Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4
What did you like about the book? This is the second installment in the Libby of High Hopes series, but readers starting with this volume will quickly get up to speed. Libby is a likable character, and her adventures at High Hopes Horse Farm have a ring of authenticity to them. Horse-loving readers will enjoy reading about her experiences learning to ride a recalcitrant pony, having to sit on the sidelines while her friends ride in a horse show, and trying to bring more business to the struggling farm. Readers will also identify with Libby’s efforts to navigate some difficult friendships. Libby can be distractible and forgetful, but she truly has a warm heart and a great deal of spunk. The adults in this story are not perfect either, which is refreshing, but everything is handled with a light, age-appropriate touch. Horse lovers who know how expensive riding lessons can be may be envious of Libby and her daily trips to the barn, but they will appreciate the fact that the book at least acknowledges tight family finances. The pen and ink drawings are cheerful and appealing, and feature plenty of equine action. A glossary of horse terms should prove helpful to readers as well.
To whom would you recommend this book? Read Alikes? Recommend to horse-loving readers who are moving beyond early chapter books. Readers who enjoy this series may also enjoy The Saddle Club series by Bonnie Bryant and Marguerite Henry’s Ponies of Chincoteague series by Cathy Hapka. Also recommend the classic, beautifully illustrated horse stories of C. W. Anderson.
Who should buy this book? This would be a good series for elementary schools and public libraries.
Where would you shelve it ? Intermediate or middle-grade fiction
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Probably not, but if you loved horses as a child, and still enjoy spending time around a barn from time to time, this book might be a nice trip down memory lane.
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Renée Wheeler, Leominster Public Library, Leominster, MA
Date of review: December 14, 2016