Ellie has always wanted a champion horse of her own. When she meets a pinto in need of love and care, she starts to like this horse and her dream of a champion horse fades.
This was a cute story about a horse-crazy girl. A sentence in chapter one summed it up best. "Everything I do has something to do with horses." It was nice to see that Ellie realized she could talk to God about everything, even her "horse dreams".
Ellie James wants a horse. It's all she dreams about. When a horse suddenly appears, will Ellie realize that this is her horse ?
Backyard Horses is a wonderful little series for horse lovin' girls ages 6-9. It is written in first person present tense, which was a bit hard to decipher at first.
Sometimes I thought that Ellie was a rather over confident girl by the way that she talked, but I think that's partially due to the tense and first person point of view. I liked the side characters and her brother Ethan who was deaf, I thought it was a nice touch to have Ellie, her friend and her family all using sign language as part of their natural communication.
Overall I would say that is a cute series that I wish I had around when I was much younger. I could relate to Ellie and how she didn't have a horse and all her other friend had tons of horses. A rather sweet book.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!
Horse Dreams is the first book in the Backyard Horses series By Dandi Daley Mackall. This book is a great and easy read. This book is definitely written for younger readers but readers of all ages will enjoy the story and love its Christian values.
"Horse Dreams" is a short, easy to read story about a young girl with a huge love for all things horses and a bigger than life dream of getting one of her own. Dandi Daley Mackall writes a sweet tale of prayer, the importance of it, and how God answers prayers. I loved that the author doesn't make prayer a "magic trick" but rather shows that God often chooses to answer our prayers in a way we don't expect or even want, but He knows is the best thing for us.
A couple of other unique aspects of this book is that the main character's brother is deaf, so the author includes a lot of sign language. For instance, each chapter title is spelled out in sign language, and there's an alphabet chart at the back as well. There is also a decently expansive glossary of "Horse Talk" for those who aren't familiar with "that" language. :) I appreciated both of these things, as I love that the reader is encouraged to learn along the way.
I think the book is probably perfect for the 6-12 age set, and is definitely geared that way.
Backyard Horses was exactly the series I was looking for for my daughters, who love Jesus, love horses, and are in 2nd grade. Miss Mackall also wrote a series for older readers called "Winnie the Horse Gentler" and I tried that first but I'd recommend it for middle school students and up. Besides being harder to read, those books sometimes deal with harder issues that wouldn't be understandable by anyone younger than pre-teen. Backyard Horses, however, is a fairly new series and is written at around a 2nd/3rd grade reading level. Love, love, love this series!
My daughters love Ellie, the heroine of the story! There are so far 4 books in the series and we started with book 1 in order to read them, well, in order. The heroine of the story, Ellie, is a sweet, oftentimes feisty, day-dreaming 4th grader. In the first book, she often day-dreamed about her own horse. She decides to do a "science" experiment... she'll "beg, cry, and pray" for a horse of her own and find out what way works best for getting horses. I don't think it's spoiling anything to say that God will answer her prayer... but in a different way than she imagined.
I highly recommend this book to elementary school children. It's filled with a good story, important lessons, and a little girl who puts her hope in God. I also highly recommend Cowboy Colt, Chasing Dream, and Nightmare, the others in the series. By the way, you can earn this book for free by participating in Tyndale's Summer Reading Program through the end of August!