Riding Freedom

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Scholastic Inc., Sep 1, 1999 - Juvenile Fiction - 138 pages
13 Reviews
Starred Review. Grade 4?6?Equestrian Charlotte "Charley" Parkhurst had the will to overcome challenges and the courage to follow her dreams. In Pam Muņoz Ryan's fictionalized biography (Scholastic, 1998) set in the mid 1800s, Charlotte was raised in an orphanage, loved tending and riding the horses, and yearned for a ranch of her own one day. Banned from the stables, the 12-year-old ran away from the orphanage, disguised herself as a man, became a skilled stagecoach driver, and eventually was the first woman to cast a vote in the California presidential election. Listeners will admire Charley's grit and determination, refusing to give up her dream, even when she was seriously injured and blinded in one eye. Melissa Hughes's narration is superb. She uses her mellifluous voice well, switching easily from raspy Charley to several other male and female characters and employing different regional accents. After the story, Ryan provides additional historical information about Parkhurst's interesting life. Horse aficionados will appreciate the author's attention to detail in recreating the bustling activity of stable and ranch life, while others will enjoy the well-paced adventure and respect Charlotte's determination to meet life head on. A gem.

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I read this book in Grade 6 and I absolutely loved it. I read it once then returned it to my school library. But I couldn't stop re-borrowing it! I recommended it to my best friend and she loved it just as much as I did! Its is an exciting and still wonderful story. I first picked it up llooking for a horse story, but it was more than that. Even though there was only a bit about horses I loved it all the same. I could never put it down. It is a wonderful book and I've been trying to read it ever since I moved schools. I think this book is best for kids around 10-14.  

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About the author (1999)

Pam Munoz Ryan is the recipient of the NEA's Human and Civil Rights Award and the Virginia Hamilton Literary Award for multicultural literature. She has written more than thirty books which have garnered, among countless accolades, the Pura Belpre Medal, the Jane Addams Award, and the Schneider Family Award. Pam lives near San Diego. You can visit her at www.pammunozryan.com.

In addition to The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick is the illustrator of the Caldecott Honor winner, The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins, and The New York Times Best Illustrated Walt Whitman: Words for America, both by Barbara Kerley, as well as the Sibert Honor Winner When Marian Sang, by Pam Muņoz Ryan, and numerous other celebrated picture books and novels. Brian has also worked as a set designer and a puppeteer. When he isn’t traveling to promote his work all over the world, he lives in San Diego, California, and Brooklyn, New York.