Monday, April 2, 2012

The Island Horse by Susan Hughes

What a fine historical fiction for all horse-loving girls age six (precocious readers) through eleven-ish.

Or, if you're an adult who grew up a fan of the Misty of Chincoteague books or The Black Stallion series, you'll spend a nostalgic hour or two immersed in Ms. Hughes's sure-footed prose and her winning ten-year-old heroine Ellie.

Bonus: You'll visit Sable Island (off the coast of Nova Scotia), shipwreck capital of the Atlantic, in the early 1800's.  Fascinating history pairs with a sweetly (and age appropriately) transparent coming-of-age story that was surprisingly diverting for me.

And if you know a young girl who loves horses and would be comfortable - or perhaps even eager - encountering a story that starts with Ellie's mother's death and takes our heroine on a journey of healing as she gradually opens to the possibilities of her new Sable Island home, then be sure to give this pitch-perfect novel by award-winner Susan Hughes a try.

Rating: Four hooves a-pacing (out of five) for young horse-lovers.

And I'm back in the saddle again!


p.s.  My action for this book: I researched Sable Island and also planned a trip out into our county's horse country to commune with a few of the locals. Perhaps I'll re-read Misty too, for our book group's return-to-childhood book focus next month.

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