The Wild Mustang: Horses of the American West (History Comics)

by Chris Duffy (Author) Falynn Koch (Illustrator)

The Wild Mustang: Horses of the American West (History Comics)
Reading Level: 4th – 5th Grade
Series: History Comics

Turn back the clock with History Comics, First Second's new nonfiction graphic novel series! In this volume, learn how wild mustangs were first introduced to America and how they still roam free today.

On the North American plains, wild mustangs have roamed for generations . . . shaping human history and struggling to survive it. For the Spanish, they were a tool of conquest. For Native Americans, they brought on a new way of life where horsemanship and horse-trading were central. And for the entire world, wild mustangs became a renowned wonder of the American West. There are still thousands of mustangs in the wild today, but they struggle to survive in an ever-changing landscape and their future is by no means guaranteed.

Select format:

More books in the series - See All

Kirkus Reviews

A surprisingly comprehensive history of wild horses.

School Library Journal

Gr 4-6--In a decidedly irreverent ride over the ups and downs of wild horses in the Old and New West, several Gumby-like rock drawings, both humanlike and equine, spring to life. Schooling the less than knowledgeable humans, the snarky horse trots through historical eras, from the introduction (actually, reintroduction) of horses to the New World by Christopher Columbus on his second voyage in 1493, to the juggling act Federal Bureau of Land Management performs today to keep wild populations humanely in check. The tour covers equine prehistory, anatomy, social behavior, and--in a tone that's a little too buoyant for the subject--how the animals' arrival in the American West transformed the Comanche and other Native American residents into dedicated horse thieves. As, over time, domesticated horses escaped to become huge wild herds, the work of mustangers like Johanna July in the late 1800s to capture wild horses one by one turned into systematic slaughter until the public campaigns of Velma "Wild Horse Annie" Johnston and other activists in the 1950s brought that part of the story to a (reasonably) happy ending. Along with playful details, Koch tucks proud, graceful horses aplenty, both wild and at work, into her mix of square and free-form sequential panels. VERDICT Corrals both the romantic and revolting sides of the story: Elementary and middle school readers who saddle up are in for a heady ride.--John Peters, Children's Literature Consultant, New York

Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
Chris Duffy

Chris Duffy has written many comic books for Marvel and DC Comics, and has edited comics and graphic novels for Nickelodeon Magazine, United Plankton Pictures, DC Comics, and First Second, where he edited the New York Times bestseller Fairy Tale Comics. He is currently a senior editor at Workman Publishing, and lives in Cold Spring, New York, where he has seen a number of horses, but hasn't managed to ride one yet.

Falynn Koch was born and raised in Buffalo, New York. She has an MFA in sequential art from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta and is a graduate of the International Culinary Center in New York City. She loves to travel and explore the outdoors with her husband and occasionally her dogs. Her books from First Second include Science Comics: Bats, Science Comics: Plagues, Maker Comics: Bake Like a Pro!, History Comics: The National Parks, History Comics: The Wild Mustangs (with writer Chris Duffy), and Science Comics: Elephants (with writer Jason Viola).

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
First Second
Publication date
February 20, 2021
History Comics
BISAC categories
JNF003110 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Animals | Horses
JNF025170 - Juvenile Nonfiction | History | United States/General
JNF062020 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Comics & Graphic Novels | History
Library of Congress categories
Graphic novels
West (U.S.)
Cartoons and comics
Comics (Graphic works)
Nonfiction comics
Educational comics
Little Maverick Reading List
Selection 2022

Subscribe to our delicious e-newsletter!