Recently we have read Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry. I am from Virginia and had horses as a child, so I was hoping that they would enjoy this.
They have learned a lot from this book, more than I even think they do. While Catherine was doing a geography assignment, she labeled an island. She asked me if it was Chincoteague. Paul and Maureen live with their grandparents, so the girls asked me if their parents died just like James' did (from James and the Giant Peach). There is a scene where Misty is caught in a whirlpool and Paul grabs her by the neck and swims her to shore. Every time they flush the toilet, they reference a "whirlpool."
We just happened to attend the girls' cousin's birthday party during this time period. They had a blast riding horses and frequently ask to go again. What good timing!
The only project we did for this book is to color a picture of a mare and her colt. The girls of course think that all baby animals are cute, so they loved that.
I am not certain I would recommend this book because there is so little action. It took about 8 chapters before Misty even appeared as a character (which Catherine pointed out to me and found silly). The book does display a simpler, different way of life than we experience. It does describe life on an island, with oyster men, etc. If your child adores horses, this may be a good choice. It is a classic book, and I am glad I read it to them. But it was not one of my favorites.