Manga Maniac Cafe - Julie
"If Wishes Were Horses was a fun, fast read. I liked Annie and boy, could I relate to this girl. After her family moves away from the city to the country, all she wants is a horse. I thought he almost owed her one. He dragged her away from the only home she’s known and away from her friends, so it’s not unreasonable to ask for a little perk in exchange for her sacrifice. But no, being your typical clueless dad, he arranges for her to be the proud owner of some sheep. Sheep! What is she going to do with a little herd of lambies?? He has the misguided idea that sheep will keep the lawn mowed. That is true, but because sheep eat grass all the way down to the roots, there soon wouldn’t be any lawn to worry about.
Annie’s adjustment to country life is occasionally painful. She lets her dog off his leash and he almost spooks the neighbor’s horse – while she’s riding it! She has an unfortunate encounter with a fresh cow patty. Fashions in the sticks aren’t quite what she’s used to. Blowing off your new friend to go shopping with your mom, without calling to let her know, is the perfect way to ruin a new friendship. Annie learns from her mistakes, though, and by the end of this installment of the series, she even finds her new home tolerable, after some help from the sheep farmer and her mom.
I often have trouble enjoying books with horses, especially now that I have graduated to owning horses of my own. It is so much different to actually have a horse than what your expectations of owning a horse is like. It’s hard work. It’s sometimes frustrating, because horses aren’t perfect. They don’t always listen to you and sometimes they do really dumb things. Worse yet, sometimes you do dumb things around them, and that makes them even more unpredictable. It’s a learning process, and though Annie doesn’t have much horse interaction this time around, all of her encounters with riders and their ponies rang true.
If you have reluctant middle-grade reader who is nuts about horses, try getting her to read this fast-paced, entertaining book. I really think she’ll enjoy it.
http://www.mangamaniaccafe.com/?p=4541" - Manga Maniac Cafe
November 23, 2010