Review: The Scorpio Races

Stiefvater, Maggie. The Scorpio Races. New York: Scholastic, 2011. (Grades 7-12)

A really great book trailer brought me to this book (thank you, Sarah Loch), and it did not disappoint. This story of love in its many forms — for people, animals, and home — rings with echoes of the Emerald Isle. I immediately identified the island of Thisby with Ireland, though perhaps it’s more similar to the wild and windswept shores of Northern Ireland or the Hebrides. Mendelsohn’s Fingal’s Cave was my mental background score as I shared Stiefvater’s tale of the wild water horses; the hearty, determined islanders; the storms and the pull of the sea. I was almost finished with the book before I discovered the author’s note verifying the tale’s origin in Gaelic folklore as well as the proper pronunciation of capall uisce. I couldn’t read it, even silently, without voicing the Gaelic accent that the characters so clearly have in my mind. While I can do a brogue or lilt, they don’t come easily, so it took me a long while to complete the reading.

That said, Kate, Sean and the capaill uisce wrapped themselves around me and refused to let go. Hook the romantics with the sweet, innocent love story and the animal lovers with the strong relationships between horse and rider, then sit back and reel the readers in.


About kstreet245

I'm a teacher librarian with Norman Public Schools and adjunct instructor for children's literature at the University of Oklahoma School of Library and Information Studies. I've been married to Ken since 1975, and we have two wonderful children, both married. We have no grandchildren, but instead are "owned" by three dachshunds. We are active members of Country Estates Baptist Church in Midwest City, OK, teaching Sunday School, playing handbells, keyboards, and percussion, and singing in the choir. I enjoy reading, crafts, travel, and nice, long naps when I can work them in!
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