Noreen hates being short! She hates having to ride horseback to school behind her brother because she is small but most of all she hates having to stand in the front row with the little kids for the Christmas concert while her best friend, Patty, gets to stand in the second row.
When her school participates in a sports day that will end with a Silly Pet Parade, Noreen plans to enter their family horses Wally as Pegasus and Darnley as the fire-breathing monster in the Silly Pet Parade at their Sports Day. Thanks to Darnley and his perpetually itchy rump, the parade is a disaster and Darnley is put out to pasture in disgrace.
Find out how Darnley gains favour once again with the family through his courage and determination. While honouring Darnley’s courage Noreen realizes she too has grown taller.
What a delightful surprise I had when I picked up Noreen and the Amazing No-Good Horse to browse through and then found myself turning the pages like a thriller. Combining fascinating historical facts about daily life on the prairie for a young girl with a school parade, a snowstorm and unforgettable and heroic horses had me hooked. This is an excellent read for any young person but I think all ages would enjoy it – I certainly did!
Laurie Greenwood for CBC Radio
This is an engaging story about growing up on the prairies during the 1930’s and 1940’s. It would be a great book to read aloud to a class. The author writes an entertaining and visual account of the life of a prairie community. The main characters are very competent children. Students would find it easy to identify with Noreen’s hatred of being short and insignificant. There are many great descriptions that students could use to draw their impressions of prairie life and lots of areas for discussions. There is a nice opportunity to bring in some mythology with the naming of the horse, Pegasus. Previewed by (SSS) Evaluation/Selection.
Literature Connections to The New Social Studies Curriculum Grade 4