Back in the Saddle (Silver Creek Riders, No. 1)

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9780515114805: Back in the Saddle (Silver Creek Riders, No. 1)

At the Silver Creek riding camp, best friends Katie and Jenna, along with their tentmate, Melissa, struggle to make friends with Sharon, who is readjusting to her life following a tragic accident.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 5-8-This new series begins with four middle-school girls meeting at a riding camp: feisty Jenna, lovable Katie, "girl-with-an-attitude" Melissa, and disabled Sharon. Camp events take second place to their relationships, with the focus on Sharon, who controls the others through her rudeness. The accident that damaged her legs also killed her favorite horse, and she struggles to come to terms with her changed life. Melissa starts out as an intriguing counterpart, yet her individuality never develops. As typical in the similar "Saddle Club" series, the characters cope with soap operatics without achieving believability. Although the equine information is authoritative, essentially the horses serve as lovable props. Probably the most interesting creature is a flighty filly that Sharon meets. Surprisingly, the two misfits don't immediately click, and both girl and horse grudgingly compromise. Heavy-handed, overblown writing reflects the "thesaurus syndrome," and the trendy slang will quickly date the dialogue. Nothing sets this above the standard "girls love horses" plot.
Charlene Strickland, formerly at Albuquerque Public Library, NM
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist:

Gr. 5-9. Four girls attending summer camp at the Silver Creek Stable get off to a rocky start as tentmates. Sharon, a former championship rider who is recovering from a serious accident that crippled her and killed her horse, comes to camp impatient to recover her skills and resentful of the pity she receives. When Jenna's favorite stable horse is assigned to Melissa for the summer, Melissa mistakes Jenna's resentment for racial prejudice. Despite Katie's efforts to pull the girls together, their uncooperative attitudes and snide remarks brand their tent "Thoroughbrats." Kincaid skillfully explores personal emotions and human dynamics while delivering a good camp story enlivened by witty dialogue. Readers will look forward to the girls' further adventures. Linda Ward-Callaghan

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