My Friend Flicka by Mary O’Hara

My Friend Flicka
Mary O’Hara
HarperTrophy (2008)
ISBN 9780061374630
Reviewed by Anne Marie Medema (age 12) for Reader Views (7/08)

 

Mary O’Hara is an excellent author because she ties in real things that happen into a fictional family.  The breeds of horses O’Hara writes about are real and it is obvious she is educated in each horse’s individual characteristics.  O’Hara writes using authentic western language terms.  In “My Friend Flicka” the story comes alive to the reader as O’Hara writes with much description about the farm, the horses and life out West.  O’Hara weaves into her story punishment and reward in real times — the reward of a boy’s joy when he finally receives his filly.

Can you tame a wild heart?  The cover states it well.  This question explains “My Friend Flicka” to the reader.  It is a book about taming both a young boy and a horse.  The storyline begins with Ken on a horse ride.  While riding, Ken loses many different horse articles.  Ken’s father had been an army officer and thus raised Ken with firmness and strictness.  He demanded respect.  Ken has always been dreaming of a horse of his own.

Due to poor grades in school and a missed assignment about horses Ken must repeat a grade in school.  His father requires Ken to complete an hour of homework a day throughout the entire summer.  Ken’s brother gets him in trouble by asking many questions that Ken must answer and tell the truth.

One day Ken scares his father’s horses towards a landslide.  One horse cuts the other horses off so none of them fall off and are saved.  Ken’s mother encourages his father to give his son a horse.  Ken’s father finally gives him a chance to care for a colt or filly.  Ken chooses a colt that is a yearling.   Since there are many yearlings to choose from, Ken anxiously awaits to make a choice.

The doctor arrives at their farm because four horses need to be gelded.  Gelded means the horse can not reproduce and is done to the stallions.  The procedure was so horrible and so much blood lost that one of the horses dies due to the gelding.  The colts act sad after the gelding.  Ken is greatly disturbed by it.  This incident means Ken will choose a filly for his horse.

Rocket is a wild horse who has a filly named Flicka.  Ken sees Flicka and falls in love with her and wants her.  Flicka is caught for Ken.  One day Flicka falls sick.  After she is sick, Ken finds Flicka in a river lying down ill on a cold night.  By the morning, Ken is sick and Flicka’s fever is gone.  Ken’s father wants to kill Flicka but decides against it.  Flicka turns into a well-bred horse and a companion for Ken.  Flicka and Ken grow up together and learn life lessons from each other.

“My Friend Flicka” by Mary O’Hara is a great book I would recommend for young and old alike.  Boys and girls who have a love for ranches, horses and the outdoors would particularly enjoy the storyline.  I have read many books in my life time and I rank this one as one of the best.  Break-in a book called “My Friend Flicka” and gallop away from the world.

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