On a Good Horse

Owl Hollow. Nov. 2020. 246p. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781945654572; pap. $12.95. ISBN 9781945654596.
Gr 5 Up–Alex has just lost his mother. His father has never been in his life, but now is his legal guardian. Alex must leave his life behind and go to live with his father in a small Colorado town. Alex’s father shoes horses and keeps two of his own. Will Alex learn to love horses like his father? Will caring for his horse heal Alex’s hurt and bring the two of them closer? This realistic novel with a rustic setting is a classic tale of the deep connection between animals and people. Told in alternating perspectives between the boy’s horse and Alex himself, the narrative can be hard to follow at times; the horse care and vocabulary is difficult to keep up with, as well. For readers who ride or care for horses themselves, this book would be a natural fit.
VERDICT A realistic story of grief, loss, and family. A good choice for those who love westerns, horses, or soul-searching stories. Recommended for fans of Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse or Kathleen Duey’s Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron.

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