by Alison Hart
Publisher: Laurel Leaf
Release Date: March 27, 2001
Source: sent by author
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Summary from goodreads.com:
Horses + mystery + rescuing abused animals = a triple crown of perpetually popular preteen genres!
Thirteen-year-old Jasmine is found guilty of assaulting Hugh Robicheaux, the owner of the horse farm where she works. But she's still determined to prove that Robicheaux killed Whirlwind, the mare she loved. Jas is sure that Shadow Horse, a scrawny brown gelding she rescues at a horse auction, is the key to the mystery—but just how is Shadow Horse connected to Whirlwind?
Deftly written by a teacher and equestrian who has authored more than sixty books, this heartwarming and inspiring Edgar Award nominee will have special appeal for mystery fans as well as young horse lovers.
This book was originally written in 1999 and it definitely reminded me of the simpler, sweeter YA that I used to read. Even the packaging of the story is like the slim, 250 page YA books of that time. There's nothing over the top in the book, and it's a nice, refreshing change of pace from today's dystopians, and tear-jerker contemporaries.
The heroine, Jas, is 13, so it's probably suited to a young YA audience or the older middle grade reader.
The mystery is nice and I sure didn't see where it was headed. I loved Jas' relationship with her grandfather. It's very loving and sincere. The romance with Chase is cute and age appropriate, it's really more about developing a strong friendship than a romantic relationship.
Of course, the book is perfect for horse lovers. It would be a great read for a girl who has graduated from all the middle grade horse series and is ready for something older.
Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5
Bottom Line: Overall, this is a great, wholesome read with lots of horses and nail biting mystery.
Thanks to the author, Alison Hart, I will be having a giveaway for this book and the sequel, "Whirlwind" soon! Stay tuned for details!