Shabby Sunday: Old Bones: The Wonder Horse by Mildred Mastin Pace – 1965 -Book Review #VintageBooks #ShabbySunday #OldBones #HorseBooks

Shabby Sunday


I have a bunch of old vintage books and seem to keep acquiring more. One of my plans when  starting this blog was to do a post every now and then sharing one of my cherished vintage books. Then I thought there might be other book bloggers out there that have some vintage books, heirlooms, or maybe some old books from childhood that they might want to share.

This meme titled ‘Shabby Sunday’ is for those who would like to participate and share some of their old vintage books. Do you have some shabby books you’d like to share? If so, please feel free to participate as anyone can join. Feel free to use my meme image if you’d like to. If you decide to do this meme, please consider linking back to me in this post so that I can see the book you’re sharing.

Last time I shared:

Roald Dahl – Rhyme Stew

Today’s Shabby Share:

Old Bones: The Wonder Horse

By Mildred Mastin Pace



“This is the true, rags-to-riches story of Exterminator, one of the best-loved American horses. Old Bones, as he was affectionately called, came out of nowhere to win a Kentucky Derby and to run a hundred races before his retirement.”


My children love horses, and my middle-grade daughter especially loved reading about horses when she first started chapter books. When I found this at a used book sale, I couldn’t pass it up.  What a beautiful copy! The condition is like new, for the most part, with only some minor wear to the outside cover.


Our copy is a 4th printing paperback published in 1965. The original was published in 1955. It’s pretty thin and only about 95 pages total. Wikipedia lists this book (Scholastic) as a reprint from 1983, but I can’t confirm the actual year.


Old Bones: The Wonder Horse is the true story of Old Bones (Exterminator), a horse that, aside from a few people, nobody believed in.  When Old Bones was born, he was quite gangly, and most folks didn’t think much of him.

“Old Bones was used to being told he was ugly, homely. For almost three years now–since the day he was born–he had been called ugly. 

The people who came to look at him when he was only a few hours old talked about it. “How,” they asked, “how in the world could a dam as beautiful as Fair Empress and a sire as handsome as McGee produce this scarecrow of a foal?”

“Looks like he’s built of kindling wood–nothing but bones!”


Not long after, Old Bones is purchased by Mr. Kilmer—a well-known man who works with horses and trains them for big races like the Kentucky Derby. Old Bones is expected to be a workhorse for training only. Mr. Kilmer has his hopes set on Sun Briar, and he’ll do whatever it takes to get that horse fast and prepared to win the Kentucky Derby that year. During workouts, Old Bones seemed to want to spring ahead but learned to fall back and ‘work’ Sun Briar into shape.


Sun Briar wasn’t doing well; something was off, and Mr. Kilmer wasn’t going to be happy about it. Mr. Kilmer is encouraged to enter Old Bones in Sun Briar’s place, and he reluctantly agrees. The results are nothing short of astonishing.


Did we ever love reading this beautiful story! The author did such a wonderful job writing it and seems to have all the facts straight. The story keeps you on the edge of your seat too, and we experienced many emotions while reading. The charcoal illustrations by Wesley Dennis give this book the perfect touch too.


Sadly, it took so long for people to see Old Bones for his true potential. The sadder parts of the story for me were reading about how people called him ugly and worthless. This story is a perfect example of how looks don’t mean everything.

If you have children reading chapter books who love horses, go grab this one. It would even make an excellent read- aloud for younger kids. Some of the vocabulary is more challenging, but it’s not hard for younger kids to figure out the meanings of the words during the reading. I highly recommend this one.


Find this book on Goodreads and Amazon:

  • Publisher : McGraw-Hill (January 1, 1956)
  • Language : English
  • Hardcover : 119 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 9011278925
  • ISBN-13 : 978-9011278929

Other blogs who have participated in Shabby Sunday:

Nicky@ An Introverted Bookworm

Claire@ Brizzle Lass Books

Author Didi Oviatt

Sassy Brit@ Alternative-Read

Brittany @ PerfectlyTolerable

Shari @

Jennifer @

Lisa @ Way Too Fantasy

*Please stop by these blogs to check out all of their beautiful shabby shares!*

Thanks for checking out Shabby Sunday! Have you read this book? Do you have any shabby books to share? Feel free to share your thoughts below.

♥️ Mischenko

18 thoughts on “Shabby Sunday: Old Bones: The Wonder Horse by Mildred Mastin Pace – 1965 -Book Review #VintageBooks #ShabbySunday #OldBones #HorseBooks

  1. starjustin

    Nice post! Love hearing about true stories especially when the outcome is so unexpected.
    And the original was 1955? Amazing! 🐎


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  3. Pingback: Shabby Sunday: What the Witch Left by Ruth Chew- 1973 -Book Review #VintageBooks #ShabbySunday #RuthChew #Magic – ReadRantRock&Roll

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