Ponty the Pit Pony

Lyn Whitby

Contemporary story set in the Welsh mining valleys although now the mines are gone and the area is regenerated.

Sarah is struggling in school. She finds it boring and feels that all her friends are doing better than she is. They are studying the history of children in the mining industry and visit a coalmine. Now they have to put together a project on the subject and Sarah can't think of anything. All her friends seem to have really good ideas and she feels inadequate.

To get to school she has to cross a bridge. One misty morning, on the way, the mist thickens to fog and she is thrown back in time and is working in a mine. She gets into trouble after getting lost with one of the pit ponies. After working a long shift she leaves the mine and walks down to the village hoping that she will find herself back in her own time. She spends the night in a miner's cottage with a family that could be her ancestors, falling asleep to the sound of a male voice choir and the throbbing of the mine workings.

When she wakes the next morning she is horrified to find that she is still in the past. As she walks back to the mine the fog closes in again and she finds herself back on the bridge to school. She now has an idea for a project and runs to school happier and more confident.

This book is for reading age 7-9 years. The story is well-paced and the characters of Sarah and Robert are well-developed and sympathetic. Many pupils will empathise with Sarah's feelings of boredom and inadequacy.

The accompanying teacher resource book (ISBN 9781906373856) includes the full story plus comprehensive worksheets. The full contents are on a CD for easy printing and whiteboard use.