Night Mare (Random House Riders)

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9780679886280: Night Mare (Random House Riders)
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Thirteen-year-old Janet Marshall spends all of her spare time daydreaming about horses. One night, she dreams to life a magical white mare, whom she names Storm. Astride her dream horse, she journeys deep into a wild canyon where she discovers the remote ranch that is the mare's home. But the dream becomes a nightmare when she discovers the truth: her horse is a darkly magical beast that can never be tamed. And the horse's owners are ghosts, doomed to relive the tragedy that has kept them trapped in time for more than a hundred years.  

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 5-8. Janet, 13, works at a local stable in exchange for riding lessons, but is stuck with Sugar, a tired, lackluster school horse. She desperately yearns for a better mount to ride in the season-opener horse show. After her parents veto a plan to acquire part ownership of a suitable horse, an amazingly beautiful and talented white mare appears at her window one night, beckoning her. Janet heeds its call, and their midnight ride takes them to an arroyo she later explores while searching for the animal. What she finds is an old ranch inhabited by the owner of the horse she has named Storm and her younger brother. Janet convinces Larissa to allow her to train the animal, with the idea that Storm will somehow be her mount in the upcoming show. The people and horse on the ranch are all ghosts, of course; Janet sets them free and then proceeds to win a first-place ribbon in the season opener, riding Sugar but imagining herself on Storm. This pedestrian, predictable book may interest horse lovers, but C. S. Adler's More Than a Horse (Clarion, 1997) or Anne McCaffrey's Black Horses for the King (Harcourt, 1996) are far better choices.?Lisa Falk, Palos Verdes Library, CA
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews:

This novel will find an expert audience in girls who love horses; a ghost horse and a ranch with children who lived a hundred years ago add intrigue to a fairly standard girl-wants- horse story. Janet is less affluent than the rest of the girls at San Pascual stables, mucking and grooming to earn riding lessons, longing for her own horse to ride and show. Her mount, Sugar, an old stable horse, is anything but a pleasant ride. Led by a nightmare, Janet ventures out into a lonely arroyo to find what she accepts as a present-day ranch with two children and their Arabian mare, Storm. It is through her continued friendship with the ghost children and her riding practice on their horse that she overcomes the many obstacles on her path to becoming an equestrian champion. The plot-driven story revolves around a persistent heroine who is flanked by a host of well-intentioned but cookie-cutter characters. For all but the most fanatical horse-lovers, the story lingers too long in the stables, but a flood-scene finale in which Janet turns rescuer adds excitement. (Fiction. 9-13) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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