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Pocomoto Pony Express Rider: John C Adams Reviews

Book name: Pocomoto Pony Express Rider

Author: Rex Dixon

Publisher: Littlehampton

Format: Print

Genre: Children

Publication Date: 1967

Star Rating: 5/5

I’m often intrigued by the sheer difference between pony books published in the UK and those written by American authors.

The former concentrate on riding as a hobby. The latter are very often set within a cowboy or ranch setting.

When I started reading Pocomoto Pony Express Rider I realised that here was a crossover: an American cowboy story written by a British author.

Rex Dixon was actually a pen name of Reginald Martin. He was born in London in 1908.

Pocomoto Pony Express Rider is set in the Wild West. Pocomoto, who everyone calls Poco, is being raised by two old prospectors.

Hap and Seb rescued him when his parents died in an Indian attack on their convoy of settlers.

Hap has recently died, leaving his money to Poco to help fund his schooling.

Hap’s death has made Seb more aware of his own frailties. He wants Poco to be raised by a family for the rest of his childhood and receive an education.

The pair ride to Yakima City. Seb explains Poco’s heritage to him and explains what happens to the lad’s parents.

Seb then arranges for Poco to board with a pastor, Dan Martin, and his family.

Poco isn’t use to a family environment, or to sleeping indoors, but he tries to make the best of it. He is polite and hard-working, honest and a good judge of character.

He tries to fit in with the local boys, but their parents are wary after Poco gets into trouble and is shot at. He is resilient about their rejection and determined to prove himself.

Dan is a sensitive and considerate person who takes Poco out of school when the environment doesn’t work for him and offers to teach him at home.

He also takes Poco to a local ranch to see if working with horses will calm the boy.

Poco longs to be a pony express rider like Laredo, who he meets several times early on. His chance will come!

I really loved this Wild West tale of a young lad beating the odds. Horses were central to the story, so it is fair to classify this as a pony book.

The book was published in 1953, and it is old-fashioned in style for that time. The emphasis is on core value such as hard work and honesty, and the importance of male role models in forming character for the good. The style was a little reminiscent of earlier children’s books where the forming of character and values is set out quite clearly.

I loved the story and really enjoyed the vintage feel. Poco was brave and decent. He was thoroughly likeable and never complained about life’s challenges. There was plenty of action on horseback, which was what I loved most about it.

Thank you for reading my review.

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John C Adams Reviews Pocomoto Pony Express Rider

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