From School Library Journal
Grade 5–8—Three lives and three story lines merge as readers get to know a former racehorse, a 12-year-old girl, and a middle-aged woman. Dream of Night was a successful Thoroughbred until an undetected injury led, over time, to horrific abuse and neglect. Shiloh and her mom suffered unspeakable domestic violence, landing Shiloh in increasingly ineffective foster homes. Jess has spent years working with rescued horses and foster kids, but thinks that perhaps she is too old now for either one. Night and Shiloh both end up at Jess's farm and are needy, angry, and incapable of trust. Eventually, cracks begin to appear in the walls that the two have erected, and a crisis cements their bond. Within each chapter, the third-person narration switches from character to character, with each portion labeled. The brief sections use few words to maximum potential, developing each character and focusing on believable behaviors. While accepting Night's line of thought occasionally requires a leap of faith, this is a touching read with a satisfying ending. Recommend it to kids who have heard about Dave Pelzer's A Child Called "It"
(Health Communications, 1995) and to animal lovers or girls who read reluctantly.—Faith Brautigam, Gail Borden Public Library, Elgin, IL
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Twelve-year-old Shiloh has been abused and moved in and out of foster homes most of her life. When racehorse Dream of Night started losing, he was sold to one owner after another until he was whipped and abandoned. Horse rescuer and foster mother Jess thinks she's too old to take on any more responsibility, but she agrees to give both angry, scared creatures one more chance by offering them a home over the summer. Alternating viewpoints from Shiloh, Jess, and even the Thoroughbred reveal how the guarded girl and equally wary horse begin to sense each other's pain and slowly learn to trust each other and those around them. While saving each other, they may also rejuvenate Jess and give her a new sense of purpose. Although the comparisons between Shiloh and Night remain overt, the connectedness between humans and horses will entice young animal lovers (“Over the years Jess has come to find that humans aren't wired so differently”). An author's note details the alarming number of ex-racehorses abused each year. Grades 3-6. --Angela Leeper