Step Right Up, How Doc and Jim Key Taught the World About Kindness
by Donna Janell Bowman, illustrated by Daniel Minter
Lee and Low Books Inc., 2016
This little known history story is about a former slave who had a way with animals. Because of his abilities, people soon started calling him Doc. When the Civil War ended, he started a horse hospital. He owned a horse who birthed Jim, part Arabian. The horse was so sickly, Doc kept him in his house until he got better. Doc soon discovered just how smart Jim was and began teaching him the alphabet—which Jim learned! Doc and Jim began touring the US. In time Jim worked with the Human Society and helped promote kindness towards animals. The compelling story keeps the pages turning and an afterword includes photos and more details about Doc and Jim.
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A Horse Called Hero
Feiwel and Friends, 2013
Wonderful story about a boy and his horse, set in the turmoil of World War II in England.
Eight-year old Wolfie and his older sister Dodo live in London with a caretaker while their father is serving in the military. As bombing escalates, children are evacuated and sent to live with families in the country. They are stuck with a caretaker that doesn’t want them. Wolfie discovers an abandoned newborn colt. Neighbors say it won’t survive and decide to kill it, but Boy claims it as his. His medal-winning father returns to England, but he has been charged with desertion and remains in jail. The locals want nothing to do with kids of a deserter; they are returned, but their teacher takes them in.
The horse is magnificent and keeps the family focused during numerous hardships including thievery, floods, and mining battles, all of which they have no control. For five years, the father and children write each other regularly. While not a true story, it includes real events that occurred during World War II and keeps readers engaged with several life-and-death situations.
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