SECRET OF THE NIGHT PONIES by Joan Hiatt Harlow

SECRET OF THE NIGHT PONIES

Age Range: 10 - 14

KIRKUS REVIEW

For 13-year-old Jessie Wheller, life on a Newfoundland farm provides nonstop excitement. She rescues shipwreck survivors, saves an abused orphan and steals a herd of ponies from their lawful owner. As part of Canada’s Household Resettlement Program, whole populations of some of Newfoundland’s smaller islands are being moved to the mainland. Herds of Newfoundland ponies have been abandoned on the islands to starve, but one villager decides to round them up and sell them for meat instead. It’s not clear who really owns the ponies, or why selling them for meat is worse than letting them starve, but that doesn’t matter—after stealing the ponies, Jessie gets her American cousin to launch a big media blitz about them, which makes everything OK. To this ethical confusion add poor writing, central-casting characterization, excessive use of exclamation points and a profound lack of horse knowledge—but with “ponies” in the title, it’ll sell anyway. If the author had concentrated on the resettlement program, in which actual houses were floated to new locations, she might have ended up with a good story. (Historical fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 20th, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4169-0783-1
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: McElderry
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2009




MORE BY JOAN HIATT HARLOW

ChildrenFIRESTORM! by Joan Hiatt Harlow
by Joan Hiatt Harlow
ChildrenBLOWN AWAY! by Joan Hiatt Harlow
by Joan Hiatt Harlow
ChildrenBLOWN AWAY! by Joan Hiatt Harlow
by Joan Hiatt Harlow

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenTHE ISLAND HORSE by Susan Hughes
by Susan Hughes