My Friend Flicka (Flicka, #1) Audible –

There are certain books that I think are always miscategorized as children s books simply because a child character is central to the story, but were really never intended to be To Kill a Mockingbird, for instance I will always be grateful that I didn t get around to reading that until I was in my late teens and able to properly appreciate it My Friend Flicka is another Even though the central character is a ten year old boy, his story is viewed through the lens of an adult perspective, and indeed almost as much of the book is written from the point of view of Ken s parents as from his own I read it too young when I read it for the first time pre teens or very early teens if I remember rightly and I was rather shell shocked by it by the scenes involving animals injury or death, the occasional harsh language, and simply the intensity of its emotions, particularly those experienced and manifested by the adult characters.When I re read it a few years later, I liked it better But I don t think it was until this latest re read that I fully appreciated it, even though by now it s familiar enough that I remembered nearly every scene and line that I was mature enough to see, besides the mere events of the story, what the author was saying through it to feel and understand its themes of love, fear, and dreams.Even though the central facet of the plot is a young boy s desire to own and gentle a wild filly, it s not just another simple child and their horse story It s a sensitively written novel that deals with the beauty and excitement as well as the harshness and struggles of ranch life the relationship tensions of a rather volatile, albeit essentially loving family and the bittersweet process of a dreamer being brought to face both the pain and joy of real life.It s not all hard hitting and dramatic moments there are funny little moments that make you grin, and a casual wealth of detail that makes you feel like you re looking over the shoulder of very real people at their lives and work And the last few pages never fail to bring tears to my eyes.Don t read My Friend Flicka too young But do read it at some point. A vivid story about ten year old Ken McLaughlin and his connection with Flicka, a filly born on his parents ranch in Wyoming Ken, a sensitive boy given to daydreaming, confounds his father, Rob McLaughlin, whose personality is forthright, assertive and demanding When Ken is offered a choice of a young horse to raise and train as his own, he chooses Flicka, an animal his father believes will be troublesome and untameable But Ken has already imagined his life with Flicka and refuses to make a different choice.Ken s mother Nell has a much greater understanding of her younger son s temperament She holds her own among the male dominated life on Goose Bar Ranch and subtly runs interference with her husband on Ken s behalf Howard, Ken s older brother alternates between wanting to keep the upper hand over his younger sibling and softening on occasion to help Ken out The first half of the story builds up to the capture of Flicka and the second half follows the forming of the deep bond between horse and boy and the price they each pay for their connection I first read this story as a ten or 11 year old I was not a horse obsessed kid but reading My Friend Flicka, Thunderhead and Green Grass of Wyoming tapped into a longing for the unspoken bond that can happen with an animal It also painted a picture of a landscape of hills, grasslands, mountains, wide open skies and ranch life that resonated with me and was so different from my own Re reading this book as an adult did not disappoint I was interested to see how well the the shifting points of view from Ken to Nell to Rob and occasionally Gus, the ranch manager, worked to add to the emotional tension It is not typical of the way current children s books are written using the adult POV to create empathy with the child protagonist Here we feel empathy for each POV character The conflict between Ken and his father and between the humans and nature drive the story effectively The descriptions are specific and vivid both of setting and people The story has an intensity to it as it portrays life on a Wyoming ranch in a particular time and place.This was as satisfying a read as an adult as I remember as a child. Ken is a kid who can t do anything right He daydreams during the school year and isn t promoted He is the object of his older brother s scorn He makes a mess of everything he is asked to do on his father s ranch his father is fed up with him Just when you think Ken is doomed to a life of failure, his mother has an imaginative idea give Ken what he wants most, a horse of his own, a horse to break and teach and love And because he loves his wife and because he can t think of anything else, Ken s father agrees and allows Ken to choose a colt to raise.Ken chooses Flicka, a colt with a wild and unmanageable mother Ken s father tries to change his son s mind, but Ken stubbornly clings to his desire for Flicka And once again, it feels like Ken is heading for doom, that he has once again made the wrong choice But, though Flicka and Ken have many setbacks, Ken s decision to choose Flicka is a good one, and both Ken and Flicka become stronger for their trials and troubles This is a great story of courage and redemption and love and struggle. Okay, I ll say it right here at the beginning of this review for me Best Horse Book Ever.In my quest as a young girl to read every single horse book I could find, I somehow bypassed this one Maybe it was because I would appreciate it even later in life Although parts of it now seem dated it was first published in 1941 it reads best as historical fiction, depicting life on a remote Wyoming ranch in the early part of the 20th century Some things, like certain expressions and horse training methods, might seem harsh to modern readers, but were real at the time.The theme of family, however, with a demanding father trying to balance the duties of running a ranch with understanding his sensitive son, buffered by a loving mother, ring just as true today as they must have when this book was first published.Oh, but for the love of a horse A filly named Flicka I think anyone who has ever truly loved an animal will relate to the passion that young Ken feels for his horse I sobbed throughout this book, as Mary O Hara s words went right to my heart all these decades later Amazing, isn t it The power of the written word.Horse lovers, animal lovers, and readers of historical fiction, don t miss this classic read. A tough minded, wise, and beautiful book crossposted from Like so many others, I read this book as a child, but I ve reread it a couple of times as an adult am doing so now As my sister and other reviewers have said, this isn t just a horse story for children It s a very adult, very sophisticated study of a young couple and their marriage It s also a profound character study of their younger son, and the summer that his love for a filly forces him to take large steps toward maturity As a child, I identified strongly with 10 year old Ken As an adult, I still do but I also empathize with his parents, who have to try to teach this brilliant, sensitive daydreamer how to accept responsibility and cope in the real world, All the characters in this book human and animal are three dimensional and alive Anyone who loves animal stories must read this book you won t regret it The natural world is shown in all its beauty and harshness, and O Hara s prose is strong and clear But it s the characters you ll remember forever. I think this book is my all time favorite I say this because I have read it every 2 years or so since I was young I can t really say that about any other book, although I am one of those people that will keep and reread, several times, books that I like My Friend Flicka is set on a ranch south west of Tie Siding, Wyoming Since we live in this area the setting is familiar, even though things have changed a lot since 1941 Basically, it is your typical coming of age story, but it can interest readers of all ages because it s not just about young Ken McLaughlin but his entire family, in particular, his mother, Nell I like stories where most of the action takes place out of doors, and that go seriously into the relationships between humans and animals with care Flicka is a really strong element in this story, with very well developed character and behavior Still, there is so much practicality involved in the way the McLaughlin family and friends approach ranching and living in 1940 s Wyoming that it doesn t ever really fall into the sentimental or maudlin I only wish Mary O Hara had written books along this line, instead of going to Hollywood to write screenplays, or whatever it was she did I always felt that Nell was almost too close to her, and that Nell s breakdown was actually Mary O Hara s.less It Seems Ken Can T Do Anything Right He Loses Saddle Blankets And Breaks Reinsbut Then Comes The Worst News Yet A Report Card So Bad That He Has To Repeat A Grade How Can You Tame The Dreamy Mind Of A Boy Who Stares Out Of The Window Instead Of Taking An Exam Enter Flicka, The Chestnut Filly With A Wild Spirit Over The Course Of One Magical Summer, Both Will Learn The Meaning Of Responsibility, Courage, And, Ultimately, Friendship I first read this book when I was eight or nine, and have wished for Wyoming ever since It s a lovely story about a shy, dreamy kid who hates school and desperately wants his father s respect, but who can t help always doing something clumsy or forgetting something important For the summer, he wants nothing than to have his own yearling colt to train His father finally, reluctantly agrees and Ken chooses the wildest, possibly most untrainable one of the bunch This novel has such a sense of place and time, and to read it you must absolutely go outside Climb a tree, or sprawl in the grass somewhere, hopefully someplace lonely with no cars or lawnmowers so that when you close your eyes, you can see mountains Originally begun as a short story, O Hara fleshed it out into something really wonderful One of my all time favorites. Wow What a boring book Like any horse obsessed person, I try to see every horse related movie and read nearly every horse related book So, perhaps in this case, the mistake I made was that I watched the movie first and then read the book In the movie 16 yo girl is misunderstood by her father She fails final exam Father is angry at her and doesn t want her to do anything fun except rewrite her essay so that she ll pass Girl finds wild mustang Girl catches mustang Father is angry doesn t want her to mess with it because it s dangerous and he considers it vermin Girl, of course, trains mustang anyway Girl gets injured Father becomes angrier Girl continues training at night Father sells mustang to rodeo Girl is devastated insert heroic rodeo rescue here The most I was expecting was a gender change and some minor tweaking on a few scenes, and maybe a little time change But instead what I got was a whack in the face.The movie is AHMAZING And while most people say the book is always better than the movie, here s where I have to disagree The movie fast paced, exciting, keeps you on the edge of your seat, even brings tears The book So boring that by the end of a few pages I was asleep I had to force myself to read this The only reason I did keep on reading this was because a fellow horse loving friend of mine promised that by the end I d be amazed.Of course, the word amazement isn t even closely related to this book You know how the adults in The Peanuts talk Wah wah, wah wah, wah wah Right Well, that s what this book was to me I read it, yes, but it was just so lifeless that it barely came through to me. I had read this book once before when I was quite a bit younger and didn t like it I decided, however, that I d put it back and try again when I was older This time, reading it through, I actually did like it I was rather surprised though, because I had heard it suggested as a children s book and I find it a bit mature I d place it in the young adults category, due to some language and subject matter.This book is well known for being a sweet story about a boy and his horse, Flicka I, however, did not find that the most interesting relationship in the book Instead,I found myself most interested in the chapters about the boy s father and mother It is so hard to write a believable marriage and I think Mary O Hara did that in this book.