Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Good Horse by Jane Smiley

If you had trained and cared for a colt that grew into a beautiful horse and won shows with you as a rider, what would you do if someone else tried to claim the horse as the foal from his stolen mare?

Alfred a Knopf Books for Young Readers has published this story in hardcover and graciously sent me a copy for review.  It's for ages 11 and up, and is available now at your local bookstore.  It's the sequel to The Georges and the Jewels, but does well as a standalone read.

The Lovitts live on a small farm and don't have much money to buy new stock.  So Abby's father travels the states and looks for horses with good potential.  They then work with the horses until they are well-trained and hope to sell them for a good price.  They're a religious family and pray over decisions they need to make.  They had no idea they were buying a stolen mare.

Ms. Smiley obviously knows horses.  She has great descriptions of horse attributes and discusses how Abby must ride the horses to get the most points.  I learned a lot about the horse world from this book.

The story has a smooth flow and reads well.  This book should appeal to any young one that likes animals.  There are several hard decisions to make in this story and they have something to teach the reader, also.  And don't forget the first book in the series, The Georges & The Jewels.  Both books together would make a fine gift.

Happy reading!

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