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.
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 YorkCopyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.