Tyndale House Publishers
In Horse Dreams (Backyard Horses series), Dandi Daley Mackall takes on the classic young girls’ story of wanting a fancy show horse, but she gives it a little twist. Mackall’s heroine, Ellie James, dreams of owning a stallion show horse and decides she’s going to pray for several weeks about it to see if God will answer her prayers. By doing so, Ellie has opened the door for fears, frustrations, and good lessons in patience.
Horse Dreams is a short book that is easy to read, with short chapters that move the action along at a nice trot. Within the pages, the key characters interact realistically, although there are some clichéd personages, ranging from “that-annoying-teacher” to “that-mean-girl.” Everything climaxes at the moment that Ellie goes to check on the pinto horse at the local animal shelter, and she realizes that this is the horse she’s been praying for all along.
Ellie James is a daydreaming fourth grader who’s stubborn and enthusiastic. Her actions throughout the story are that of any normal horse-crazy fourth grade girl, and her belief in herself is stronger than probably most girls her age. The other characters in the book either nicely compliment Ellie, such as her parents and her friend Colt, or completely clash, such as her female adversary Larissa.
Dandi Daley Mackall has once again aimed at the classic young girl story and has hit the target. The book is nicely paced, attention grabbing, and very often entertaining and funny. This novel would be great for girls between third and fifth grades because the main character is a fourth grader, the book is short, and the words are easy to read. Horse Dreams would make a great addition to any classroom or personal children’s library. – Demelza Ramierz, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Fourth-grader Ellie James has a great imagination. She spends a lot of time daydreaming of owning a black stallion show horse and winning trophies in the horse show. But when the answer to all her dreams and prayers gallops into her life, will Ellie be able to recognize it? Join Ellie and her quirky family in their exciting, horse-loving adventures.