October 07, 2011

Sea Star: Orphan of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry

After reading Misty of Chincoteague, anyone could become enamored with the ponies of Assateague island. That being said, this book is kind of a let down after that. While it was still well written for children and does envelop the horse culture that is Chincoteague, the story almost seems incomplete and not very fleshed out.

Its the next Pony Penning day at Chincoteague and before all the wild ponies of Assateague can be driven over to the island, Paul and Maureen are approached by some movie makers wanting to buy Misty, their pony they had gotten the year before. Misty is beloved to them and they have a hard time letting her go, but need the money to send their uncle to college and also think other children should be able to experience the wonderfulness that is Misty. With the emptiness that fills their hearts after letting her go, they need to find something to ease the pain. Luckily, they find an orphaned foal whom they call Sea Star and claim him for their very own. He doesn't want to eat however, and is not thriving very well. Maureen and Paul have to find a way to save him.

The characters in this book are not as fleshed out. Although they are the same as from the previous books, they just don't have as much warmth to them and even Grandpa Beebe seems a little less cheerful. Grandma Beebe gets a few more lines in this book which was nice to see, but still remains a minor character. The book mostly focuses on Paul and Maureen but they are often doing things rather than experiencing them and showing emotion (the exception being when they make the decision to sell Misty).

This book is still very well written for kids. Most of it is easy to read and understand and has a simplicity that even the younger ages can handle. There isn't anything offensive in this book and it is appropriate for all ages. I do find some flaws in the writing though, although a lot happens in this book there is scant description and the ending seemed incomplete. Another fifty pages or so would definitely help the book and bring the story along more.

It was an ok book, just not as good as some of Henry's others. I do look forward to reading some of her other books and always love a good horse story that appeals to adults and children alike.

Sea Star
Copyright 1949
174 pages including pictures

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