Paul and Maureen live with their grandparents on the Chesapeake island of Chincoteague. On the nearby island of Assateague lives a band of wild ponies, whose ancestors came to the New World on Spanish galleons centuries before. Every year on "Pony Penning Day," the men round up as many ponies as they can and bring them across the water to Chincoteague for sale. This year, Paul and Maureen want to buy one. They have their eyes on the Phantom, an elusive mare no one has ever been able to capture. Paul, finally old enough to accompany the men on the roundup, is determined to catch her.
When he finds the Phantom, he gets a surprise. Phantom has a colt, that Paul names "Misty" the minute he sees her. Getting Phantom and Misty back to Chincoteague is no easy task, but Paul manages to do it. As he expected, Misty captures Maureen's heart too, and Paul and Maureen scrape together the money to buy both ponies. They soon find that following a dream is never as easy as it's supposed to be; they nearly lose the ponies more than once. Ultimately they learn that you can't always keep what you love. Phantom will always be a creature of the wild wind; but Misty has come into their lives to stay.
Beloved by generations of children, this classic horse story by the author of the Newbery Medal-winning King of the Wind was itself named a Newbery Honor Book. Marguerite Henry is equally at home describing a child's yearning for a pony and the life of a pony in the wild, and her evocative depictions of animals never rely on false anthropomorphism. Readers will share the joy of the animals' freedom and will have appropriately mixed feelings seeing them go into captivity. And anyone with a passion for horses will identify with the two children and their love for Misty and Phantom.