The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge

Sometimes you just need a “cracking good story.”  In 1842, Maria Merryweather, an orphan from London, goes to live in the West Country with a distant counsin.  Maria’s cousin Sir Benjamin is welcoming and affectionate and Moonacre Manor is beautiful but cousin and manor have an air of mystery.  Why is the Pine Woods full of terrifying Dark Men?  Who is the beautiful woman who lives in a secret cave?  Why is Maria’s imaginary friend Robin suddenly real?  What is Sir Benjamin’s secret sadness?  Did the original founder of Moonacre Manor put the town under a curse?  Did Maria really see a little white horse in the moonlight?

The Little White Horse has adventure, romance, scary bits, and characters you care about.  It is, however, very definitely old fashioned in flavor and gentle.  Give this book to children who enjoy books like The Secret Garden, but want more magic or romance than straight historical fiction. 

(PS: This was also J.K. Rowling’s favorite book when she was a child–she’s the one who called it “cracking good.”)

Posted by: Sarah

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