morgan. ( )
  MaryRachelSmith | Nov 30, 2021 |
As a child, and as an adult too actually, I loved horse stories. Marguerite Henry writes an easy but enjoyable horse story. Her stories feel very true to the time and setting and are enjoyable to read. ( )
  KateKat11 | Sep 24, 2021 |
This fictionalized account of the first Morgan horse is a bit old fashioned but it's still a decent enough tale. None of the characters are very deeply developed. Even the protagonist, Joel Goss, isn't a full personality. Towards the end, the story sidelines for 40 or 50 pages to tell about the War of 1812, including some bits about military tactics. This whole section is irrelevant to the story of the horse, so it feels out of place and unnecessary. And I must complain about the last sentence of the book. Probably in 1954, when originally published, the closing line seemed brilliantly patriotic, but today it just seems self righteously trite and contrived. ( )
  fingerpost | Jun 18, 2019 |
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Dennis, WesleyIlustradorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
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To my Morgan horse, Friday, and to Fred Tejan, who gentled him
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This is the story of a common, ordinary little work horse who turned out to be the father of a famous family of American horses.
The little reddish-brown colt stopped nibbling grass.
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An unusual work horse raised in Vermont and known originally as "Little Bub" becomes the sire of a famous American breed and takes the name of his owner, Justin Morgan.

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