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Author: Lean, Sarah
Eleven-year-old Nell must spend spring break in the country with an aunt and cousins she has never met, but while there she meets a mysterious, wild girl with a strange connection to horses and an uncanny understanding of Nell.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.50
Points: 5.0 Quiz: 165995
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 5.20
Points: 9.0 Quiz: 71745
Kirkus Reviews (11/01/13)
School Library Journal (01/01/14)
Booklist (+) (11/01/13)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 11/01/2013 *Starred Review* A two-week stay in the country brings together two lonely 11-year-old girls and an unusual foal named Lunar that may just be an angel able to bring things—both farms and people overwhelmed by loss—back to life. Fearful, overprogrammed Nell has been sent to visit her aunt and cousins, but she spends much of her time at a nearby farm with a grieving widow who is planning to sell her herd of horses. In the stable there, Nell is allowed to restore the toy carousel left behind by her father when he abandoned the family, which she has secretly brought along with her on her trip. However, the stable also houses runaway Angel, who is hiding the foal she has stolen, having overheard plans to put Lunar down. These two complicated and appealing young people share more than a place to hide. As Nell gradually comes to understand her own needs and motives, as well as Angel’s, so do readers. Running throughout this moving, well-crafted first-person English import is a local superstition about a herd of 100 horses. Will Lunar, the one hundredth horse, spoil the widow’s herd or save the captive princess, as in Angel’s version? Friendship, self-discovery, a dreamlike middle-of-the-night horseback ride, and a satisfying ending make for certain reader appeal. - Copyright 2013 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 01/01/2014 Gr 3–7—Eleven-year-old Nell Green is unhappy about having to spend her school vacation on a farm with her aunt and two younger cousins whom she hardly knows. Once there, however, she easily adjusts to her aunt's gentle nature and the devotion of her cousins. She meets their kindhearted neighbor Rita, who is grieving the recent loss of her husband. His death has prompted Rita to sell her farm animals, including her herd of 99 horses. Nell also meets the wild child Angel, who thunders into her life on a horse and takes her precious leather bag that contains an old tin carousel. As Nell attempts to retrieve her bag, she gets drawn into an adventure; there are missing animals, a midnight horse ride, and a legend about the magic of the hundredth horse. Depending on who is telling the story, the hundredth horse to enter a herd can either ruin the whole lot or signify the arrival of something special. Nell and Angel develop a mysterious friend/foe relationship as Nell begins to wonder who or what Angel really is. The author intertwines the characters and story line with finesse, keeping readers guessing about Angel's identity and the appearance of the hundredth horse until the end of the evenly paced plot. A touch of magic delivers a satisfying and positive conclusion.—D. Maria LaRocco, Cuyahoga Public Library, Strongsville, OH - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.