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MOST WANTED by Kate Thompson


by Kate Thompson & illustrated by Jonny Duddle

Age Range: 8 - 10

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-06-173037-5
Publisher: Greenwillow

Thompson uses the time of the Roman Empire as the setting for another horse story for younger readers (Highway Robbery, 2009). Young Marcus recounts the adventure that begins when a hurried slave abruptly turns over care of Emperor Caligula's horse, "Consul" Incitatus, to him. Although there's an undeniable thrill to having the responsibility for such a fine steed, Marcus, a baker's boy, is all too aware of the consequences that could befall his entire family if he should manage this wrong. But he's clever, resourceful and observant, and by paying attention to all the clues of daily life, he manages beautifully. The short page count, fast-paced plot and spot illustrations (not seen) should make this a great title for readers not yet ready for longer fiction. Although Marcus is not quite as unreliable as the earlier book’s narrator, this tale is significantly more sophisticated in both writing and plot than the common chapter-book ruck. Horse lovers will appreciate Incitatus’s horse sense, and fans of such other wily protagonists as Moxy Maxwell and Ivy + Bean will cheer Marcus’s solution. (Historical fiction. 8-10)