Review Blog

Jan 21 2016

The Forbidden Trail by Kate Welshman

cover image

Pine Valley Ponies series; bk 1. Scholastic, 2015. ISBN: 9781743624302
(Age: 7+) Themes: Horse-riding; Friendship; Overcoming Challenges. Maddy is taking her first riding lesson on her pony, Snowy. Being the least experienced in the class is at first a little daunting, especially when she compares herself to Alita, the rather snobby rider who takes pleasure in pointing out her faults. Another rider, Iris, makes an impression when she arrives late, using the Forbidden Trail. Iris though proves to be just the friend Maddy needs, especially when Alita later gets Maddy into trouble, which helps Maddy learn who to trust.
This is a simply written story with six short chapters and occasional highlighted words and phrases in larger font size, with a smattering of modest line drawings amongst the chapters, suited to young girls who enjoy reading about horses and horse-riding. It is also a story about friendship, about the demands of horse ownership and about learning new challenges and the value of practising a new skill.
Suited for early independent readers aged 7+.
Carolyn Hull

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