Ideas for Reports and Papers
1. Marguerite Henry has been criticized for shifting too abruptly from one scene, location, or part of the story to another. Are there any shifts that seem especially sudden to you? Take several transitions in the book and show why they work or do not work well.
2. Henry has been praised for her vivid scenes. Take at least two scenes and show how language, narration, and descriptions of characters and their actions make them come alive. What do the illustrations add to her descriptions?
3. Compare two ruling or powerful characters in the book. Is either of them all good or all bad, or are their moral qualities mixed? What limitations are there on their power?
4. The kindly characters in the book who want to help Sham and Agba often cannot. Why? Are there any points where you think such characters— Coke, Mr. Williams, and Mrs. Cockburn— could do more but do not? To what extent are the good actions of these characters limited by things beyond their control?
5. Compare this book to another horse novel by Marguerite Henry, such as Justin Morgan Had a Horse or Misty of Chincoteague. Do human characters in these books learn from their experience with horses? What do they learn? Is the author in these other books interested in values other than producing a good line of horses or ponies?