Yet another horse series begins.
Though Maddie doesn’t own Cloudy, a Chincoteague pony she rides in weekly lessons, she feels as though she does. She’s part of a small online group of girls who ride ponies originally born on Assateague Island—made famous by Marguerite Henry’s classic Misty of Chincoteague—and loves to exchange posts with them. But now Cloudy’s former owners, who didn’t know much about training horses, are thinking about buying her back from the stable that owns her. Maddie’s distraught. She comes up with various plans to either scare off the former owners or buy Cloudy herself, even though it’s pretty clear her family can’t afford to board a pony. Her online friends offer encouragement but no solutions. That’s OK, though—the problem disappears by itself when the former owners discover new interests, and Maddie’s free to ride with a light heart. Most middle-graders like plots in their novels, as well as defined characters, but hey, these are special Chincoteague ponies—they’re exciting all on their own, for the length of one book at least. If the sequels fail to deliver the plot and characterization of the books this series is based on, though, they will likely drive readers back to Misty and her companions.
Fuel for horse-obsessed readers who have finished the Marguerite Henry originals. (Fiction. 8-12)