Without raising his eyes to look at me, in a voice barely clearing the horizon of a whisper, he said, “I know you don’t love me…You just say that ’cuz you’re an adult and it’s kinda like your job. But I know you don’t really love me.”
Welcome to Crystal Peaks, the ranch of rescued dreams. Author Kim Meeder uses her gift of storytelling to capture the stories of the abused horses and needy children who come to her ranch for healing. From a young man convinced he cannot be loved, to horses fighting for their lives, the stories in this book show God’s grace as the dying light of hope is revived time and again.
I purchased this book two or three years ago at a homeschool conference. I can remember sitting on the hotel bed in the evening with tears streaming down my face as I read the first chapter, Proof. After reading the entire book and the companion book, Hope Rising, that first story remains my favorite. For a girl who grew up with “horse fever” and has grown into a deep caring for the fatherless, these books were great finds, and I continue to treasure them.
Author: Kim Meeder
Audience: YA to Adult
Genre: General/Inspirational Non-Fiction
Posted by Leah E. Good on May 10, 2013
“Young lady, and I use the term loosely, I’m tired of your despicable behavior. You have exhausted this court’s patience. I’m sending you to the Chesterfield Detention Center and throwing away the key!”
Skye Nicholson is trouble with a capitol T. At thirteen years of age she’s been in countless foster homes and has a record with drugs and theft. She’s on her way to juvie when the Chambers step in. Skye resents her new foster family’s faith and strict rules. The only thing keeping her at Keystone Stables is Champ, the horse she is learning to ride. What will it take for Skye to accept the second chance being offered her?
I first read this book in the summer of 2008. I’d read stories about adoption before, but this was my first foster care story, and it captivated me. I remember being slightly scandalized by the references to drugs. When I re-read it a few weeks ago, I had to laugh at that memory because the mentions are so mild. But, they are there, so keep that in mind. 😉 The author does a great job of showing Skye’s defiance as something unacceptable, yet tempering it by showing her internal turmoil. This book is a win for both horse lovers and those who enjoy adoption/foster care stories.
Fun Fact: I recently found the first few pages of a foster care/horse farm story that I started writing after reading this book.
Author: Marsha Hubler
Audience: 10 and up
P.S. The older edition I read was titled The Trouble With Skye. I used the updated title and cover for this review because I think that’s what is mostly available now.
Posted by Leah E. Good on May 3, 2013
Last week’s quotes came from a new favorite of mine, God’s Smuggler. I’m itching to find a theme to fit it into so I can review it on this blog. I was happy to find that some of you have read it too. Grace, Maiden-in-Waiting, and starshining4ever knew where last week’s quotes were from. Good job, girls!
Okay. Here’s the quote for this week. It’s from a book I read many times over when I was younger. It’s a little tricky to guess, but not too hard if you are familiar with the story.
“Six horse boys,” he said, letting each word fall sharply, “will accompany the six stallions. And each boy will care for the horse in his charge as long as that horse shall live.”
Posted by Leah E. Good on February 11, 2013
Recently a mom commented on this blog saying, “My daughter is a voracious reader…she has been reading and re-reading Little Women for the past 3 years. She is nine now and it is just hard to keep up with her and know what to offer.” That comment gave me the idea for a new feature on this blog.
When I was between 8 and 12 years old, I gobbled animal stories. My mom had a hard time keeping up with me. I know I’m not the only animal crazy girl out there, so I put together a list animal series I do and don’t recommend, and the reasons I do or don’t recommend them. Hopefully, in the future, I’ll put together more lists for parents (and everyone else) to use.
For now, here’s the link to the new Parent Guide.
Posted by Leah E. Good on December 30, 2012
December is rolling right along. Hope you all are enjoying it.
Last week’s quote was from In Freedom’s Cause by G.A. Henty. Congrats to Maiden-in-Waiting and Marli Renee for getting it right. Speaking of G.A. Henty, for those of you interested in his books, I find the easiest way to “read” them is via audio book. Here’s a link to our favorite Henty narrator.
Okay. Here’s the quote for this week. If you’ve read the book, the name should totally give it away.
“We can’t have wild cats in here,” I said, imagining how they might spook the Arabian.
“Not wild,” Catman said, walking right up to the mountain of hay. He stuck his hands in his pockets, threw back his head, and let out an eerie screech: “Keeeeee-y!”
All at once he was swarmed by more cats and kittens than I’d ever seen on the face of the earth.
Do you know what book this is from?
Posted by Leah E. Good on December 10, 2012
When Pa shows me something, I take note. Pa’s the best horseman in Kentucky, and I aim to follow in his path.
Horses and horse racing are Gabriel’s life. He is the son of a freedman and a slave woman, making him a slave. He enjoys jockeying for his master and learning about horses from his father. He is happy until war sends his world spinning. His father leaves and a new horse trainer with harsh training methods arrives. To top things off, Confederate soldiers begin stealing horses. Gabriel must make sense of his new life while trying to protect the horses he loves.
This is the first book in the Racing to Freedom Trilogy. I read the trilogy several years ago. My library purchased the second book in the trilogy. After reading that book, I begged the librarians to buy the first and third book to add to their collection. They did and I enjoyed all three books. The story is fast paced and provides an unusual look at a popular period of history.
Author: Alison Hart
Audience: Middle Grade–Tween
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Peachtree Publishers
What are your favorite historical horse stories?
Read More Book Reviews
Posted by Leah E. Good on October 26, 2012
Hello all! I’m surprised no one commented with the right answer for last week’s question. One person did get the right answer, but didn’t leave a comment. Congratulations to Dad’s coworker. You know who you are. 😉 For those of you still in the dark, last week’s quote was the opening line from The Prince and the Pauper.
Here’s the quote for this week. It’s the first sentence of another classic.
The first place that I can well remember was a large pleasant meadow with a pond of clear water in it.
Posted by Leah E. Good on October 22, 2012