Riding Freedom

Riding Freedom
Written By: Pam Munoz Ryan
Illustrated By: Brian Selznick

Charlotte Parkhurst was an extraordinary girl. Orphaned at a young age, in the early 1800’s, she identified more with horses than humans and much preferred rough housing with the boys, to learning how to be a proper young lady.
Growing up in a rural orphanage, isn’t easy. So when her best friend is adopted and she is banned from the stables, Charlotte knows she must leave. She also knows that a girl traveling without a chaperone will look suspicious, and getting caught is not an option. That’s when an idea begins to form. A plan so ingenious that it will change the course of her life and will not be discovered until the day she dies.

Discussion/Project Ideas:
1. Charlotte clearly had a love of horses from a very young age. Write a short summary of how you think her life would have gone if her parents hadn’t died.
2. Research other active groups in the 1800’s fighting for women’s right to vote. What if Charlotte had abandoned her plan and joined them? Write about three consequences that could have come about if she had made that choice.
3. Research and describe a typical day in the life of a woman during Charlotte’s lifetime.