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Backyard Horses

backyard horses


I apologize for a late post. Huge snow storms are wreaking havoc with my satellite internet. Yes, I am so remote we have satellite internet.

Recently, I read a wonderful juvenile fiction story called Backyard Horses by Dandi Daley Mackall.

Ellie James is a horse-loving girl who dreams of owning a black stallion show horse for years.

She watches friends show high-end horses every spring, summer and fall. She prays for one everyday. Dreams about them.   If fact, she often daydreams about them in school instead of paying attention to the teacher or doing her school work.

Then one day from out the classroom window, she really does sees a muddy, scraggly pinto horse trotting toward the school from her desk. But only she sees it. The class bursts out if laughter, knowing her distraction of horses. The teacher claims she’s pulling one over on her and sends a note home for disturbing the class.

As it turns out, Ellie’s mother works one day a week for a woman who has a cat shelter in the outskirts of their small, country town. That day a horse shows up and Ellie’s mom accidentally loses the animal. Ellie really did see a horse. And the teacher has to eat her words.

They spend the next day  in search of the horse, trying to rescue the mare from one ornery, horse-hating sheriff and his stun gun.

In the end, Ellie gets to keep the horse. “Where are we going to keep this thing?” Ellie’s father asks. She scans the area and points. “In the backyard. There is plenty of room.”

Because Ellie’s brother, Ethan, is deaf, sign language is injected into the story. Each chapter has the title description, with the signed letters below. In the back of the book, there is a “Horse Talk” section and a page of Sign Language Alphabet. What a tribute to those children with hearing loss and their families. This touches my heart.

Any kids grade four and up will love Backyard Horses if they love or own horses. Any child with a dream, will have hope that theirs may come true.


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  1. Carmen: What a refreshing review. I do not read much juvenile fiction, now that my offspring, including grandchildren, are in college. But I have a number of nieces and nephews who are young parents and I will recommend it.

    1. carmenpeone says:

      Judith, I’m glad you enjoyed the review. It’s such a fun book.

    1. carmenpeone says:

      Gabby, I was not familiar with this author either. This is a wonderful book. Can’t wait to share it with my grandkids.