Why did I love this book?
Also known as Southern Cross to Pole Star, this tale of an epic journey by horseback from Buenos Aires to Washington, published in 1933, has never been out of print. I first read the offshoot for young readers, The Tale of Two Horses, written from the point of view of his Creole horses, Mancha and Gato, when I was a pony-mad child and read the longer adult version later. The Swiss-Argentine writer, Aime Tschiffely, was a man of his time – arrogant, intolerant, but supremely courageous – and his ten thousand mile ride will never be equaled. The dangers he met are hair-raising and his love for his horses inspiring. The book planted a small seed of ambition in my childhood imagination.