Coal Black Horse

Coal Black Horse

Large Print - 2008
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When Robey Childs's mother has a premonition about her husband, a soldier fighting in the Civil War, she does the unthinkable: she sends her only child to find his father on the battlefield and bring him home.

At fourteen, wearing the coat his mother sewed to ensure his safety--blue on one side, gray on the other-- Robey thinks he's off on a great adventure. But not far from home, his horse falters and he realizes the enormity of his task. It takes the gift of a powerful and noble coal black horse to show him how to undertake the most important journey of his life: with boldness, bravery, and self-posession.

Coal Black Horse joins the pantheon of great war novels-- All Quiet on the Western Front, The Red Badge of Courage, The Naked and the Dead .
Publisher: Detroit : Gale Cengage Learning, 2008, c2007
Edition: Large print ed. --
ISBN: 9781594132377
Branch Call Number: LP FIC Olmst 3558ad 1
Characteristics: 309 p


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Jun 13, 2020

I'm not sure why Robert Olmstead isn't better known. He writes some brutal and bleak books that are somewhat like Cormac McCarthy but easier to read. This one is set in the Civil War. I also really liked "Savage Country," which is about buffalo hunting.

madame_librarian Jan 20, 2011

On the eve of the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863, Hettie Childs has a premonition and sends her only child Robey, age fourteen, on a mission to bring his father back to the safety of their remote farm in the Virginia hills. Robey's journey is arduous, perilous, and brings this boy's childhood to a sudden and lasting end. Accompanied by a beautiful and mystical coal black horse, Robey is shot, robbed, nearly starved, and hunted by the terrible, desperate characters created by war. He witnesses horrific scenes of slaughter and brutality; he sees people at their very worst and some at their best. The horse is Robey's protector and teacher during much of his journey, and is only one of many such elements in a richly contrived story filled with symbolism, metaphor, and the lyrical idiom of the South. I highly recommend this powerful and moving coming-of-age war story for adult readers and mature young adult readers. It's an excellent book group choice as well.
-Madame Librarian

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