Title: Horse Sense
Author: Lapo Melzi
Paperback and e-book formats
Ages 10 and up
Eleven-year-old Jamie is farm raised and helping his mom with chores before school is part of his normal day. However, he plays games with Acorn, his young Appaloosa colt, that would give most horse owning parents nightmares!
Caution to young readers: Do not try Jamie’s antics with a real horse! You could end up in a hospital, or worse. Horses play rough and must learn the proper behavior around humans.
Like all tweens and teens Jamie struggles to find his place in the world. Life is tough enough for a poor kid who wears hand-me-downs, but our little adrenaline junkie is faced with the urge to right perceived wrongs. He writes an essay about his best friend only to be ridiculed by a sadistic teacher. Jamie begins to doubt himself as the class bullies target him and Acorn. He learns a tough lesson about what really matters in life. The author does a good job of relating Jamie’s coming of age. “Horse Sense” is an interesting story for young readers middle school and up.
I selected this book to review based on the title and age group. The author supplied a copy of her book in exchange for this review. American readers may find some of the terms a bit confusing, but stick with it and all will be clear in a chapter or two. My only negative is that I felt the title and cover was deceptive. It was not at all what I expected. Perhaps the title should be A Lack of Horse Sense or In Search of Common Horse sense, which would better address some of the serious lack of proper horse management.
That said; every child that has ever been faced with not fitting in should read this book. The young budding bullies out there could also benefit from a read. I give Horse Sense a four star rating.
Reviewed by Jackie Anton…..author of the Award Winning Series “Backyard Horse Tales.”