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The Little Riders

post written by Emma Filbrun

The Little Riders by Margaretha SheminTitle: The Little Riders
Author: Margaretha Shemin
Major Themes: Holland, World War II
Synopsis: When the Nazis try to take the town’s precious treasure, Johanna and her grandparents must find a way to save the riders.

I have always loved The Little Riders! This story is a special one, very sweet. I always love it when we get around to reading this one again.

Johanna is living with her grandparents in Holland. She was sent there to stay for just a short time while her mother went on a voyage with her seafaring father, but when World War II broke out she was stuck for the duration. Something she really loves is watching the little riders. The twelve metal riders on horseback came out of the church tower every hour as the clock chimed, and Johanna always made sure to be in her bedroom window at noon to see them perform.

Then, the Nazis demanded that the little riders be melted down for their metal. What could Johanna and her grandparents do? Her grandfather was the caretaker of the church and the little mechanical men, but a Nazi officer was living right in their house! Was there any way for the riders to be saved?

This is a delightful story of a little girl learning to be brave. She also learns that even if a person wears a particular uniform, that doesn’t mean he is a terrible person. I love the ending! Even though this is a fairly predictable story, there are a few twists that make it great.

WARNING: There was a small amount of lying as the Dutch tried to protect their treasures.

Age Levels:

Read Aloud—Ages 5 – 8, Family Read Alouds
Reading Independently—Ages 7 – 9, 8 – 12


Links to buy The Little Riders:

Amazon: PaperbackHardcover

AbeBooks: View Choices on

Book Depository: Paperback


Holland, World War II

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