You may think Most Wanted by Kate Thompson is about the world’s top criminals, but you’d be wrong. The horse on the cover provides a clue – Thompson writes about the beautiful horse which Roman Emperor Gaius made consul, Incitatus.
A baker’s son unexpectedly finds himself holding Incitatus’s reigns after a servant boy hands them to him and runs off. After he sees the servant killed by a Roman soldier, the baker’s boy jumps on Incitatus’s back and rides through Rome, ending up at his family’s compound.
This wild adventure of a story has more twists and turns than you can count in such a short book. Immediately, you find yourself cheering for the baker’s boy as he rides through the streets of Rome, and faces his family’s horrified faces when they see the trouble he’s gotten himself into now. And you continue cheering for the baker’s boy as he stands up to the Roman Senate, who want to kill the horse.
My seven-year-old son loved this book, and pestered me to get back to the library to get Highway Robbery, another horse book by Thompson. The story is captivating, and the illustrations are funny – a great book for children ready for a bit longer chapter book. (It has 16 chapters.) And if your child is wondering if this story could be real, the author clarifies what is true, and what isn’t, in an author’s note at the end.