Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Wild Horses by Jenny Oldfield

In Jenny Oldfield's Wild Horses, the first book in The Horses of Half Moon Ranch series, we meet Kirstie Scott, a young girl who lives on the family's horse ranch with her mother and older brother. When she is helping to lead guests on a riding tour of Miners' Ridge, there is a storm and a landslide, which leaves her and her horse, Lucky, trapped in Dead Man's Canyon. Kirstie realizes she's trapped with a herd of wild horses, and the black stallion leading them has a badly injured knee.

Kirstie does what she can to stop the bleeding before she is rescued, and they rush back to the ranch to get the vet. When they return, the stallion and the rest of the wild horses are gone. Kirstie enlists the help of her best friend, Lisa, to find the stallion, who obviously could not walk out of the canyon by himself.

I began reading Wild Horses with my daughter, aka The Girl, but she stopped reading about 90 pages into the book because the story was unfolding too slow for her taste. I agree with her assessment of the plot pacing, as it seemed like there were pages of wondering where the horse might be when we just wanted Kirstie to hurry up and find him. However, once the stallion is found and other complications arise, the story moves quickly to a resolution.

Overall, I think Wild Horses is a good read for girls around the same age as my daughter, who's 8. What I liked best is that Kirstie's character is a good role model; she's active, eager to help those in need, and she doesn't dress or talk too old for her age. She didn't always make the right decisions, but she's a young girl, and her actions were true to her character.

Stay tuned for my review of the second book in the series, Rodeo Rocky, later this week.

Disclosure:  I received a free copy of Wild Horses from Sourcebooks for review purposes.


Serena said...

sounds like a good read for young girls.

Jeannie said...

I used to read books like this all of the time when I was young. I was never without my tattered copies of "Black Beauty" and "The Black Stallion". Has The Girl read them?

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I'm off to hunt up a copy for #2. She's only six, but I can't resist the role model.

Lisa (Southern Girl Reads) said...

I know a few girls who would love that book! When I was young I had a horse named Lucky. He was my best friend!

Lisa (Southern Girl Reads) said...

By the way, it was nice having you stop by my blog today. Hope your computer woes are over soon.

Ti said...

What is it about girls and horses? My daughter is 5 and she is so into horses. For that reason books about horses catch my eye.

Too bad the pacing on this one didn't work out.

Staci said...

Girls and horses go together like chocolate and me!!

Anonymous said...

I may have to for this. I really need a break from The Boxcar Children.

Ladytink_534 said...

Reminds me of this horse book I read as a kid where a girl has to move to some really dry place (Arizona perhaps?) and becomes friends with a ghost horse. I truly wish I could remember what they were called as I'm sure you and The Girl would love them!

Anna said...

Serena: Definitely.

Jeannie: Not yet, but she has them both.

Susan: The role model is the book's main strength. I might check out the rest of the books in the series.

Lisa: I could've used a horse for a best friend when I was younger. That would have rocked. Hopefully, the computer issues will end soon...fingers crossed.

Ti: The second book in the series, which I reviewed recently, was much better. I really enjoyed it. My daughter is more into dinosaurs than horses, though.

Staci: LOL

Carol: If you get a chance to read it, let me know!

Ladytink: A ghost horse! I'll have to see if I can find this book.