Book guide: Malva and the horses

Do you like horses?

This is three books in one about Malva who loves horses, just like grandma's father Valentin did. Malva should be at least as good on horses as him! But Malva's father is not sure that it is such a good idea for Malva to start riding.

Book 1 Malva starts riding
Book 2 Malva and the horses
Book 3 Malva in the stable

Malva starts riding

1. Malva has longed to start riding. What do you long to do? How does it feel in the body to long?

2. Both Malva and the father are new to the stable. They have to rely on help from others there. How does it feel to trust someone? Can it ever be stupid to trust someone?

3. Milda is the kindest horse in the stable. How do you think one can notice it? Are there more ways to notice that
someone is kind to?

4. In the stable, students groom the horses. Do you know what one does then? Why is it important to rummage horses?

5. It is Malva's first time in the stable. How do you think Malva
feeling when she gets home?

Malva and the horses

1. In the book, Malva's father is afraid of horses. Why do you think he is? Are you afraid of something? How does it feel to be afraid?

2. When Malva gets angry and upset, she locks herself in the toilet. Why do you think she does that? What do you usually do when you are angry or upset?

3. It smells like horse in the stable. Malva thinks the scent is safe and warm. Do you think there are smells that are safe? Which?

4. Malva asks her grandmother for advice. Do you have someone you can turn to for wise advice?

5. Malva lives with her father. He always does what grandma wants, Malva thinks. Why do you think he does that?

Mallow in the stable

1. Malva wants to talk to dad. But he doesn't have time. How do you think Malva feels?

2. Malva doesn't want to stay at the playground when Myra and Casper come. Why do you think that is so?

3. Malva goes to the stables herself. Do you think it's a good idea? Why? Why not?

4. Malva likes to be in the stable. Which place do you especially like to be in and why do you like that place?

5. Malva wants to be as good at horses as her grandmother's father Valentin. What do you usually do to get really good at something?

About identity

We create our identity and self-image in relation to the world around us. Part of that world are the images and stories that exist – or don't exist. Some of us have an easier time finding positive and obvious reflection and confirmation than others. Those with a Roma background, for example, mainly encounter negative reflections, which for example deal with historical persecution or present-day discrimination, or stories about Roma who come to Sweden as economic migrants. The Swedish school system is tasked with working with national minorities, and Roma are one of them. Therefore, it is important that there are books that obviously include Roma and that also provide a positive reflection. It is important regardless of the ethnic background of the child reading the book.

About riding and horses

Today, girls and women are in the majority in equestrian sports. That has not always been the case. Historically, the horse and the stable have rather been a male domain. When horses stopped being used in agriculture and in the army, and riding became more of a sport and a hobby, it gradually became something for girls. An exciting aspect of the sport, however, is that women and men compete on equal terms and against each other.

Handling horses requires qualities of the rider that are otherwise classically associated with masculinity, such as clarity, strength, stubbornness and the ability to steer. Riders also need to be brave, because they have to handle an animal that is stronger and bigger than they are.

The school curriculum

"At school, the student must meet respect for his person and his work. The school must strive to be a living social community that provides security and the will and desire to learn. The school operates in an environment with many sources of knowledge. The effort must be to create the best collected the conditions for students' education, thinking and knowledge development. Personal security and self-esteem are founded in the home, but the school also has an important role. Every student has the right to develop at school, to feel the joy of growth and to experience the satisfaction of making progress and overcome difficulties." Lgr 11, rev 2019.