The last few posts have felt very equestrian, and this book review is no different! I will need to amend my last top ten post to add this fun little book!
Meet the Author
Award-winning author and lifelong horse enthusiast, Laura Holt-Haslam, writes books that entertain, educate, and inspire horse lovers of all ages. She’s passionate about sharing her love of horses through art, writing, and hands-on learning. Over the past 35 years, she has taught basic horsemanship and mentored hundreds of children and teens, encouraging them not only to become more confident equestrians, but more compassionate people. Her middle grade novels explore the transformative power of horses and friendship.
Laura is the mother of two young adult children. She lives in Southern Maine with her husband, two adorably naughty cats, and the friendliest dog you’ll ever meet. She and her daughter share ownership of Max, a 27-year-old palomino miniature horse who loves to jump.
Learn more about Laura and her books, and Max and Dusty, the River Ponies, at https://lauraholthaslam.com/
This little gem is the perfect start for any horse-obsessed girls or boys out there.
Emily Edwards is bright for her age. She has read all the books the local library has on horses – not just the kid books either, but all the adult books on horsemanship, riding disciplines, and Kentucky Derby winners. She has the knowledge of horses but has never actually ridden a horse. That is until she wins an essay competition to join an Equestrian Adventure camp for a week in summer!
The Characters and Story
The growth of the main character in the story is wonderful. Emily is complex, her family background is not ideal, her father is a sufferer of MS and her mother has disappeared. She is understanding of her situation and how that affects her chances of being an equestrian extraordinaire, however, this does not stop her from her dream. Emily’s growth from a stubborn individual who pushes everyone away to a caring friend is really heartwarming, and I can not wait for the next book in the series!
The other characters in the story are varied in terms of personality which makes a nice balance. Katie is larger than life and kind, the first person that becomes a friend of Emily along with Esther and Alexis, the latter being the more annoying girl in the group. There is one equestrian adventure boy, who is teased by the other boys for liking a girly sport but is also another complex character that Emily has to work to become friends with. Ash and Emily have different backgrounds but are united by their passion for horses and care of their horse of the week Calypso.
What a fun and easy read! Horse girl me would have devoured this author’s books in one summer for sure. Throughout the book, even in the parts which are not about horses or stables, there is the consistent use of horse-based vocabulary and lexicon. “cantering around” and “heavy footsteps like a Clydesdale” – for readers who are like the main character Emily, it’s a really nice touch.
My Personal Thoughts
I like how this book doesn’t just talk about the horses. There is touching on topics that young people can relate to, the difficulties of having an unwell parent, comprehension of disabilities, and when one parent leaves. Often it is hard to talk about these topics so mentioning them in the midst of a horsey book is nice to see.
Again big thanks to Laura for writing such as splendid book!
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