This book reminded me of the many, many horse books I read myself when I was a child. Like me, Ellie dreams of having her own horse. She is so "horse crazy" that she even decides to make horses the basis of her science project. She will determine the best way to get a horse - begging, crying or praying.
Ellie also has a bit of a problem with daydreaming - especially about her dream horse, a black stallion that she will ride in horse shows. Then one day Ellie sees a real horse outside her classroom window. But the horse disappears before anyone else can catch sight of her and now the teacher thinks Ellie has gone beyond daydreams to delusions.
The book is rounded out with a nice cast of characters that make up Ellie's friends and family. She has a brother who is deaf, a pleasantly eccentric mother and a father who writes advertising jingles and has a bit of a phobia about meetings with the principal. Her best friend is a boy who isn't sure he wants the world to know that they're friends anymore. Her rival owns a magnificent show horse but doesn't appreciate her blessings.
The book includes a glossary of horse terms and a sign language alphabet.
Ellie is in love with horses and her entire world revolves around them to the point that those around her accuse her of dreaming up real horses. When her Mom shares about her day the family learns that Ellie really wasn't dreaming and that her prayers are being answered, just not in the exact way she wanted.
This book is perfect for an elementary aged girl who loves horses too.
I think most kids would really enjoy this, but especially kids who are in public school and who like animals. The characters and setting are believable yet somewhat quirky (especially the mother). The chapters go by quickly, with driving elements. The children in the story get along well, except for the one or two snooty girls. Some of it I question, but overall pretty good.
I read this book wondering if my 8 year old would enjoy reading it. I think it is very appropriate for 2nd grade and up, ESPECIALLY if the child is a horse lover! The book is well written and easy to read.
The only reason for giving a four star instead of five is the mom character. She did not seem to fit at all with the rest of the characters in the story. Everyone else was the basic, normal person; however, the mom spoke mainly in cliches (which really became distracting and annoying). There was no explanation for WHY she may speak that way, and if there were it may have helped make it less distracting. It was almost as if her character were an afterthought. Develop the mom character just a bit more, but I still would say this is a good read with a good message for kids.
I'm well over 10 years old, but I enjoy reading this type of book for a quick, easy diversion from serious novels. This book is appropriate for any kid. It is a fun story, very well written. I really like her little brother, Ethan. I like the sign language chart. I also like the list of horse related words, for people like me who are curious about horse terminology. I agree with another reviewer that the girl's parents could pray, too, and Christian values could be shown better, but I still recommend this book and this author.