Monday, May 12, 2014

Book Review #23: A Horse Called Trouble by C.K. Volnek

I picked up A Horse Called Trouble by C.K. Volnek ages ago from Amazon.com. You see I can be sucker for horse novels and the title of the novel intrigued me. As an Arabian, my horse can be trouble some days for seemingly no reason at all.

A Horse Called Trouble is a middle grade novel. Reading it as an adult, the plot direction seemed obvious and characters are caricatures. But when I stepped back and thought about how I felt in middle school and high school, this book has quite a bit of depth. We have all been in situations where it feels like everyone has given up on us and then we find the one thing we connect with, be it horses, books, a T.V. show or movie, that really brings the life back. And then we connect with other people who share that same passion and the world comes even more alive. Ms. Volnek did a great job at showing Tara's progress from a shy girl who eventually finds strength in her passion and connection with horses.

My favorite part about the novel were the descriptions of the farm, the horses and the barn. Those descriptions really came alive for me and it felt like I was at out at my local barn. The names of the horses were top notch! The lesson horses had appropriately plain names--Rocky (we have a lesson horse named Rocky at our barn) and Homer. The pedigreed horses had dreamy names--Jupiter, Jupiter's Dream Girl and Jeopardy's Double Trouble. I wanted to meet these horses and ride off into the sunset on each one of them.

Overall, I really enjoyed A Horse Called Trouble when I stepped back and viewed it through younger eyes. The messages about standing up for yourself and finding your passion run strong throughout the book. The life depicted on the farm in the book was spot on and described with realistic detail. Ms. Volnek knows horses and barns. A Horse Called Trouble by C.K. Volnek gets a thumbs up!


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