DOWN THE LONG HILLS is a story of courage, passion and drive and who cares if the hero in question is but seven years old. Good literature was never about strict adherence to historical or physical fact. We usually call those history or science, respectively.
No, in this book L'Amour seems to let his confident writing skills and his imagination run free. He asks the reader to imagine what would happen if a frontier-trained lad, Hardy Collins, was forced to make his way cross country with nothing more than a three-year-old girl, Betty Sue Powell, a wonderful, almost magical horse, Big Red and a head filled with the knowledge gained from working side-by-side with a loving but tough western father, Scott Collins.
Together, Hardy, Betty Sue and Big Red brave everything from the weather to a grizzly to scummy horse thieves, all the while being tracked by a Cheyenne brave who wants this horse of horses. The story flows extremely well culminating in a classic L'Amour showdown.
A great western for the entire family.
And if you ever get a chance to see the movie of the same title you'll love it too. It's about as faithful an adaptation to an original book as I have ever seen.