Cover image for Leah's pony
Leah's pony
Friedrich, Elizabeth.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
[Boston] : National Braille Press, 1997.

Physical Description:
1 volume of print and braille (thermoform) : color illustrations ; 27 x 29 cm
A young girl sells her horse and raises enough money to buy back her father's tractor, which is up for auction, in this story of a Depression era farm.
General Note:
Illustrated by Michael Garland.

Reprint. Originally published: Honesdale, Pa. : Boyds Mills Press, 1996.

Thermoform braille sheets alternate with print pages.

Produced in braille for the Library of Congress, National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. Further reproduction or distribution in other than a specialized format is prohibited.

Reading Level:
580 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.3 0.5 13751.

Reading Counts RC K-2 2.8 2 Quiz: 06691 Guided reading level: O.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC.BK. Print Braille Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Leah's pony was swift and strong. Together they would cross through cornfields and over pastures, chasing cattle as they galloped under summer skies. Then came the year the corn grew no taller than a man's thumb. Locusts blackened the sky. The earth turned to dust. Gone were the cornfields and pastures where Leah and her pony once rode. It was the beginning of the great drought. Now Leah's papa faced losing the family farm. Set in the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, Elizabeth Friedrich's deeply felt story, vividly portrayed through Michael Garland's stunning oil paintings, tells of one child and what she would sacrifice for love of her family.

Author Notes

Elizabeth Friedrich is the author of many books, including The Story of God's Love, which has sold over a half-million copies. She lives in Stratham, New Hampshire.

Michael Garland is the author and illustrator of Angel Cat, among many other titles. He lives in Patterson, New York.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Ages 5^-8. Using spare text and eloquent pictures, this book focuses on the difficulties that families encountered in the dust bowl, when the "wind blew so hard it turned the sky black with dust." Leah sees her parents' fear when the stock must be sold and the bank plans an auction. Readers will empathize with the girl when she sells her pony and bids her one dollar on the all-important tractor, thus setting off a "penny auction," in which neighbors buy the struggling family's assets for tiny amounts but then return them. Friedrich personalizes the history without making it too painful for young readers, and Garland's paintings, which keep detail to a minimum, focus attention on the people and the sweeping landscape. Pair this with Ann Turner's Dust for Dinner [BKL Jl 1995], an I Can Read book on the same subject. --Susan Dove Lempke

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3‘A fine example of successful historical fiction in picture-book format. Leah's parents are farmers in the Great Plains of the 1930s. Amid locusts and drought, their bank forecloses on its loan, ordering a farm auction. Leah sells her beloved pony and uses the money to bid one dollar for her father's tractor. No one has the heart to outbid her. Her action inspires others at the auction to buy the rest of the goods for ridiculously low-dusty bids and return everything to Leah's family. The oil paintings with subdued color values have great intensity, especially several that catch their subjects full-face and frozen at the peak of strong emotional reactions. Impact is enhanced by the starkness of the setting and the illustrations' stillness. This is a far cry from the brightness of Garland's My Cousin Katie (Crowell, 1989; o.p.). Friedrich adds a one-page historical note describing the Dust Bowl during the Great Depression, and "penny" farm auctions. A moving, effective sketch of a child's bravery and its power to trigger generosity in the adults around her.‘ Liza Bliss, Worcester Public Library, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.