Wild Horse Annie: Friend of the Mustangs
Wild Horse Annie: Friend of the Mustangs
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Annotation: Readers will find inspiration in author Tracey Fern and artist Steven Salerno's portrait of an early animal-rights advocate, who spoke up for what she believed in, and empowered a generation of children to be a voice for the voiceless.
Genre: Biographies
Catalog Number: #181421
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Special Formats: Hot Title Hot Title
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Illustrator: Salerno, Steven,
Pages: 48
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: 0-374-30306-1
ISBN 13: 978-0-374-30306-8
Dewey: 921
LCCN: 2018944918
Dimensions: 29 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Kirkus Reviews
Polio survivor Velma Bronn Johnston, known as Wild Horse Annie, fights to save mustang horses from slaughter.Since she was "just a speck of a girl," Annie has loved the mustangs on her family's Nevada ranch. After Annie contracts polio at age 11, emerging with a bent spine and twisted face, she dreams of galloping with wild herds. But by the time Annie gets married and starts her own ranch, the herds have been killed by cattle ranchers and hunters. In folksy language matching Annie's quoted quips, Fern recounts Annie's campaigns to protect mustangs first locally, then federally. Refusing to "hush up" and unfazed by threats, Annie sends hundreds of letters and addresses government officials even though speaking in public makes her feel like "a cat on a hot frying pan." Finally, help from her "secret weapon"—an enthusiastic letter-writing, fundraising "pencil brigade" of schoolchildren—leads to the 1971 passage of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. Salerno's sun-drenched illustrations capture the equally hardy spirits of the mustangs and Annie herself. Though the author acknowledges Annie's disfigurement, chronic pain, and self-consciousness, Annie's most prominent features are alternately her stubbornly scowling eyebrows and wide, warm grin. An author's note provides further background on mustangs and Johnston's pioneering efforts. Annie and her husband are white; the children's complexions vary.An uplifting tale of animal rights, perseverance, and kids' power to make a difference. (bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 7-10)
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Kirkus Reviews
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Reading Level: 2.0
Interest Level: 2-5

"Wild Horse Annie" was the nickname of Velma Bronn Johnston (1912-77), who loved mustangs all her life. When she saw mustangs being rounded up and killed to make room for ranchers' livestock, she knew she had to speak up. In 1950, she began writing letters to local newspapers and politicians, defending the horses' right to roam free. Many people told Annie to hush up, but they couldn't stop her. She soon became a voice for mustangs throughout the state of Nevada, speaking on their behalf at town halls and meetings. But Annie was only one person, and she wanted to do more. So she got children to speak up, too, by having them write letters to Washington, D.C., officials to ask them to save the mustangs. Finally, with the help of her young "pencil brigade," Annie persuaded Congress to pass nationwide laws protecting wild horses and burros on public land nationwide. Readers will find inspiration in author Tracey Fern and artist Steven Salerno's portrait of an early animal-rights advocate, who spoke up for what she believed in, and empowered a generation of children to be a voice for the voiceless.


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