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CHANCEY OF THE MAURY RIVER by Gigi Amateau

CHANCEY OF THE MAURY RIVER

By Gigi Amateau

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: May 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-7636-3439-1
Publisher: Candlewick

There’s a reason Black Beauty has been abridged so many times: The language of the original is old-fashioned, stilted and frankly boring. Chancey, who often seems to be channeling his old mentor Beauty, suffers from the same problem, though happily his story is serviceable. Once past the confusing beginning, in which Chancey, destined for greatness, is abandoned in a field, the story finds not one heart but several: Claire, a sad and lonely child; her understanding mother; Trevor, a child dying of cancer; and finally Chancey himself, who learns his purpose in the world while gradually succumbing to blindness. The antiquated cadences of Chancey’s voice, which offers such jarring sentences as, “Drawing upon my Appaloosa genetics, I calmly accepted the discomfort, for I knew that no one around me wished me any harm,” confers in the end a kind of touching dignity to the story. The question is whether readers will make it that far. (Fiction. 10-14)