The best horse books for tweens, teens, and young adults

Marsha Hubler Author Of A Horse to Love
By Marsha Hubler

Who am I?

I have horse blood in my veins. I’ve loved horses ever since I knew what amazing animals they are. I grew up in a town where no one could house a horse. As I read about horses and learned more about them, I dreamed about the day I could have my very own. As a married adult with 4 acres of property and a little barn, I finally had my own horses over a 20-year period. The knowledge I gained by having my own beloved animals and caring for 12 foster children prepared me to write the Keystone Stables series about foster girl, Skye Nicholson, and her quarter horse, Champ. 


I wrote...

A Horse to Love

By Marsha Hubler,

Book cover of A Horse to Love

What is my book about?

Thirteen-year-old foster girl Skye Nicholson has become an expert at making sure no one will ever hurt her again. After her cold and angry behavior and numerous offenses remove her from more foster home placements than she cares to count, she’s headed toward juvenile detention. But then she’s given one last chance—an opportunity to live at Keystone Stables, a foster home and therapy camp, where she meets a beautiful sorrel horse named Champ. As hard as she tries, she can’t deny she loves Champ—but her refusal to accept her new foster parents and their Christian faith might mean losing Champ forever.

Will Skye ever learn to love again?

The books I picked & why

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Album of Horses

By Marguerite Henry, Wesley Dennis (illustrator),

Book cover of Album of Horses

Why this book?

I recommend this classic nonfiction book because it introduced me to the wonderful world of horses when I was a young child. I read the book so often through my young years, I could name every horse featured in the book and tell you all about him without referring to the book. I still have my first copy of this beautifully illustrated book that describes 25 different horse breeds in simple language for children to understand. From this book, I learned about horse breeds, horse traits, and the wonders of such amazing animals. It’s a book that every horse-loving child (and older!) should own.

Album of Horses

By Marguerite Henry, Wesley Dennis (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Album of Horses as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From award-winning author Marguerite Henry comes a classic reference work about horses and their origins.

How did the Morgan horse get its name?
What are the differences between a Belgian and a Clydesdale?
Why are the Byerly Turk, Darley Arabian, and Godolphin Arabian so important?

Find the answers to these and many other intriguing questions in Marguerite Henry's Album of Horses. The award-winning author of Misty of Chincoteague and King of the Wind describes in vivid detail the hardworking Shire, the elegant Lipizzan, the spirited Mustang, and many more.

Each description is paired with a full color illustration by Wesley…


Pinto!

By M.J. Evans,

Book cover of Pinto!

Why this book?

Although I enjoy reading fiction the most, this true story, Pinto, intrigued me because the “star” of the show is a horse. Set in 1912, four men, called the "Overland Westerners," decided fame and fortune awaited them as they embarked on the longest horseback ride in history. Their goal was to visit all 48 state capitals in 3 years and complete their journey at the San Francisco World's Fair on June 1, 1915. Facing rugged roads, raging rivers, thieves, and near starvation, the men went through 17 horses. Only one horse completed the entire journey... Pinto, a little horse with a heart as big as the sky! The page-turning book describes Pinto's account of his dangerous adventure. 

Pinto!

By M.J. Evans,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pinto! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

★"A forgotten piece of Americana brought to vivid life."★ —Kirkus Review

In 1912, four men, calling themselves the "Overland Westerners," decided fame and fortune awaited if they embarked on the longest horseback ride in history. Their goal was to visit all forty-eight state capitals over the course of three years and complete their journey at the San Francisco World's Fair on June 1, 1915. Facing rugged roads, raging rivers, thieves and near starvation, the men went through seventeen horses. Only one horse completed the entire journey...Pinto, a little horse with a heart as big as the whole country! This is…


Wild Thing

By Dandi Daley Mackall,

Book cover of Wild Thing

Why this book?

As an author ready to write my own horse book series with a Christian message many years ago, I gleaned much from reading some of Dandi Daley Mackall’s Horse Gentler series. This first one impressed me the most because it portrays the main character, twelve-year-old Winnie Willis, close to the age of Skye Nicholson, the main character in my own series. As Winnie teaches her horses about unconditional love and blind trust, God shows Winnie that he can be trusted too. The book is good, safe reading for tween and teen horse lovers. 

Wild Thing

By Dandi Daley Mackall,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Wild Thing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Twelve-year-old Winnie Willis has a way with horses. She can gentle the wildest mare, but other parts of her life don't always come as easily. Along with her dad and sister, Lizzy, Winnie is learning how to live without her mom, who was also a natural horse gentler. As Winnie teaches her horses about unconditional love and blind trust, God shows Winnie that he can be trusted too. Readers will be hooked on the series' vivid characters, whose quirky personalities fill Winnie's life with friendship and adventure.

In #1 Wild Thing, Winnie's fearful heart finally begins to trust God again…


The Black Stallion

By Walter Farley,

Book cover of The Black Stallion

Why this book?

What horse lover hasn’t read this age-long classic? As a child reading this book first published in 1941, the storyline of a boy and a wild horse only increased my love for horses and my desire to own them when I grew up. From Alec Ramsay and the Black's first meeting on an ill-fated ship to their adventures on a desert island and their eventual rescue, this beloved story will hold the attention of any horse lovers, young or old. 

The Black Stallion

By Walter Farley,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Black Stallion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

First published in 1941, Walter Farley's best-selling novel for young readers is the triumphant tale of a boy and a wild horse. From Alec Ramsay and the Black's first meeting on an ill-fated ship to their adventures on a desert island and their eventual rescue, this beloved story will hold the rapt attention of readers new and old.

This book has been selected as a Common Core State Standards Text Exemplar (Grades 4-5, Stories) in Appendix B.


The Sand Pounder: Love and Drama on Horseback in WWII

By M.J. Evans,

Book cover of The Sand Pounder: Love and Drama on Horseback in WWII

Why this book?

I found this recent release a fascinating historical fiction for teens and older based on actual events of horses and their riders during World War II. 

Fearing an invasion by German and Japanese forces, the U.S. Coast Guard enlisted horsemen to patrol the beaches along the east and west coasts of our country from 1942 to 1944. The unit was called The Sand Pounders.

M.J. Evans wrote the book in a personal way, introducing In Tillamook, Oregon, a young equestrian, 17-year-old Jane, who decided to join the Sand Pounders. However, Sand Pounders were only accepting men. But that didn’t slow the main character and her horse down. The pair do ride successfully and serve their country well. 

This book is a good read for any horse lover of any age!

The Sand Pounder: Love and Drama on Horseback in WWII

By M.J. Evans,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Sand Pounder as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The world is at war. A teenage equestrian takes on a man's world to make a difference...and finds love along the way.

Fearing an invasion by German and Japanese forces during World War II, the U.S. Coast Guard enlisted horsemen to patrol the beaches along the east and west coasts. The unit was called “The Sand Pounders” and they rode their horses up and down the beaches from 1942 to 1944.

In Tillamook, Oregon, a young equestrian decided to join them. There was only one problem…they were only accepting men. That didn’t slow her down.

The Sand Pounder is a…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in horses, survival, and World War 2?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about horses, survival, and World War 2.

Horses Explore 95 books about horses
Survival Explore 134 books about survival
World War 2 Explore 1142 books about World War 2

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like The Eighty-Dollar Champion, Distant Skies, and Black Beauty if you like this list.