Thursday, September 16, 2021

Book Review: Pony by R. J. Palacio

Pony, by R. J. Palacio, book cover and review
I don't read much middle-grade fiction anymore, but when I saw Pony (and its author Palacio), I couldn't pass it up. I wasn't disappointed. Pony's appeal reaches much farther than the middle school population.

The book is magical and no specific time period is given that I could find, but it seems like it must be the mid-1800s, given the photography element. Silas and his father live an isolated life. His father, though uneducated, is very scientific and is working on a photographic process using chemicals beyond the common daguerreotype. Some mysterious men visit and want to take Silas and his father away so his father can help with some nefarious scheme requiring chemicals. His father negotiates with them to leave Silas, and he will come with them willingly. Silas is to stay put. 

But the next day, the pony that Silas was supposed to ride reappears, and Silas vows to find his father, even though it requires entering the deep, scary woods that aren't far from their home. Fortunately, he is always accompanied by his invisible friend, Mittenwool. Mittenwool has been with Silas for as long as he can remember, and he doesn't know why, but he provides a lot of comfort. 

Silas meets a U. S. Marshal in the woods who is hunting for some counterfeiters. Silas is convinced these are the men who took his father and convinces the Marshal to let him come along. So begins a big adventure, and Silas must be very brave. 

The best part for me is that once the part about Silas' father is over, there is still much more to the story. We learn about Silas in the future--and about his past. Somewhere I read that the crime you think happened isn't really the crime. Well, that's not entirely true, but there is much more to the story than just counterfeiting.

So I think that is all I'll say. The story is rich with details that I haven't mentioned, but given the author, I'm sure you can be confident in this selection. I recommend Pony to pretty much everyone. 

Published by Knopf BFYR, September 28, 2019
eARC obtained from NetGalley
304 pages

Rating: 5/5

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  1. I loved WONDER so I bet I would like this book, too.

  2. Wow, 5 stars! I am so glad you enjoyed this one and that it will appeal beyond middle grades.


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