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     Issue 58                                        HORSES                                              Summer 2021      
I was not one of those horse-crazy girls who read about horses, played with plastic horses, or dreamed of owning one. But, I do have respect for their strength, power, and beauty. In this issue, we have several great giveaways, including our featured author's brand new picture book. Obviously, Jennifer Thermes was one of those girls who loved horses from an early age!
Do you know a teen or tween who loves reading and would like to introduce books for us? Please email us with their contact information. 
 Jennifer Thermes

Jennifer Thermes
Jen's first time meeting a horse 
when she was about four-years-old.
While doing visual research for my nonfiction picture books, I realized that horses appeared everywhere in old photographs of farms, cities, and historical events– yet they were rarely mentioned. This led to wondering about the horse’s role throughout time. Where did they come from? How did they evolve in a way that made them easier for humans to domesticate? Why did humans use horses for certain jobs instead of other animals? All of these questions and more inspired HORSE POWER: How Horses Changed the World a book about how horses affected the course of human history.
I love using maps in my books to convey a story and give readers a sense of place. The maps in HORSE POWER show horses around the earth and they add a layer of information to the text and illustrations. My hope is that young people at different reading levels can glean something from each layer, and that the book as a whole sparks curiosity to learn more than what I can fit in forty-eight pages!
Here are some ideas for using HORSE POWER in the classroom:
  •  Pick two time periods in history to compare and contrast. (Example: the Middle Ages vs. today.) What kinds of jobs did horses do? What is the same and what is different? What if horses didn’t exist? What would change about each time period?
  •  Imagine you are a horse. Write a story from that horse’s point of view. Where do you live? What do you like to eat? What do you think about the jobs that humans ask you to do? What is your favorite thing to do?
  •  Label country names on a blank outlined map of the world. Draw and label a breed of horse that lives in each country. You can find many in HORSE POWER, and even more using other books, or the internet.
Jennifer Thermes is an award-winning author, illustrator, and map illustrator. She is fascinated by the connections between past and present history, and how the world today has come to be the way it is. To learn more, please visit
Featured Illustration
by Lita Judge

Even The Smallest Will Grow
Illustration taken from
Lita Judge is the author/illustrator of thirty fiction and nonfiction books, including her two most recent, THE WISDOM OF TREES and EVEN THE SMALLEST WILL GROW. Her other picture books include WHEN YOU NEED WINGS, FLIGHT SCHOOL, BORN IN THE WILD, RED SLED, HOOT AND PEEP, and ONE THOUSAND TRACINGS. Lita worked as a paleontologist before turning to a life of creating art. A childhood spent with eagles, owls, and other animals also inspires her work. She lives in Peterborough, New Hampshire.
Meet Lita in this interview!
                                            by Anna Phillips

Anna Phillips
Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry was first published in 1947. Though based on a true story, it is fiction. Paul and Maureen Beebe live on Chincoteague Island with their grandparents. Even living on a pony ranch doesn’t get you a pony and they wish for their own. The story is about their experiences with the pony that they catch, The Phantom. This compelling classic will interest all ages. It brings you back to a time when life was simpler-when kids and ponies could live on an island and be free.
Life as I Know It, an autobiography about Michelle Payne, is written to encourage women athletes. Michelle writes about the problems she faced while trying to be the first woman to win the Melbourne Cup. Michelle changed things for all women jockeys and left a deep mark in horse racing. She won when the chances were 100 – 1, and nobody thought she could do it. Standing out in this book was the fact that Michelle overcame all the odds and fulfilled her dreams. This was a truly inspiring story that deserves to be read.
Horse Power: How Horses Changed The World is a picture book written by Jennifer Thermes. It starts off with the horse’s origin and how horses have evolved. Over the years humans have used horses for all different purposes. Horses have been more than just working companions, they have been friends. Horse Power shows us how important this species has been throughout every time period and how we should respect these animals. Though this is a short picture book it gives a good perspective on horses and can teach you a lot.
Anna is a 7th grader who loves adventures in the mountains, especially the kind that involve horses and trails.  She also enjoys reading, writing, and keeping a detailed nature journal. 
Contact Us
We love to hear from our readers!
You can contact us through the newsletter or individually at the following  websites.
We're also both available for school visits. 
Does a Teen Reviewer
Live in Your House or
 Attend Your School?
We're always looking for teen or pre-teen reviewers. If you know someone who might be interested in reading and writing a short synopsis of three books, please email us. 
Please Share Talking Story!
Have you noticed the "Share" button on the top of this newsletter? If you share TALKING STORY either on social media or email it to a friend, we will enter your name in our giveaway. Please email by July 17 to tell us what you have done, and your book preference and we will add your name to the hat! 
Our Next Issue
In This Issue:
Featured Illustration
Author Note
Please Note

If you're having trouble emailing us, try using CHROME browser. 

Send us an
and we'll enter your name to win one of the three books below.
Each will intrigue a young reader in your life.

If you have a book preference, please mention it. We try to honor requests.

US address only!

Enter by 
July 17
(Or better yet, enter right now!)
If you forward Talking Story
to a friend or share this issue on social media, please let us know. We will enter your name for one of these three books.
Giveaway # 1

Jennifer Thermes
Giveaway # 2


Jessie Haas
Giveaway # 3

Claudia Friddell
Author Note

by Joyce Hostetter

In Healing Water, my character, Pia is banished to Hawaii's leprosy settlement and separated from all he knows and loves - home, family, and Maui, his beloved horse. Left to fend for himself, Pia is truly devastated and void of hope. Eventually however, with the help of another individual he is able to have Maui brought to him. On that day, life in the leprosy settlement becomes bearable for Pia as Maui provides both comfort and utility for him.
I have little experience with horses so writing the horse scenes required both imagination and research. It was fascinating to learn about horse behaviors, the sounds they make for various reasons and the ways they relate to humans and other horses. And it was a special thrill to write the scenes which reflected Pia's deep emotional connection to his horse. 
Books About

by Annie Karcher
by Anna Sewell
 by Kate DiCamillo
           MIDDLE SCHOOL      AND 
by Joanna Campbell
by Walter Farley
by Allison Hart  
Congratulations to
winners from our
spring issue.
Candice Trexler won MARS.  
Gen Andred won A is for Astronaut.  
Theresa Pierce won EQUAL.
Whitney Woodward won Letters From Space.
Thank You!
To Jennifer Thermes for being our expert.
To Anna Phillips for being our teen reviewer. 
To Abrams for donating Horse Power.
To Boyds Mills & Kane for donating The Hungry Place.
To Sleeping Bear Press for donating Goliath.
To Joanne Hunsberger for proofreading.
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Talking Story  |  4208 Hickory Lincolnton Hwy.  |  Newton, NC 28658  |

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