Review Blog

Jan 23 2014

Horse crazy & Horse shy by Bonnie Bryant

cover image

The Saddle Club series. Random House Australia, 2013. ISBN: 9780857980632.
(Ages: 7 - 13) Random House have started to re-release the popular Saddle Club series which consisted of over one hundred titles published between 1988 and 2001. This book contains the first two titles written, Horse crazy and Horse shy. While many primary school aged girls will be familiar with the television series, it is possible some of them may not realise the show was spawned from the books, so it's time for a new generation to discover them! The new covers include pictures from the tv series, so will be instantly recognisable by fans.
The series begins by introducing the reader to best friends Carole and Stevie. These 12 year old girls spend all their spare time at Pine Hollow Stables where they take riding lessons. In Horse Crazy, new girl Lisa joins the club and learns the hard way that not all the girls are as friendly as Carole. Primary school girls may find they can relate to some of the emotions and anxieties faced by Lisa, while also enjoying the closeness of the friendship of the main characters. Lisa joins Carole and Stevie, and the threesome lead us into the second title Horse Shy where they set off on an overnight trail ride. The girls have a wonderful time, but when they return tragedy strikes and their friendship is put to the test as Stevie and Lisa have to try and help Carole heal emotionally.
With likable and mostly realistic characters, and of course plenty of horses, the series is sure to be as popular as it was the first time around.
Donella Reed

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