Smoky the Cowhorse

Smoky the Cowhorse

by Will James


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Smoky knows only one way of life: freedom. Living on the open range, he is free to go where he wants and to do what he wants. And he knows what he has to do to survive. He can beat any enemy, whether it be a rattlesnake or a hungry wolf. He is as much a part of the Wild West as it is of him, and Smoky can't imagine anything else.

But then he comes across a new enemy, one that walks on two legs and makes funny sounds. Smoky can't beat this enemy the way he has all the others. But does he really want to? Or could giving up some of his freedom mean getting something in return that's even more valuable?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416949411
Publisher: Aladdin
Publication date: 01/08/2008
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 84,039
Product dimensions: 5.12(w) x 7.62(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

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Smoky, the Cow Horse 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Kate213 More than 1 year ago
Smoky, the Cow Horse is a delightful book. When I was little, late 40's and early 50's my Mom would read to us girls, sorry no television back then, this was one of the books that she read. After I grew up I re-read the book several times. After my Mom and Dad's death, the book was lost. I found it online at Barnes and Noble. I knew it was out of print so I did not expect to find it. I read it the day I got it, it is such a wonderful story of the bond that can be formed between man and animal. I hope others will enjoy this book as much as I have. It has to be good for me to read it as much as I have.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Not only is Smokey the Cow Horse one of the Greatest Horse Stories Ever Written, it is also one of the finest novels I've ever read. With vivid desriptions of the old west, and one great horse, this book sucks you in. Don't miss it, espesicially if you love horses and cowboys and adventure!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is by far my most favorite book of all time. Not many books make me cry, but this one was one of those. I loved every page of it and if you dont, you seriously have something wrong with you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great novel that takes you on a wild ride through the life of a mustang. It is a must read for anyone game for an adventure in the wild west! The story is heartwarming all around, and the characters are so developed that they jump off of the page and into your imagination.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is such an accurate discription of what a horse must be thinking. You can totaly be in the horses mind through the entire book. I have recommend this book to everyone I know and they have enjoyed it as much as I have. I love to read and when I am asked what my favorite book is 'Smokey the Cowhorse' is alway the 1st book I choose.
PamelaHornsby on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Read this when I was a child and loved it so. The drawings are wonderful, done by the author. This is the book that made me realize my destiny. I work with animals. I rescue as many as I can from cruel owners. And I think I might owe it all to Smoky. My copy is the original hardback. Lucky me.
mirrani on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I can easily see why this book won the Newbery Award. While I was reading I felt that I was sitting down at the campfire after a long day at work, listening to the story being told to me. The casual words of the cowboy just came naturally through, spelled and used as they would have been right there on the ranch. Though it is quickly described as being like Black Beauty with ranch hands, it was very entertaining and educational to follow the life of one ranch horse and see what could happen to him back in the days of the real cowboy.
Schmerguls on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book won the Newberry medal in 1927. It appears that it is the 10th such winner I have read. But it is not a good book for kids to read since it uses for no discernible reason bad grammar continually. It never says "knew" but instead says "knowed". It also deliberately misspells words saying "figgered" for '"figured". I found this very irritating and deplored that such a book would be thought to be a good book for kids trying to use literste English. It tells of a horse born in Montana who is eventually trained to be a horse used to handle cattle. The book is often boring and uninspiring. I kind of liked the ending--the only good part of the book.
tjsjohanna on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was an enjoyable read, though the colloquial language took some time to get used to. Mr. James convincingly describes the life of Smoky, the cowhorse. While he describes Smoky as having some human feelings, he also manages to make Smoky seem realistically a horse. Smoky's life is somewhat tragic - the more so since his life is not untypical. But there is a happy ending and examples of real kindness.
debnance on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A story of a great horse. Smoky is taught to be an excellent cowhorse, but even in his training, the cowboy teaching him sees the unusual abilities of this horse. Smoky spends many years as a cowhorse with Clint and the other cowboys, but one year, he is stolen by a renegade. The renegade treats Smoky harshly and turns Smoky into a bucking bronco, the fiercest horse in the West. Smoky spends many years establishing a reputation as a killer bronco, but gradually he grows old and tired and is sent to serve as a horse providing pony rides for children and old people. Somehow Clint finds Smoky again and the story ends happily ever after.The most fun part of the story is the way the whole book is written in cowboy dialect. The parts with the renegade have lots of racial slurs and can be difficult for a modern reader to get through.
SHARONTHEIL on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
We experience this story primarily through the eyes of the horse. This is one of only two horse stories to win the Newbery Medal. The other is King of the Wind: The Story of the Godolphin Arabian. The author, Will James, was himself a cowboy during the final days of the Wild West and is able to create the language and atmosphere of the Old West. Will James is a master author and illustrator who illustrated the story with scenes of Smoky at his wildest, at his fiercest, and at his finest. The story follows Smoky from the open range to his life as a cow horse, a rodeo star, and finally a saddle horse. When he is stolen, his cowboy Clint Barkley, the only cowboy Smokey will allow to ride him, tracks him down. This is a realistic animal story that allows the reader to really understand and appreciate these beautiful animals. The universal themes of courage, loyalty and true friendship combine with the authentic portrayal of ranch life, making this book a great read.
HomeSchoolBookReview More than 1 year ago
Smoky is a mouse-colored horse which is born on the range. After a couple of years, he is taken to the Rocking R Ranch where he is trained by a thirty-year-old cowboy named Clint to be a cowhorse. The cowhorses work during the spring, summer, and fall on the ranch, but are let back out on the range to forage in the winter. Clint, who is especially fond of the mouse-colored horse, always tries to check on Smoky through each winter, but one year he is detained for several reasons, and when he finally goes out on the range he finds that the cowhorse, as well as the whole herd with which he has been hanging out, is gone. What has happened to Smoky? And will Clint ever see him again? This 1927 Newbery Medalist, sometimes considered to be the original American “horse tale” for children, has a lot of details about horses, their breeding, their moods, the lives of cowboys, and cattle roundups, along with a strong indictment of cruelty to animals. It tells about Smoky’s life as a wild mustang, a cowhorse, a bucking bronco named “The Cougar,” a stable riding horse called Cloudy, and finally a harness horse. There are some references to smoking and “cussing,” although no actual cuss words are used besides the “h” word uttered once by the villain and found in a couple of expressions such as “hell to breakfast” and “hell bent for election,” along with a few common euphemisms and a lot of “daggones” and “doggones.” The narration is done in a folksy “cowboy” slang style—“Smoky must of been in the middle of some bad dream…the stars was fading away and the buffalo hunters had went to rest.” Obviously, the book should not be used to teach good grammar (except by negative example). A few times I had to read back over something to make sure that I understood it, but for the most part the grammar won’t keep one from enjoying the story, and, in fact, the writing style just adds to the charm. It is highly recommended for young horse lovers.
DLuper More than 1 year ago
In the 1930's my father read and loved this book so much he saved for a year so he could buy a horse. In the 1960's, he presented a beautiful copy to me, and it became one of my most treasured belongings. Since then, my son also had read and treasured this story, and I expect one day my grandchildren will as well. Beautifully illustrated by the author, the story is captivating, and so very real. Mr. James truly understood the heart and nature of a horse, and the profound love humans have for this fabulous creature.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think that probably why I liked this horse story so much better than others is because it's more true to life and less dramatic than other books about horses, which are my favorite animals. Though not a true story, the author writes out of his experience, therefore providing acurate information on horse behavior and ranch life. The grammar and metaphors effectively set the mood: "Not far away...was little calves, little white-faced fellers a playing and bucking around...running out a ways...tails up, at a speed that'd make a greyhound blush for shame." Giving only brief description, the author allows room for imagination. Also, James seems to prefer using action instead of dialogue to portray the characters' dispositions. Disagreeable scenes are scarce, as if the author didn't like writing about unpleasant things. I think a lot of people would like this book; besides being educational, it is entertaining and easily understood. I enjoyed this book very much and hope to read it again sometime.
Mable_The_Mule More than 1 year ago
I Thought that Smokey was a very enjoyable, and inspirational book, because of its length i did get a bit bored in the middle, but i still thought it was absalutly fantastic. The bound with the guy and Smokey is so touching, and isperational that at the end i cried!
Guest More than 1 year ago
A proud horse is taken from the wild and placed into the world of humans. Although he is successful at all he does, he still wants his freedom. Very much like the Walt Disney movie 'Spirit.'
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can't remember when I read this book, but I'm sure it was as a teenager, and over 35 years ago. I still remember the story, though, and I now have my own 'Smoky'. Other than 'The Good Earth' and 'Gone With the Wind', 'Smoky' provided the most vivid memories of any book I've read. Having said this, I've convinced myself to find a copy and read it again. I think I'll take it to the pasture and share it with my horse.
Guest More than 1 year ago
There never was another true cowboy-bronk-bust'in artist like Will James! 'Smokey' was made into a film with Fred(My Three Sons) MacMurrey in the '40's and I was just a kid ,but thought it was great! James' 'Smokey' book is full of great illustrations, as were all his books! His writing and art were an insperation for me! I learned how to draw horses in action by studying his art! Too bad James had such a sad life!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first read this book in 1943; at the time I thought it was a good read. It was a paperback and with the constant reading and re-reading by all the family it eventually became too tattered to survive - but how I wish that I had kept it safe. Over the years I return to read it again at the library and it never fails to thrill me - a wonderful story for any age group - and what a superb writer.
Guest More than 1 year ago
its abouut a horses life and it shows how people treat horses.I love horses and i never new how my horses felt.I think that you should read this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's a great book, I love it.I've read it about 4 times and it's never gotten dull.