Mar 21, 2011

New Books

Dare to Dream
by Valerie Lilian
Pub Date: 3/15/2011

Dreams only lead to disappointment. I've had dreams of finding a family and of having my own horse. Something always goes wrong. Look what happened when I took a ride with those boys. The main reason I went was to see some dumb horses; horses that landed me in the hospital and are soon to land me in that hole they call a home. My dreams are history. If I expect the worst I won't be disappointed. Jan Allen wakes up in the hospital after a drunk-driving accident with high school friends. Although innocent, Jan is no longer wanted by her foster parents and is forced to return to the horrible girl's home upon her recovery. Jan used to live in a dream world, but after twelve years of foster-homes and countless foster families, she's convinced herself that dreams do not come true. When Jan meets Tammy, a competitive horse rider, her life is changed forever. Tammy's elaborate schemes present Jan with her dream horse and a compassionate young cowboy. But Jan's dream becomes a nightmare when she crosses paths with Celia, a jealous and vengeful girl who stops at nothing to see Jan ruined. Dare to dream is an exhilarating story filled with the magic of horses, teenage romance, and the struggles of a young girl who Dared to Dream. 

Finding Somewhere
by Joseph Monninger
Pub Date: 11/8/11

Two girls: Best friends Hattie and Delores feel that life in their small New Hampshire town is a dead end.
One horse: Old and about to be put down, Speed gets a reprieve when Hattie and Delores decide to save him.
A road trip: Determined to set Speed free, Hattie and Delores drive him west in search of rangeland. But the road takes some unexpected turns as the girls get their own taste of freedom—and as they confront the reasons they left home.

True Blue
by Jane Smiley
Pub Date: 9/27/11
True Blue is a beauty, a dappled gray, and when Abby gets to take him to her family's ranch, she can hardly believe her luck. The horse needs a home: his owner—a woman brand new to the riding stable--was tragically killed in a car crash and no one has claimed him. Daddy is wary, as always. But Abby is smitten. True Blue is a sweetheart, and whenever Abby calls out, "Blue, Blue, how are you?" he  whinnies back.

But sometimes True Blue seems...spooked. He paces, and always seems to be looking for something. Or someone. Abby starts to wonder about True Blue's owner. What was she like? What did she look like? One moonlit night, Abby could swear she hears a whisper in her ear: "He's still my horse." Filled with riding scenes and horse details, this newest middle-grade novel from a Pulitzer Prize-winner offers a mysterious and suspenseful almost-ghost story.

Star Gazer
by Chris Platt
Pub Date: 9/1/11

Thirteen-year-old Jordan McKenzie loves draft horses gentle giants, as they're known in the horse industry. Her favorite is the sweet, dependable Black Percheron, and she hopes that her mom will let her have one someday. But considering they don't own even one animal on the small farm they rent in their new southern Michigan town, that seems very unlikely. Jordan's fortunes change at a local livestock auction. With the help of a Mennonite boy, Jacob Yoder, she and her mom bid on a draft mare who is in danger of being sold to a slaughterhouse. She's thrilled to become the proud owner of a large, two-thousand-pound draft horse named Star Gazer. But Jordan's joy is short-lived when she learns that her new horse, once the winner of many log pulling contests, is lame and depressed due to years of neglect. Furious, Jordan vows to beat Star Gazer's former owner in the state pulling contest at the end of the summer but can she get Star Gazer's health and confidence back?

 Winter Pony
by Iain Lawrence
Pub Date: 11/8/11

In the forests of Siberia, in the first years of the 20th century, a white pony runs free with his herd. But his life changes forever when he's captured by men. Years of hard work and cruelty wear him out. When he's chosen to be one of 20 ponies to accompany the Englishman Robert Falcon Scott on his quest to become the first to reach the South Pole, he doesn't know what to expect. But the men of Scott's expedition show him kindness, something he's never known before. They also give him a name—James Pigg. As Scott's team hunkers down in Antarctica, James Pigg finds himself caught up in one of the greatest races of all time. The Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen has suddenly announced that he too means to be first to the Pole. But only one team can triumph, and not everyone can survive—not even the animals.

3 comments:

Molly said...

I would have eaten these up as a teenager. Especially the first one.

Linda Benson said...

Thanks so much for these recommendations. I love learning about new horse books coming out, and I added them to my to-read list on Goodreads. Hooray!

Anonymous said...

the last one sounds decent. true blue does also though the authors treatment of her own horses is sickening. its one thing to send your horses to auction but quite another when you write books about the plight of hard luck horses who end up there