Monday, October 28, 2013

A Horse to Love

A Horse to Love by Marsha Hubler is a moving story about the power of a pet to affect a child's life for good. Thirteen-year-old Skye Nicholson has been in and out of foster homes ever since she can remember. Now that she finds herself at Keystone Ranch with her latest foster parents, Tom and Eileen Chambers, Skye wants nothing more than to get out. Keystone is like every other foster home she's been in, except for one thing: Champ, the beautiful Sorrel Quarter Horse who has captured Skye's heart. As Skye's love for Champ grows, Skye learns about the power of God's love to change her own broken, rebellious heart. This book is the first in the eight-book Keystone Stables series.

What I Like: Marsha Hubler writes with a keen understanding of her target audience. Her characterization, dialogue, and plot are realistic and resonate with a deep understanding of her age group. An educator, evaluator, and home school consultant, Ms. Hubler writes from more than eleven years of experience as a foster parent to numerous children.  Her writing displays the authenticity of personal experience coupled with the ability to convey that experience in a way that will draw readers into her story. Of special note is the fact that the faith element of the story is not simply tagged on but is an integral part of Skye's character arc.

What I Dislike: There is nothing I disliked about the story, but I would alert parents to the author's inclusion of a scene where Skye looks to obtain drugs from former classmates. This section of the book would, I believe, be more suitable to readers in the older end of the target age range, readers who may be more aware of drug use than younger children. Regardless of the age of their children, however, parents could use the scene as an opportunity for discussing from a Biblical perspective the dangers and consequences of using drugs.
Overall Rating: Excellent

Age Appeal: Middle-grade to junior high, ages 9-13.
Publisher Info: Zonderkidz, 2009; 978-0-310-71792-8; Paperback, 144 pgs., $4.99

Buy it Now at for $4.49. OR Buy the Kindle version now at for $2.99.

OR Buy it at for $4.49

Buy the Kindle version now at for $2.99.

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