Andrea reviews PONY by R.J. Palacio, Random House Publishing, 2021, 289 pages. Twelve year-old Silas Bird is not your typical young man and he does not have typical preteen issues. For starters, this children’s book is set in the late 1800’s. Since Silas’ mother died in childbirth, it has always been just Silas and his Pa, When the novel begins, we find out Mr. Bird is being forced to leave his home by three outlaws on horseback. After a sleepless night, Silas is met at his doorstep by a small, young horse that he immediately names Pony even though he is constantly thinking and rejecting more grandiose names for his noble steed. Accompanied by his imaginary friend, a ghost named Mittenwool, Silas believes Pony was sent to help him find Pa. The companions are assisted by a marshal/bounty hunter named Farmer who is enlisted to find the outlaws who kidnapped Pa/Martin Bird. Lots of details and stories are interwoven in this children’s western tale.
For those of you who might remember Palacio’s name, yes, she is the one who wrote the book, WONDER., the children’s book that sparked the CHOOSEKIND movement. In her newest book, PONY, is also labeled a children’s book. With its blend of history, mythology, romance and mysticism, this book will appeal to readers of all ages. Once you pick up PONY, you are not putting it back down until you read the very last page. I promise!