Horse of Seven Moons
A horse is the link between his two teen-aged keepers throughout this young adult historical set in 1880s New Mexico. The pinto, called Moon-that-Flies by a young Apache renegade and Moon Dancer by Sarah, a settler, seems to visit each when most needed, and finally becomes the source of a showdown between them and their cultures. Bin-daa-dee-nin, with what’s left of his raiding band, is struggling to survive outside the reservation. Sarah and her family are adapting to a life very different from their more genteel existence. Both find comfort, solace, and inspiration from the horse they share. While respectful and realistic while contrasting both cultures, I found Bin-daa-dee-nin’s story the more compelling, due to his strong character and desperate circumstances. Sarah seemed less of her time as she contradicts her parents and makes foolish choices and doesn’t seem to learn from them. Still, the choice detail of animal, landscape and weather, combine with a galloping story and wonderful bonus of an epilogue to make for a delightful reading experience.