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THE BEST HORSE EVER by Alice DeLaCroix

THE BEST HORSE EVER

By Alice DeLaCroix (Author) , Chris Gall (Author) , Chris Gall (Illustrator) , Ronald Himler (Illustrator)

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: April 15th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8234-2254-8
Publisher: Holiday House

For nine-year-old Abby, owning a horse—her OWN horse—is a certified dream come true. Griffin is steady and dependable, and Abby’s ridden him in riding lessons many times. Still, taking care of him by herself proves to be a big step up from helping to care for the family’s elderly small pony, Marshmallow. DeLaCroix is a dab hand at understanding issues from a third-grader’s point of view, and she shows Abby’s realistic struggles, joys and fears. But her pacing is uneven. The magical moment when Abby is allowed to get a horse is reduced to one passive voice line: “Griffin was to be Abby’s.” The conflict between Abby and her friend, Devon, who’s afraid of Griffin, feels somewhat forced and incidental to the story of Abby learning to cope with her new role as horse owner. Himler’s pencil illustrations are lovely, as always. Despite its small faults, its heart is true, and this book will please every hopeful, horse-loving third-grade girl who picks it up. (Fiction. 7-10)