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In the first book by Dandi Daley Mackall, author of the bestselling Winnie the Horse Gentler series, you'll meet 16-year-old Dakota Brown. She used to love all things "horse" until she lost everything, including hope. The minute she sets foot on her foster parents' farm--Starlight Animal Rescue--she plans her escape. But can an "impossible" horse named Blackfire and this quirky collection of animal lovers be the home she's always dreamed of? Recommended for ages 8 to 12.
|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Vendor: Tyndale House
Publication Date: 2012
Availability: In Stock
Series: Starlight Animal Rescue
HomeSchool Mom of 4The Hot Dry DesertAge: 25-34Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Great Series for All AgesJuly 24, 2014HomeSchool Mom of 4The Hot Dry DesertAge: 25-34Gender: femaleMy 3rd grade daughters love Dandi Daley Mackall's "Backyard Horses" series and now that their reading level has improved by leaps and bounds, I was eager to preview this series for them. I really enjoyed the book, and I liked the theme. I'm considering using this series as some of our extra 4th grade homeschool reading for the upcoming year. The book is well-written, flows nicely, and has a wide variety of characters and, like I mentioned previously, a theme that will interest my kids. While the main character in this book 16, I believe preteens can also enjoy and relate to the series. I also like the foster theme and really love how the author weaves together the "foster" animals with the foster kids. The story felt real, touching, and heartfelt. This is something my children can relate to--their cousins have foster brothers and sisters and there are numerous foster kids who attend our church. This book would be especially great reading for any foster kids who need a bit of inspiration and encouragement, not to mention good, wholesome entertainment.
Jessica BatesAge: 25-34Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5June 29, 2014Jessica BatesAge: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4This was an interesting book. Dakota is a typical untrusting teen and coupled with being an orphan she really has no interest in opening her heart to anyone. Even before she steps foot in her new home she is scheming to runaway. That's the overall theme of this book, fight or flight. There are wonderful characters and wonderful horses. Horse lovers especially will enjoy the encounters with horses. I think this book is good for teens and up.
georgettegirl5 Stars Out Of 5Wonderful beginning to the seriesJune 25, 2014georgettegirlQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This is a wonderful beginning to the Starlight Animal Rescue series. The main character, Dakota, is 16 years old but I think both tweens and teens would enjoy this book. I was surprised but glad that the author portrayed a youth in foster care as her main character. Having worked with this group of youth before, I totally connected with Dakota's attitude of just wanting to run away, putting on a game face until she could leave, and trying not to get too attached to anyone. Other readers might think she's hard to like but I really felt for her since she had no sense of permanency. Just like the author's other books, the supporting cast of characters are unique and funny, especially the foster parents (I wish there were a lot more foster parents like them!). Since I don't know much about horses, I always feel like I learn so much about horses and their behavior whenever I read Ms. Mackall's books. For those who read the Winnie the Horse Gentler series, you'll be happy to know these two series are connected. The foster family, the Coolidges, are related to Winnie's friend Catman Coolidge. Also, the kids email Winnie and Catman for advice about horses and cats. There were some pretty humorous moments and pretty touching ones, too. I really loved the Bible verse that finally spoke to Dakota about how much the Father loves us that He calls us His children because that is what we are! How it must speak to a child who longs for a father's love and a real family! On a side note, there is a helpful section at the end of the book on "tips for finding your perfect pet." I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to any tween/teen.
rlighthousePAAge: 25-34Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Heartwarming StoryJune 23, 2014rlighthousePAAge: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Dakota Brown is a 16 year old on her way to her new foster home in the country. She is determined to run away and go back to Chicago even before she sets foot on the farm that her new foster family lives on. Her walls start to come down when for the most part the family accepts her and welcomes her into their home and she finds it harder to write top ten lists negatively against the family and farm. She is introduced to Blackfire, a rescued horse, who does not listen or cooperate for anyone else but they form a special bond and Dakota is able to "tame" him.
This was a heartwarming story about a family's love and acceptance and I couldn't wait to see what decisions Dakota made.
Amy CVAAge: 35-44Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5RunawayJune 19, 2014Amy CVAAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4My daughter and I didn't enjoy Runaway as much as we have of the other books from Dandi Daley Mackall. There are some laugh out loud humorous moments, though. We really didn't care for Dakota in the beginning but she did grow on us by the end. As fans and supporters of horse rescue facilities, we felt a connection with the theme.
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