Victoria Holmes Heart of Fire

ISBN 13: 9780060520373

Heart of Fire

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A long-lost brother returns . . .

Maddie Harman hasn't seen her brother in years, not since he went off to war and she moved to Sefton Park with their grandparents. So when Theo suddenly returns, Maddie couldn't be happier to have her family back together.

Theo also brings a guest—a stunning mare he's brought back from Zanzibar. Maddie isn't much of a rider, but when Theo lets her name the horse, she falls in love with Firebird. She even dares to go for a ride—and discovers that Firebird is a champion jumper. The horse is fitting in perfectly at the estate.

But Theo doesn't seem so comfortable. And then, on a dark and stormy night, another young man drives up to Sefton Park. He comes inside and introduces himself . . . as Theo Harman. The family is shocked. Who is the real Theo? And Maddie has another worry—if the first Theo is an imposter, what will happen to her beloved Firebird?

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About the Author:

Victoria Holmes grew up on a farm in England, where she learned to ride at the age of two. When she wasn't riding ponies and hand-rearing calves, she enjoyed reading and writing stories of her own. She studied English at Oxford University, where the beautiful ancient buildings and sense of tradition inspired an interest in history. Victoria now works in London as a children's book editor and escapes to the English countryside whenever she can to ride horses and walk her dog, Missy.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 5-7–After the death of their parents, Maddie, 15, and her older sister go to live with their grandparents in the country. Maddie would rather be in London and is not thrilled that her family expects horseback riding to replace her city life. Unexpectedly, her older brother returns from Namibia, where he has been living since fighting in the Great War. He has brought with him a beautiful horse, and Maddie becomes a devoted rider. Firebird proves to be a talented jumper, and the siblings decide that they will train her for the King George V Gold Cup. Their plans are upset, though, when the family discovers what Maddie has known for some time: Theo is an imposter who assumed her brother's identity after he was presumed dead in an accident. Despite numerous obstacles, there is little doubt as to how this story will end. Horse lovers might find the training schedules interesting, but those who are looking for a really good animal story may find the details less involving. Though the story line has some enjoyable twists and turns, it is hard to believe that no one but Maddie notices that Theo is a fake. The characters are not memorable, and the story's pacing will not have readers stampeding to the shelves.–Carol Schene, formerly at Taunton Public Schools, MA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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