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Author: Ellen F Feld

Illustrator: Jeanne Mellin

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Publisher: Willow Bend Publishing,

Material: paperback

Summary: Karen, 14 years old, is invited to go with her friends for an afternoon trail ride. Because her horse, Robin, is recovering from a bruised foot, Karen must ride Comet (known to be a bit rambunctious) if she wants to join her friends. On the ride, Comet gets spooked and bolts for home. Karen can't control the horse, who causes a series of chain-reaction events that ultimately seriously injure Karen. This is the story of how a family, friends, and a Morgan horse helped a frightened and traumatized young woman to overcome her fears and regain her physical and emotional well-being. This is a chapter book for pre-teens.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, independent reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 8 to 12; read yourself: 9 to 12

Interest Level: 9 to 12

Reading Level: 5.9

Age of Child: Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™

Young Reader Reaction: This novel was fantastic. An easy and fast-moving book, it was a pleasure to read. Not only are Feld’s descriptions vivid and moving, she paints beautiful characters who are realistic, complex and people in whom teens can see themselves. This story was very inspiring, and really developed the relationship between Karen and her horse. Girls who enjoy this book should certainly look into the entire series. Although the reading level is quite simple, I would recommend this book to anyone. It truly is fun to read, and took me to a whole new world as I was engrossed in Karen’s life and struggles. This book evokes a range of emotions, and draws in the reader 100 percent.

Adult Reader Reaction: This is a great believable story that should appeal to adolescent girls. The story will more than satisfy anyone of any age who is looking for a good read.

Pros: This book is about horses, horsemanship, and the challenges and rewards of owning and caring for horses. It is equally about teenagers, parents, peer pressure, friendship, personal responsibility, hard work, self-confidence, patience, and caring. The author has woven all of these themes into an extraordinary and enjoyable story.

Cons: None. This is a well written, interesting, and wholesome story that can be enjoyed by anyone.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. The primary audience is girls who ride or who think about riding as a hobby or sport. Still, the plot and characters are believable, and the story so wholesome the book will satisfy anyone looking for a great read.

If You Liked This Book, Try: GOD'S GREEN LINIMENT   DANCE JAM PRODUCTIONS   LADY'S BIG SURPRISE (Lucky Foot Stable Series, #1)

Educational Themes: Owning and caring for horses is fun and it is also a lot of work. There are many positive things teens can learn and enjoy about horses and themselves by learning to ride.

Literary Categories: Fiction - animal characters, middle grade series, coming of age, illness, health

Date(s) Reviewed: April 2006

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