Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Horse Dreams (Backyard Horses Book 1) by Dandi Daley Mackall
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (August 17, 2011) 160 pages
My Rating: 3/5 stars
Honestly, I only picked this one up, because it counts toward the Tyndale Summer Reading Program and I had access to it. I'm usually test reading books in the "boy" realm for future reading possibilities for my boys. Every once in awhile, I try out some "girl" reads, though.
This book is about Ellie and her dream of owning a horse. A beautiful, black stallion, to be exact. She's begged and cried and prayed for one for years. Ellie gets a lesson that prayers aren't always answered in the way we imagined them.
I don't know where this book falls in the series, but I feel like so many more details are probably filled in through the rest of the books, though it does read fine as a standalone. As you would expect from the title and cover, this book really is a great deal about horses. If your child doesn't care for them, this probably isn't the best choice. I imagine Christian fans of horses will love it, though!
I enjoyed the sign language addition to the story. Ellie's brother is deaf, and sign language is used. The chapter titles are even in sign language(along with words). There's a sign language alphabet chart in the back, along with a dictionary of the "horse" words used throughout the story.
I do have a few complaints. It's mentioned different times that the mom is WAY taller than the dad. I love this part! I think it's awesome to see that parents/couples don't always have to fit a mold. ((two thumbs up for that part)) BUT, I feel like the dad should have been given a backbone. At one point, the mom has to step up and "save" him when he's scared of a certain man. I was disappointed he wasn't created to be stronger, considering this is a Christian series. Also, I didn't care for the gossiping that went on within the story. There is one point that Ellie leaves where she's supposed to be, asking her friend to lie for her. She walks alone in the dark during this "adventure". There are no consequences, whatsoever, and that's just not okay!
If you can overlook those parts, this is a sweet and funny little story, and I really enjoyed it!