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From the Enchanted Pony Academy series, volume 1

by Lisa Ann Scott

Pub Date: Jan. 31st, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-545-90887-0
Publisher: Scholastic

A young pony learns about confidence and patience at the Enchanted Pony Academy.

The Enchanted Pony Academy prepares magical Glitter Ponies to be pets of royal children. Daisy has sparkly Glitter Pony hooves, but hers don’t produce glitter as the others’ do, and she’s never showed a sign of magic. She feels plain among the uniponies and pegaponies of her class, especially as most have already discovered their magic gifts. In a refreshing plot, her classmates don’t ostracize her, and she spends the time allotted to gift-development in improving her knowledge of the school due to her own curiosity and desire to learn. Scott also subverts the standard trope of the forbidden adventure off school grounds: Daisy decides against going, then checks school maps and finds a path to their river destination (to meet the seaponies) that’s completely on school grounds, allowing her to lead her friends and keep everyone out of trouble. Her stress over her lack of special gift reaches a peak with a surprise visit from their future royal owners and the need for Daisy to perform. Her schoolmates strategize extra cheering so the children know she’s special by how beloved she is—and then her gift appears, cementing in her mind what the others already knew.

Gentle, positive, and surprisingly introspective for the genre.

(Fantasy. 7-10)