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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Reluctant Readers Like Young Girls and Horses

There is a special connection with young girls and horses. Books using this theme are often eagerly sought by reluctant reader girls, especially if the protagonist is a troubled girl with problems at school and home, which she somehow manages to solve. The following is one such book.

Title: Starlight’s Courage
Author: Janet Muirhead Hill
Illustrator: Pat Lehmkuhl

Publisher and/or Distributor: Raven Publishing, Inc.
Publisher Website:
Pages: 160
ISBN: 0-9772525-4-X
Price: $9.00
Publishing Date: August 2007
Reader: Bob Spear
Rating: 5 hearts

Ten-year-old Miranda is a troubled girl. She lives with her maternal grandparents in Montana because her father died shortly before she was born and her mother is working in Los Angeles. She focuses her need for love and loving on a damaged black stallion called Starlight. Out of concern for this horse, Miranda makes many wrong choices but ends up in the end winning over school enemies into friends and saving her precious Starlight. She is challenged by a vengeful insane man who sets out to kill Starlight and authority figures who see her activities as irresponsible and threatening.

This is an excellent book for reluctant readers. There are so many value lessons which are woven throughout the story. Miranda is a very independent spirit who finally discovers she is not along in the world. We rated this mid-grade book five hearts.

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