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The True Story of the Little Horse Who Became a Hero


  • Booklist starred review

  • Publishers Weekly starred review

  • Amazon Best Book of the Month Selection for Kids & Teens, 2017

  • Texas Bluebonnet Award, 2018-2019

The inspiring true story of Sgt. Reckless, the brave little mare that became a marine. This is the first picture book from award-winning novelist Patricia McCormick, sumptuously illustrated by acclaimed artist Iacopo Bruno.

When a group of US Marines fighting in the Korean War found a bedraggled little mare, they wondered if she could be trained to as a packhorse. They had no idea that the skinny, underfed horse had one of the biggest and bravest hearts they’d ever known. And one of the biggest appetites!


Soon Sgt. Reckless showed herself more than willing to carry ammunition too heavy for the soldiers to haul. As cannons thundered and shells flew through the air, she marched into battle—again and again—becoming the only animal ever to officially hold military rank and receive two Purple Hearts.

Praise for Sgt. Reckless:

"This endearing story of wartime camaraderie won’t soon be forgotten."

— PUBLISHERS WEEKLY starred review

"McCormick offers up her first picture book, and it's a rousing success."

— BOOKLIST starred review

"McCormick excels at bringing thrilling nonfiction stories to young readers and this picture book...enthralls"

— The New York Times review

See actual photographs of Sgt. Reckless with her escorts to the ball held in her honor in the United States.

 Click here.

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