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Chang’s Paper Pony – Book Review

“If only I had a pony I wouldn’t be lonely” Chang tells his grandfather. Next year the miners will bring their family and then you won’t be lonely.

Chang’s Paper Pony by Eleanor Coerr, pictures by Deborah Kogan Ray

Chang and his grandfather came to California from China. Grandpa Li has a job peeling potatoes in the Gold Ditch Hotel. Young Chang longs for a pony, because he wants a friend. Grandpa reminds him of his friends the teacher, barber, blacksmith and Big Pete. “But, they are too old to play with. And I could play with a pony” replies Chang.

Grandpa points to the picture of the pony on the wall and tells him that it is the only kind of pony they can afford. Chang is so sad, but does everything he must to help his grandfather.

Some of the miners are unkind to Chang and pull his pigtail and make fun of him. Big Pete is the tallest, strongest man and never teases him or pulls his pigtail. Things improve when Big Pete comes to Gold Ditch. Many miners come to Big Pete’s cabin to use his scale to weigh their gold nuggets.

Chang asks Big Pete if he will take him to pan for gold so he can get enough to buy a pony, in exchange he will clean up and sweep the cabin for Big Pete.

After a long, cold, wet day of panning for gold Chang does not have enough to buy a pony. He now has to go sweep the cabin for Big Pete.

Between the floor boards Chang can see many little flecks of gold. He gathers them all in a bucket and takes them to show his grandfather. Grandfather reminds him that they belong to Big Pete, so once again he is not going to get a pony…

The next day when Big Pete returns from town he has a pony with him… Who do you think it is for?

MY FIRST I Can Read Books – PreSchool
• simple concepts and storied, told in familiar, easy-to-recognize words for the emergent reader

Level 1 I Can Read Books – PreS – Grade 1
• short, simple stories for the early reader

Level 2 I Can Read Books Grades 1-3
• high interest stories with longer plots and language for the independent reader

Level 3 I Can Read Books Grades 2-4
• short chapters and more complicated plots for the newly independent reader

I Can Read Books Chapter Books – Grades 3 & up
• more challenging chapters for the fully independent reader

Chang’s Paper Pony


Note: Chang’s Paper Pony is from my home library.

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