Horse & Pony Books:
THE WEEK OF THE HORSE
(RAINCOAT PB [CANADA] 2004)
Paperback first edition.
SUMMARY: Traditional pony story. Twelve year old Paulie spends all her spare time working at the local stables and riding her favourite pony there, the cantankerous but loveable old horse Duke. When the stable owner sells the land to developers the horses must be sold at auction and Paulie knows that Duke is so old and obstreperous that the only bidder will be the meat man. She desperately tries to find enough money to buy Duke, but no-one seems interested until her great-grandmother Nana steps in to help. But even if she can buy her beloved Duke, where will she find to keep him in a busy town with little land?
PONYMAD VIEW: Well-written intelligent book which takes a realistic rather than wish-fulfilment stance on the horse story. Although the plot seems at first glance the usual 'girl attempts to save favourite horse from the knackers' it is far more than just that. It focuses rather on the practical problems of the matter, it's effect on the heroine Paulie, and her relationships with friends and family. It also is a thoughtful exploration of family dynamics, especially the problems of the elderly Nana. Overall an interesting and readable new take on an old plot, with more depth than the average story of this type.
PONYMAD RATING: 4 HORSESHOES
In print at the moment and available new in USA, Canada and the UK, possibly elsewhere. Used copies are also available, although more expensive in the UK.