Platt's first novel is a lively girl-and-horse story set in Oregon that is full of fascinating detail about how these animals are trained to be champions. Katie Durham has one leg that is shorter than the other. When a foal is born of a distinguished racing line on a nearby horse farm, his legs are so crooked that his owner, Mr. Ellis, decides to have him euthanized. Katie, seeing in the animal a reflection of her own handicap, begs Mr. Ellis to let Willow King live, and promises that she'll take care of him. With the help and guidance of old John, Mr. Ellis's chief trainer, Katie begins the long and arduous process of first straightening Willow King's twisted legs and then training him to be the champion racer that she knows he can be. At the same time, the horse's courage and perseverance inspire Katie to come to terms with her own physical problems, and become the person she can be, too. Horse-crazy readers will find themselves immersed in the racing world, and will root for Willow King and for Katie all the way.