So Tansy has issued a Book Week Blog Challenge inviting people to write about their childhood reading. And I have a few things I wanted to share with you, but first of all I’m going to start with my favourite childhood book (and favourite series), ‘The Silver Brumby’ by Elyne Mitchell.
I read this book (and the series) countless times and I have a new edition copy of the book waiting for me to reread yet again. Only this time, I’m hoping to introduce it to some of the significant people in my life. I’ve always wanted to read it aloud, and I’m hoping that I can do this soon with some of my Loves.
As a child, I was completely into horses, and this book won my heart in the first pages. A foal is born, his mother loves him, he has a best friend and they have adventures throughout the Snowy Mountains. To this day I want to visit the Snowy Mountains and explore the places I remember reading about as a child.
I loved the descriptions of Thowra’s life and his journey, I loved his sense of character, I loved the other horses he came into contact with, his friends, his enemies. This is a book where kindness and wisdom were celebrated, where violence existed but as a last resort.
I loved that these stories were about the world of horses and their society – there were no human voices to impose on this experience, humans were ‘other’ and unwanted, unnecessary to the life Thowra sought. And, though in the story he was sought after by humans, I loved that he was always one step ahead, I loved that he triumphed through many hardships, found and sought love, family, friendship and loyalty.
Writing this makes me want to pick it up immediately, but I’m still holding out to read it aloud so I might poke those I’d love to introduce it to instead.
Elyne Mitchell is an amazing woman who lived in the Snowy Mountains herself, she wrote and had many books published, many of them still in print. ‘The Silver Brumby’ is an Australian classic story and I would see it celebrated with more acclaim than it gets – all the fuss died down after the movie and the animated television series. I’ve been sad to see it omitted from Australian bookstores who have an Australian Classics section in their shops. The stories she told should be remembered and shared and I hope that some of you take the time to look up this book and try it out for yourself. It is something special indeed.
This image is the same cover of the edition of this book I owned as a child: