A Good Horse: Book Two of the Horses of Oak Valley Ranchby Jane Smiley
When eighth grader Abby Lovitt looks out at those pure-gold rolling hills, she knows there’s no place she’d rather be than her family’s ranch—even with all the hard work of tending to nine horses. But some chores are no work at all, like grooming young Jack. At eight months, his rough foal coat has shed out, leaving a smooth, rich silk, like… See more details below
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When eighth grader Abby Lovitt looks out at those pure-gold rolling hills, she knows there’s no place she’d rather be than her family’s ranch—even with all the hard work of tending to nine horses. But some chores are no work at all, like grooming young Jack. At eight months, his rough foal coat has shed out, leaving a smooth, rich silk, like chocolate. As for Black George, such a good horse, it turns out he’s a natural jumper. When he and Abby clear four feet easy as pie, heads start to turn at the ring—buyers’ heads—and Abby knows Daddy won’t turn down a good offer.
Then a letter arrives from a private investigator, and suddenly Abby stands to lose not one horse but two. The letter states that Jack’s mare may have been sold to the Lovitts as stolen goods. A mystery unfolds, more surprising than Abby could ever expect. Will she lose her beloved Jack to his rightful owners?
Pulitzer Prize winner Jane Smiley raises horses of her own, and her affection and expertise shine through in this inviting horse novel for young readers, set in 1960s California horse country and featuring characters from The Georges and the Jewels.
From the Hardcover edition.
This sequel to The Georges and the Jewels(2009)is Smiley at her finest--detailed, nuanced, absorbing.Abby Lovitt's eighth-grade year starts out feeling less tumultuous than the year before: Her school life is more settled, her parents more at peace and Ornery George, a horse she struggled with, has been sold.Though she continues toride several horses a day,two in particularfill her heart: Black George,who will jump anything, and Jack, her beautiful orphan foal.Suddenly it seems shewill lose them both.Black George is so talented he's sure to attract an offer Abby's Daddy won't refuse, and, though her father bought Jack's dam in good faith,shemay have been stolen, which means Jack may have to be returned.Abby, though, is learning to separate the gold from the dross, to see her family, friends, the rich people on the horse-show circuit and especially her horses with unflinching, compassionate truth.Black George and Jack are good horses, in every sense of the word; Abby will be good, too.Rich, real and utterly engrossing. (Historical fiction.10-14)
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