A Horse for Kate

 
A Horse for Kate-Miralee Ferrell
A Horse for Kate-Miralee Ferrell
A Horse for Kate-Miralee Ferrell

 
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From the Back Cover: A horse of her own would be awesome. But Kate figures that might be a long way away, especially since she had to give up riding lessons and move to her late grandfather’s farm. Besides, it would be a lot more fun to have a best friend to ride with. When Kate discovers a barn on their new farm that’s perfect for a horse, and a dusty bridle too, she starts to think that her dream might come true. Then she meets Tori at school, who is totally the best. So when they discover a thoroughbred that appears to be all alone, could it be the answer to her prayers? Maybe. If she can convince her dad . . . and figure out what’s going on with that horse.
 
Publication Date: March 1, 2015
 
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What We Liked


A sweet tale of a girl in the midst of many changes; Kate struggles but makes the right choices in each situation; prayer is important in Kate’s life; a strong portrayal of good friendship

What Couldn't Been Better


Some parents may object to a boy being described as “hot” in relation to his appearance; a bit predictable and unrealistic, even for kids


Bottom Line

The story will work well for girls interested in horses or who have moved to a new town recently.

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Posted March 1, 2015 by

 
Our Review
 
 
O

ne of my girls loves horses and stories about them, so I was excited to read a book geared for her age group by a familiar author. I was pleased to find my expectations of an age-appropriate read were met, and even exceeded, by a strong spiritual thread woven throughout.

This book is told in third person, but mostly from Kate’s perspective. She is a very human young lady who struggles with the challenges that accompany moving to a new place, family hardships, and even her attitude. What I especially liked is that even when Kate gets a bit out of line in her words or actions, she doesn’t remain there long; her conscience and the Holy Spirit’s conviction bring her around. Kate frequently prays about whatever is troubling her, and when she feels she’s been selfish in those prayers, she confesses and prays about what she realizes to be the real problem. In spiritual matters, Kate is a good example for the girls likely reading her story.

The novel pacing is even and the prose and dialogue are all believable as coming from a young teen. The tension within the novel is both common to tweens and teens, but also age appropriate for younger readers. Will she make friends in her new school? Will she get the horse she so longs for? There is also a nice subplot involving Kate’s autistic brother. This is handled with sensitivity and empathy, giving girls a peek into the world of someone not very different from themselves, but facing a family challenge that can be very difficult at times.

The theme of friendship is also explored with some depth. Being there during times of need, encouraging each other, and keeping her word to her friend, even when it goes against her deepest desires, are all things Kate and her new friend Tori exhibit.

There is a lot of horse terminology but it’s explained well within the context of the book. Girls interested in horses and their equipment will enjoy learning new things or being immersed in a world that they dream about.

This fairly predictable story will appeal to kids in the recommended age group of 8-12, and even younger girls will likely enjoy it if a parent reads with them. And the lack of surprises, especially unpleasant ones, will be welcome to parents who might be understandably concerned about what their children are reading. There is almost nothing objectionable within these pages—there is one mention of a boy and whether he is considered “hot” or not, but that is the only thing I’d flag as possibly questionable. And while the conclusion may be a bit unrealistic, I’m going to attribute that to a young girl’s version of a “happily ever after” ending, especially given that there is no real romance in this story, which again, parents of this age group will likely appreciate.

The story will work well for girls interested in horses or who have moved to a new town recently. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to my friends who have young daughters interested in riding or caring for horses. Overall, this novel is a great “chapter book” for young readers just beginning to strike out into their own reading interests, and Mom and Dad won’t have to worry that they’ll run across any attitudes, actions, or other content that they might wish to shield their young readers from.


Lynda Edwards

 


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