Libby of High Hopes

illus. by author. 184p. S & S. June 2012. Tr $14.99. ISBN 978-1-4169-5542-9; ebook $9.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-5219-0.
Gr 2–4—Ten-year-old Libby Thump longs to become the best horseback rider in the entire world. However, her path to greatness is not without strife: her teenage sister steals her chance at riding lessons; her mother refuses to accept that her best friend's daughter, Brittany, is now Libby's ex-best friend; and she's forced to continue the swimming lessons that she hates. It seems Libby won't ever be able to "live up to her potential," as her fourth-grade teacher says she needs to do. Still, Libby is plucky and persistent, and her infectious zeal manages not only to bring about the realization of her dreams, but also to inspire those around her. She is a lovely heroine, and her tribulations are relatable and realistic. Expressive full-page illustrations appear throughout. The well-written story teaches the gentle lesson that life can be unfair, but persistence and passion ultimately pay off.—Nicole Waskie-Laura, Chenango Forks Elementary School, Binghamton, NY
Ten-year-old Libby would do anything to become the Best Rider in the World, but money is tight, and her older sister Lauren gets the lessons instead. Still, Libby's persistence makes a difference--to the run-down barn, to retired jumper Princess, and to Libby's competitive ex-friend Brittany. An engaging voice and realistic situations make this sweet chapter book a winner.

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