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When eighth grader Abby Lovitt looks out at those pure-gold rolling hills, she knows there’s no place she’d rather be than her family’s ranch—even with all the hard work of tending to nine horses. But some chores are no work at all, like grooming young Jack. At eight months, his rough foal coat has shed out, leaving a smooth, rich silk, like chocolate. As for Black George, such a good horse, it turns out he’s a natural jumper. When he and Abby clear four feet easy as pie, heads start to turn at the ring—buyers’ heads—and Abby knows Daddy won’t turn down a good offer.
Then a letter arrives from a private investigator, and suddenly Abby stands to lose not one horse but two. The letter states that Jack’s mare may have been sold to the Lovitts as stolen goods. A mystery unfolds, more surprising than Abby could ever expect. Will she lose her beloved Jack to his rightful owners?
Pulitzer Prize winner Jane Smiley raises horses of her own, and her affection and expertise shine through in this inviting horse novel for young readers, set in 1960s California horse country and featuring characters from The Georges and the Jewels.
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JANE SMILEY is the author of many books for adults, including Private Life, Horse Heaven, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning A Thousand Acres. She was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2001.
Jane lives in Northern California, where she rides horses every chance she gets. She is also the author of four other novels for young readers in the Horses of Oak Valley Ranch series:The Georges and the Jewels, A Good Horse, True Blue, and Pie in the Sky.
Gr 6-8–Eighth-grader Abby Lovitt loves caring for her family's nine horses. Her favorites are Jack and Black George, though she runs the risk of losing both. Black George is an excellent jumper, and after he and Abby win first place in a contest, he is sold for a considerable profit. The family receives a series of letters from a private investigator indicating that Jack's mother fits the description of a stolen horse, meaning that she might have been sold to them without the true owner's permission. The illustrations of horse equipment add some depth to the story; however, the plot falls flat. The level of depth Smiley uses to describe some details, as when Abby and her friends play the “Adverbs” game, will not engage most readers, and the laborious descriptions of Abby's riding experiences will only appeal to avid horse lovers. The side stories involving Abby's brother moving out because of their strict, puritanical father is confusing and the story of Abby and her friends acting out Julius Caesar might leave readers a bit lost. Instead of adding detail, these elements make for a murky, anticlimactic plot.–Adrienne L. Strock, Maricopa County Library District, AZ . (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Book Description Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2010. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0375862293
Book Description Condition: New. Gift Quality Book in Excellent Condition. Seller Inventory # 36SFFI0006UI
Book Description Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2010. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0375862293
Book Description Knopf Books for Young Readers. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0375862293 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW7.0118963