Children's · historical · science

REVIEW: The Horse Who Moved Bones by S.B. Julian

The Official Description: For the Middle School reader who loves horses, dinosaurs, science and/or history. Cloudie was one of a team of horses who hauled fossils out of the dinosaur digs of southwest Alberta at the turn of the 20th century. This is her illustrated story, and an evocation of a place and culture ca. 1900.

Just the facts: Young Adult, historical, a brief intro to paleontology

My thoughts bit: Cloudie is a Percheron (draft horse) with a very special job. She is part of the team that pulls the stone boat that is filled with rock containing fossils. Jake is the man who takes care of Cloudie and the other horses. He oversees their work, takes care of them, and is very fond of the horses.

This story is a great way for a young reader to be introduced to the historical process of retrieving dinosaur bones and other fossils. The author has set Cloudie’s story in the 1920s in Alberta. This time was the beginning of the discovery of dinosaur bones in the badlands. Cloudie was around and working at the time of the discovery and naming of the “Albertosaurus”.

The book is a great introduction to the badlands, the history of dinosaur excavation, and the work that was originally done by draft horses rather than manmade equipment. It’s entertaining enough that middle-grade readers will enjoy the book. The addition of illustrations and photographs make the book more enjoyable and will engage young readers.

The writing style would lend itself well to a middle-grade audience, In particular, I think that children with an interest in paleontology or horses would find the book interesting. Please take heed of the warnings as the horse comes ot a natural end of her life at the end of the book. This isn’t an unpleasant experience and it’s natural, but it may disturbing to readers who are on the younger side.

Things You May Want To Know: Please be aware, I’m by no means an expert on what may or may not have the potential to disturb people. I simply list things that I think a reader might want to be aware of. In this book: (SPOILERS) please be aware that the horse is trapped briefly and then injured, the horse dies at the end of the book

I received an ARC of the Horse Who Moved Bones from The Author in exchange for an unbiased review.

Click here for the author’s website.

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