|Riding lessons (Ellen & Ned)|
Author: Smiley, Jane
[#1] Eleven-year-old Ellen is a spunky and occasionally misbehaving young riding student. Her teacher Abby Lovitt is a high school student who introduces her to jumping, dressage techniques, and most importantly, Ned. Ned is a colt who used to be a racehorse, until he hurt his leg and moved to Abby's ranch.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.00
Points: 6.0 Quiz: 199814
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 9.20
Points: 11.0 Quiz: 73551
Kirkus Reviews (-) (12/15/17)
School Library Journal (02/01/18)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/04/18)
The Hornbook (00/03/18)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 02/01/2018 Gr 3–5—Pulitzer Prize-winning author Smiley pens the first book in a new series set in the 60s about a fourth-grade girl who loves riding and horses. Ned is a retired racehorse who Ellen meets at her riding lesson and they instantly have a magical connection; she can see and hear him even when they are far apart. Ellen soon finds out that she was adopted and that her parents are adopting another baby girl. Ellen is precocious and has to work on following rules and not speaking out of turn. She learns discipline through the riding lessons with her instructor and by observing other girls in her class. Ellen and Ned help each other navigate their surroundings through their telepathic communication. VERDICT A quiet work of historical fiction for horse lovers. A secondary purchase.—Sarah Wilsman, Bainbridge Library, Chagrin Falls, OH - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 02/01/2018 Ellen is an imaginative, lively, and horse-crazy fourth-grader who is fortunate enough to actually have riding lessons, though she’ll only be permitted to continue on the condition that she behave well both at home and at school, which is difficult since impulsive Ellen tends to speak first and think later. As the first-person narrator, Ellen shares her thoughts about everything, from her parents adopting a new baby to what makes some of her classmates tick. When she meets Ned, a former racehorse sidelined by an injury, at her riding instructor Abby’s house, she feels an instant connection. Later, she finds she can have conversations with him in her imagination, where she sometimes sorts out the issues that confuse her. The pace of the story is leisurely and packed with lots of details about riding and jumping, which makes this book especially interesting for the horse-obsessed set. At the same time, Ellen is beginning to make the transition into tweenhood, and her explorations are thoughtful and thought-provoking, a combination that raises the bar for young readers. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.