[PDF / Epub] ☁ King of the Wind: The Story of the Godolphin Arabian ✎ Marguerite Henry – Clinback.co
I was happy to become reacquainted with Marguerite Henry in this early ish Newbery winner Google sources gave me a new appreciation of her from learning about her childhood illness that made her bedridden for six years, to a tribute from her publisher in a commemorative edition of the book Henry s charm and kindness were noteworthy plus, what an example of well lived years Henry published her last book shortly before she died at 95 I also enjoyed the history in King of the Wind, as well as the bittersweet devotion of Agba to his horse Had to skim over the suffering of Sham, however reading about man s inhumanity to animals is almost as difficult as reading about our mistreatment of each other I will always like stories with happy endings, and was glad to know this one during Sham s difficult years Few authors bring sympathy and enlightenment to the story of a horse than Marguerite Henry, and King of the Wind happens to be one of her best such books, if not her magnum opus The story of the closeness between the Godolphin Arabian and his young, loyal master has an emotional stickiness that isn t topped by much else in literature Though the historicity of the story is fascinating, I think it s the tenderness of relationship that earned King of the Wind the Newbery Medal Marguerite Henry has a sweet, understated writing style Somehow, though the story is in no way predictable, the reader feels everything will turn out right I haven t read every contender for the 1949 Newbery Medal, but I wouldn t be surprised if King of the Wind were the best in its class. He Was Named Sham For The Sun, This Golden Red Stallion Born In The Sultan Of Morocco S Stone Stables Upon His Heel Was A Small White Spot, The Symbol Of Speed But On His Chest Was The Symbol Of Misfortune Although He Was As Swift As The Desert Winds, Sham S Proud Pedigree Would Be Scorned All His Life By Cruel Masters And OwnersThis Is The Classic Story Of Sham And His Friend, The Stable Boy Agba Their Adventures Take Them From The Sands Of The Sahara To The Royal Courts Of France And, Finally, To The Green Pastures And Stately Homes Of England For Sham Was The Renowned Godolphin Arabian Whose Blood Flows Through The Veins Of Almost Every Superior Thoroughbred Sham S Speed Like His Story Has Become Legendary This book is amazing It s told by a mute boy No joke It s amazing because it s about a horse and his boy who is mute, and stays mute through the whole story Probably my favorite thing about this book is that one of the main characters tells you all about what happened to him and his his horse without saying a thing. I read this book in my preteen era I checked it out from the library during summer holidays at my ancestral home but I could not read it because I caught an eye infection I left for school with the tragedy of an unread book burning in my heart So imagine my delight when, next year when I came back for the vacation, I found the book still there my aunt had forgotten to return it The library must have written it off as lost.The story of the Godolphin Arabian, blessed with unbelievable speed and cursed with ill luck at the same time, is somehow twined with the story of this particular library copy of the book in my mind It waited one year patiently, covered with dust and forgotten, to be read and treasured by me when I returned rather like the protagonist of the story who had a largely tragic life but went on to gain immortality, in the famous breed he fathered. Before I get much farther into this review, I should probably say that I ve never been a horse book kind of reader So if you love Black Beauty and National Velvet and The Black Stallion, you may well like King of the Wind than I did A lot of the rest of this Goodreads page is full of people who swear by it, largely based on its excellent descriptions of horses and horse behavior.I can t argue with that Henry clearly knew her horses but I still wasn t all that sold on King of the Wind It s or less based on the story of the Godolphin Arabian, a famous horse whose descendants were some of the finest racehorses of all time including Man o War, as the oddly disjunct introduction mentions , but it s so heavily romanticized and embellished as to remove any veneer of realism We follow the Arabian known for most of the book as Sham from his initial home in the stables of the Sultan of Morocco, to the Royal Court of France, into disgrace as a cart horse, and finally into triumph as the greatest sire of racehorses in all England This whole plot relies heavily on chance coincidences, theatrical gestures, and soap opera dialogue, and I didn t find it believable in the slightest.Maybe that s just my resistance to the genre After all, I ve made no secret of my intense dislike of Smoky, the Cowhorse, and the arc of that book s plot, if not any of the specifics, isn t all that far off from King of the Wind More troubling, though, is the book s lack of characterization The Arabian is cared for and followed during the whole story by a mute boy named Agba, whose character exhibits almost no development through the novel, and who seems to exist in the story largely because Henry was unable or unwilling to follow the Will James model and have everything take place in the horse s point of view As far as I can tell, Agba seems to be entirely a product of Henry s imagination, as opposed to a real person that she worked into the story So, no points for plot or development of characters from me, though Henry s prose is crisp, and the settings the 1940 s ideas about historical Morocco and Islam aside are well developed That said, although the 1948 publishing year was a pretty good one for picture books Blueberries for Sal, Thidwick the Big Hearted Moose, The Big Snow , it was a weak one for older readers maybe the weakest of the decade and so I wouldn t characterize King of the Wind as a mistake winner, or anything like that As I ve said before, all publishing years aren t created equal, and King of the Wind was probably as good a choice as anything else But those kids who are really into horses aside I think it s a very minor entry in the Newbery canon A longer version of this review appeared on For Those About To Mock abouttomock.blogspot.com Added 2 1 11 first published 1948 Below are the comments I made about King of the Wind at my GR group I recently listened to the audio version of King of the Wind The Story of the Godolphin Arabian first published 1948 by Marguerite Henry It won the 1949 Newbery Medal, an award given to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.This fictionalized story is based on fact The Godolphin Arabian is the ancestor of the finest thoroughbred horses The story tells about a swift and spirited Arabian horse named Sham who is sent by the Sultan of Morocco as a gift to Louis XV of France Sham eventually sires a colt which is the beginning of the Goldolphin Arabian breed.Although this is a book for young readers, it s an interesting, touching, well told tale which appeals to older readers as well A customer review at says Marguerite Henry s fictionalized biography of the Goldolphin Arabian, one of the three founding thoroughbred sires, follows the horse Sham and his mute groom Agba from the stables of the Sultan of Morocco through hardship in France and England to celebrated triumph at stud Agba, who never speaks a word, is one of the most absorbing characters in children s fiction it s a must for horse lovers Marguerite Henry also wrote Misty of Chincoteague 1947 , about a pony In 1961, it was made into a movie which is streamable from Netflix Misty 1961 s review of the Misty book is here thanks to Werner whose post originally led me to this story, King of the Wind.See his message 44 at 3 22 16I just discovered that there is a film adaptation of this book, King of the Wind The Story of the Godolphin Arabian FILM King of the Wind 1990 SUMMARIES FROM ABOVE LINKED IMDb page In 1727, an Arab colt is born with the signs of the wheat ear and the white spot on his heel evil and good And thus begins the life of Sham He is a gift to the King of France, through a series of adventures with his faithful stable boy, Agba, he becomes the Godolphin Arabian, the founder of one of the greatest thoroughbred racing lines of all time Based on author Marguerite Henry s popular children s novel, winner of the Newbery Medal in 1949, King of the Wind is a fictionalized account of the emergence of Sham, the renowned Godolphin Arabian who fathered a long line of outstanding race horses The ancestries of Man o War and Seabiscuit can be traced back to the Godolphin Arabian Our public library has the DVD Good news all around This is one of my favorite books of all time I m aware that the vast majority of it is made up, but the way Henry weaves the story makes it believable anyway You want Sham and Agba to be together again, even if Agba wasn t real at all.One of the criticized portions of the story, the cat Grimalkin, actually was real, if not in quite the way he appeared in this book, by the way.Henry tells an entertaining, compelling tale which has endeared the Godolphin Arabian, one of three tail male foundation sires of the Thoroughbred, to people in a way the Darley Arabian and the Byerly Turk haven t at all achieved And as Gandalf says in the movie, aren t all great stories worthy of a little embellishment I think so, and this story becomes richer and sweeter for it Even as an adult I find it extremely entertaining Your horse crazy child will love and cherish this book their whole lives, and you just might, too. While I absolutely adored Marguerite Henry s Newbery Award winning King of the Wind The Story of the Godolphin Arabian as a child, as an older adult, I can definitely understand why and how King of the Wind The Story of the Godolphin Arabian might not be all that engaging and interesting for a young reader who is neither a horse enthusiast nor all that much into historical fiction as a genre especially since the two main protagonists, especially since both Sham and Agba his young caretaker never actually speak, Sham of course because he is a horse and Agba because he is a mute, because he is in fact physically unable to speak, to utter words Now as a child reader, when I first read King of the Wind The Story of the Godolphin Arabian at around the age of eleven, I believe , it naturally and of course was for the most part the life story of Sham and how he becomes the Godolphin Arabian and along with the Byerley Turk and the Darley Arabian one of the three main founding stallions of the Thoroughbred breed what I enjoyed most and which totally and utterly captured my imagination, the evocative and often exciting tale of Agba and his horse, their many adventures, their trials and tribulations until finally, the Earl of Godolphin realises the worth, the breeding, the stamina and beauty of Sham and how both Sham and Agba are then finally granted the recognition and honour they both so richly have always deserved and merited including Sham being given the earl s own name, being now officially known and registered as the Godolphin Arabian.But as an older adult and albeit that I still do adore Sham and Agba s tale as a story in and of itself , it is actually Marguerite Henry s sense and feel for history and how in my eyes realistically and with wonderful but never overly extensive and intensive amount of detail she has brought not only early 18th century England and France but also Morocco so engagingly and wonderfully to life that has made King of the Wind The Story of the Godolphin Arabian still very much special after all these years and yes, also the author s general approach towards Agba, who although he is Moroccan, Muslim and does not have the power of speech, is always first and foremost depicted and shown by Marguerite Henry as simply and beautifully a young and eager horse boy who loves and cherishes his charge, who absolutely adores Shem and will indeed do everything for him Four stars for King of the Wind The Story of the Godolphin Arabian and yes, I indeed do very much hope that in particular the depictions the author presents of 18th century Morocco, but especially that the Sultan mandates that even his horses, including Sham s heavily pregnant with him mother must be made to obey the Ramadan fasting are based on reality, that they do in fact reflect the historic truth as much as possible, for if this were untrue, if the beginning of King of the Wind The Story of the Godolphin Arabian with the Sultan of Morocco mandating that his horses also fast for Ramadan were in fact a case of Marguerite Henry using wholly or even mostly her authorial license, I for one would consider this than a wee bit problematic, considering how absolutely angry and furious this particular scenario does make me, as I really do not want to condemn the historic Sultan of Morocco for a something that in fact never actually occurred. It seems like all the classic books about horses follow the same mold the horse is born, grows up, learns how to handle humans, goes through a casting out period where they are treated horribly and become separated from the people they love, then somewhere toward the end they find their family or human again and all is restored in the world This book fits right in with that category, so why do we all love it so deeply The story of Sham is the story of hope, of struggle through hardship and the return to grace It is also the story of the strength in friendship But than all of this, it is the story of a great horse who was made great not by his deeds, but by the deeds of his children King of the Wind captures the essence of Sham s greatness, showing it to the readers in a way that his actions were never allowed to do, all while describing the experiences in the most beautiful and heart touching detail Horse lovers and fans of racing will find that this book is so all encompassing that they simply can not put it down, because after a while you realize you don t see the words on the page, you see the image of the experience in your mind.Easy to see why this was a Newbery winner and is still a must read.