I can count on one hand the number of books I’ve re-read in my life. Up until this year, there was only one: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I’ll be honest…I never saw the point of re-reading a book (please don’t judge me!). With a never-ending and constantly growing TBR list, it seemed like a waste to go back to what I’d already been through once. This year, though, that changed. Let me explain why.


My resolution to rent more books from the library than I buy this year has had benefits beyond the obvious one I imagined when I made that goal (financial savings). It has encouraged me to…

  • diversify – not every book I want to read at the moment I finish a book will be available, so I’ve discovered some other great books that weren’t at the top of my list or even on it simply because they were available when I needed a new book.
  • slow down – in years past, my reading resolution has always been “read more books than last year.” More seemed better, but it added some pressure and took away some pleasure. This year’s resolution re-oriented my thoughts toward reading and it has been so refreshing to slow down and savor books.
  • and also, as of late, re-read old favorites – this ties into the above two points. Not every book I want to read is available when I want to read it, AND I’m not as concerned about plowing through new books all the time. After a lull in library books, I discovered the Harry Potter series was free through Amazon Prime, and the rest is history. I rediscovered my love of the series and found a whole new appreciation for re-reading old favorites.

I’ve re-read a few of the Harry Potter books in between library books now, and it’s been one of the best things I’ve done for myself this year. The sense of comfort and magic from when I first experienced that series has only been amplified by the nostalgia I now experience when I read them too. Having picked up our entire lives and moved to a brand new city this summer, being able to read something that feels like “home” for my imagination was so enriching for me. Not to mention, you notice so many more things in a book your second (or third, or fourth…) time through, especially when you read it during a totally different phase of life.

The Harry Potter books helped me change my stance on re-reading old books, and that’s a big reason why Misty of Chincoteague was back on my reading list this summer.


Misty of Chincoteague is the first book I can remember renting from my elementary school library that wasn’t a simple picture book. I was OBSESSED with horses as a kid (ask my parents, who had the genius idea to sign me up for horseback riding lessons for a year to show me how much work they actually were…also, one year for Halloween I dressed as a horse – not a cowgirl, a horse). This book has always stood out to me as one of the gateways to my love for reading. Misty was magical, and when I picked up that book, I could almost pretend I owned a horse too. The thought of wild horses living on an island seemed like heaven to my 8-year-old mind.

This book tells the story of Misty and her mom, Phantom, two of the many wild horses on Assateague Island who are rounded up in the annual pony penning to be swum over to neighboring island, Chincoteague. Paul and Maureen are two kids who live with their grandparents and work to raise money to buy the horses and then get up early every day for a year to tame them. The plot follows Paul and Maureen as they set their hearts on Phantom and Misty, gentle them, race them, and…well, I won’t give away the ending 🙂 It is a wholesome, simple, but enchanting story with a few pictures thrown in for good measure.

Reading this for the second time was a ton of fun for me, in large part because…WE’RE GOING TO CHINCOTEAGUE ISLAND SOON! (Were all caps necessary? You betcha.) Chincoteague Island, which seemed like a fairy tale to me as a kid, is a real place. And it’s in Virginia, and we’re in Virginia now, and Nathan’s vacation week is coming up. Need I say more? We booked our trip there for later this month after I explained to Nathan my fascination with it from when I was a kid. We’ll stay in a hotel near the one Marguerite Henry stayed at while writing the book, and we’ll get to see the wild horses who still live on Assateague. From what I’ve been told by locals, it is a really nice getaway for a trip regardless of whether or not you’re a Misty of Chincoteague fan – less touristy than VA Beach or OBX, which are also close by and we were originally considering for our trip. You can count on some blog posts about it once we’re back! Now I just need to convince Nathan to read Misty of Chincoteague before we go 🙂

Rating: 3/5 stars
Stats: 177 pages
Recommended for: Children who can focus for more than a picture book but still enjoy simple stories, and adults who are still children at heart.
Up next: Whatever comes up at the library next, or perhaps the third Harry Potter while I wait…

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Misty of Chincoteague & My Thoughts on Re-reading Books

  1. I love this! I got goosebumps at some points and laughed at others (I’m talking about your post, not the book. Although now I want to read the book.) Such lovely memories and so wonderful you have a man who is honoring your foray back into childhood memories!

    1. Thanks, mama! I am so excited to live out my childhood dreams in a couple weeks 😀 And grateful I’ve got a good guy along for the ride!

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