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Book review
Horse of Seven Moons
by Karen Taschek

review by Erica DuLac

A captivating story of two teens growing up at
lightning speed in the the 1880s.  The boy, a sixteen
year - old Apache, whose family has been forced onto
reservation; the girl, a fourteen year - old settler
whose family has just moved from the East.  They never
meet but each shares the best parts of life with the
same beautiful Pinto horse. 

Life in those ‘simpler’ times was hard and demanded
much.   Frowned - on emotions road the roller coaster
with life hanging on the line. 

This fast - read is informative fiction that doesn’t
read like a history book.  Vivid description will have
the story racing through your mind.

Horse Straddles Two Distinct Cultures
in New Young Adult Novel

ALBUQUERQUE- Sixteen-year- old Mescalero Apache Bin-daa-dee-nin struggles up a flooded mountainside, trying desperately to survive. In a land where washed-out arroyos and
flashes of water turn many a summer afternoon bleak, Bindaa-dee-nin's one consolation is a surefooted, intelligent pinto
he has found wandering the land just before dawn under a full moon.

In Horse o/.Seven Moons, renowned children's author Karen Taschek tells the story of Moon Dancer-a horse that brings together the youth of two distinct cultures-Bin-daa-dee-nin from the Mescalero Apache reservation in southwestern New Mexico and Sarah Chilton, an Anglo girl who just moved to her family's ranch near Cooke's Peak from Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Sarah finds Bin-daa-dee-nin's estranged horse under a Valentine's
Day full moon near the river. She names him Moon Dancer, teaches him to jump, and begins to train the horse. That is, until one day when the Apaches raid the ranch and Moon Dancer is taken back by his original owners.

Moon Dancer is something of a vagrant horse, roaming the land and exchanging owners numerous times through army battles and raids.
As both Sarah Chilton and Bin-daa-dee-nin puzzle over the horse's mysterious disappearances and newly learned training and tricks taught by the other, both learn an important lesson: life requires constant adaptation.

For inspiration for Horse of Seven Moons;  Taschek looked into her own backyard.

"I got inspiration from my own pinto, Sky Dancer. 1 would go out
to the corral and watch him toss his head, nip the other horses, or gallop when I needed a description of horse behavior. I also spent many happy days at Los Chaparrales,
a ranch near Den-thug,
listening to stories of frontier days and Apache raids," Taschek explains. "Finally. I visited the Mescalero Apache reservation
and had fascinating conversations about the old days and about
current tribal hopes with the tribal librarian and museum curator."

"I feel the Native American children would enjoy this book. The traditional aspects are consistent with the traditions of the Apache people," declares Lillian Chavez, Mescalero Apache tribal librarian.

Horse of Seven Moons, the only children's book written about the Mescalero Apache, is available at bookstores or directly from the University of New Mexico Press. To order, please call 800-249-7377
or visit our website, unmpress.com, where one can find information
on UNMP author events in your area.

Karen Taschek, writing under the name Karen Bentley, has written twelve books on horses in the best-selling Thoroughbred series on racehorses.

© Oak Park Journal
published by Suburban Journals of  Chicago Inc.

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