A HORSE LIKE BARNEY by Jessie Haas

A HORSE LIKE BARNEY

Age Range: 9 - 13
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 In Keeping Barney (1982), Sarah, 13, cared for the bright, feisty horse while his owner, Missie, was at college. Now, next summer, Sarah's taking riding lessons from Missie and helping another friend condition his horse for an endurance ride; and Mom has agreed to buy her a horse, but not until she finishes her summer tutoring job and has time to look for one. When Missie offers to drive Sarah on a preliminary search (which Sarah keeps secret, lest Mom forbid it), they find Roy, all energy and intelligence and almost too much to handle; and Thunder, lively and sweet, no longer young, but truly like the ideal Barney. When Mom finds out, she's taken aback--she hasn't told Sarah that the delay was to earn money for the horse, or that she counted on helping Sarah find a better one than she had as a girl. Suiting consequence to infraction, she leaves Sarah to choose without her advice. Skillfully, Haas limns a large cast of horses and people while focusing on Sarah's quest--her thinking through what she really wants, coming to terms with fear of a demanding mount, understanding how privileged she is compared to friend Jill (who'd also love to ride, but is trapped babysitting younger sibs), and taking responsibility for the tough choice between Roy's potential and lovable Thunder, bound for the knackers if no one buys him. Haas lets Sarah balance heart, mind, and her own good sense in admirable fashion before engineering a wholly satisfying (if not unexpected) conclusion. (Fiction. 9-13)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-688-12415-1
Page count: 170pp
Publisher: Greenwillow
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 1993




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