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Finding Somewhere Hardcover – November 8, 2011

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 780L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (November 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385739427
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385739429
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,490,460 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, October 15, 2011
Two teenage girls and a noble, aged horse on a road trip. What could beat that?
Sixteen-year-old Hattie, in an expressive, quirky yet pitch-perfect first-person voice, provides the flowing narrative, as she steals Speed, an ancient horse scheduled to be put down the following autumn morning (merely to prevent the possibility of a difficult winter burial) and heads west with her best friend, Delores. She’s an emotionally fragile 18-year-old, rejected by her boyfriend-focused mother, and needs a rescue almost as badly as the horse. Their goal is to find free range for Speed, offering him the opportunity, for once in his life, to just be a horse—free, not plodding around a carnival ring. Along the way they encounter other horse lovers, most notably Julie, an elderly woman who just wants to share a few heart-wrenching moments with patient Speed; Fry, a Minnesota double amputee with plenty of land and a big heart; and Punch, a handsome young rodeo rider who loves both horses and Hattie. Monniger’s writing is delicious, evocative and, especially during horse-focused scenes, moving.
Horse story, road trip, coming-of-age tale: It's any and all of these, but mostly a tender and authentic voyage into the mind of a wise, funny and wholly likable protagonist. (Fiction. 11 & up)

About the Author

JOSEPH MONNINGER has published 11 novels and three nonfiction books for adults. Recently he cowrote The Letters with bestselling author Luanne Rice. His previous YA novels are Wish, Baby, and Hippie Chick.

More About the Author

Joseph Monninger has published fourteen novels and three non-fiction books. His work has appeared in American Heritage, Scientific American, Readers Digest, Glamour, Playboy, Story, Fiction, The Boston Globe, Sports Illustrated and Ellery Queen, among other publications. He has twice received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and has also received a fellowship from the New Hampshire Council for the Arts. His young adult novel, Baby, was awarded the 2008 award for best children's literature from the Peace Corps Writers. It was also chosen as a top ten book by YALSA, the American Library Association. The Bulletin of the Center for Children's' Books awarded Hippie Chick, a young adult novel, a blue ribbon for a top book of 2008.

Joseph Monninger grew up in Westfield, New Jersey and attended Temple University on a football scholarship. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Upper Volta, now Burkina Faso, from 1975-77. He has been a licensed New Hampshire Fishing Guide and has fly-fished from New Zealand to Wyoming's Wind River Range. He lives with his wife, Wendy, and his son, Justin, in a converted barn near New Hampshire's Baker River. For several years his family competed in the New England Sled Dog sprint races and ran a small sled dog business in New Hampshire's White Mountains.

As a teacher at one time or another at the University of New Hampshire, the Lincoln School in Providence, Rhode Island, The American International School in Vienna, and at Plymouth State University, Joseph Monninger has spent thirty years in classrooms. During the summers he directed academic enrichment programs at Williams and Amherst Colleges. He led student groups on bicycle tours across Europe, sailed the Whitsunday Islands near the Great Barrier Reef, and worked on community service projects in Montserrat, West Indies and on the Crow Reservation in Montana. He has taken a mail boat across the southern edge of Newfoundland and, as a young man, hitch-hiked across the United States three times.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By The Figment Review on November 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover
By Maggie Martin

There is one horse, two girls, and three reasons why Finding Somewhere by Joseph Monninger should be on your to-read list.

One horse: Speed, an old pony ride horse that is being put down before the winter hits.

Two girls: Hattie and Delores, best friends and horse lovers that decide to run out west with Speed to save his life.

Three reasons: There is excellent character development of the best friends, the relationships forged throughout the book are genuine, and there is no epic love triangle to clog up the heart of the novel.

I'm always a little skeptical about picking up a horse book. I myself am not much of a horse person; I've barley ridden one before. Thankfully Finding Somewhere had elements even non-horse lovers can easily relate to.

The best friends are very different from each other. Hattie is a quiet, reserved girl who enjoys reading books while Delores is louder and more spirited, though her emotional stress is becoming almost unbearable. They fight quite a bit, but in the end it's their differences that make them such a good team.

Along the road trip, Hattie and Delores meet a few people who help them out and who believe in their cause to save Speed. These relationships are more real than anything they had back home; Hattie and Delores never felt like they belonged in their Podunk town. The believable relationships are part of what make Finding Somewhere an interesting read.

And the ultimate young adult novel trap--the epic love triangle--is nowhere to be found in Finding Somewhere. A love triangle in which the friends were crushing on the same guy would have been an easy way to add dramatic tension to the novel, but I appreciated that it was absent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Teen Reads on February 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Sixteen-year-old Hattie is in love with a special horse named Speed, an old fellow with a long history of serving people without complaint. For years, Speed walked in circles giving pony rides to excited kids. He gave and he gave, never objecting, but was always trustworthy. Then he was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson, which is how Hattie meets Speed. She works for them, and right away she bonds with this special horse. But then the Fergusons decide it's time to euthanize Speed.

If Speed were suffering, Hattie could understand putting him out of his misery. But he's just old --- old in body and spirit. It just isn't right to put him down without a good reason. Hattie knows how much Speed has given to people and how little he has received in return. So she's determined to give something back to Speed --- a chance to live life as a wild and free horse.

Hattie and her friend, Delores, steal Speed in the cover of darkness. Using Delores's truck and her cousin's trailer, the two hijack the horse and then hit the highway. Their crazy scheme is to head west, maybe to Wyoming or Montana, and find some open pasture where Speed can enjoy the freedom of being a true horse at last. They have a bit of money saved up, and the future is wide open. Both have family issues and aren't quite sure what to do after freeing Speed. Hattie will probably return back east, but Delores may just continue west to visit her father, who she hasn't seen in years. But whatever they decide to do, their first priority is to find freedom for Speed, and in the process, they just may discover a few things about themselves.

FINDING SOMEWHERE is a wonderful tale for those who hold horses dear to their hearts.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Liz F. on February 19, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
This is a very well written story about two girls on a journey to save a horse and to find where they fit into the world. As a horse lover, I thought the story was very touching and I could relate to how the girls feel about Speed and their need to set him he can be a horse.
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By Stacey Bailey on October 27, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This. Book was easy to read and told a very nice story of two very sweet girls helping their favorite pet, know what it's like to live as others that were born to roam and graze and feel free and independent
It was their dream to be sure after a lifetime of hard work and service to those who owned him and used him to do things that to entertain others as opposed to enjoying like the way a free animal should
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought the book for my daughter, but ended up reading it and loving it. I won't repeat the synopsis of the book. All elements work beautifully together - two great characters, authentic friendship, life-changing road trip, horses, connection with animals, and beautiful sceneries. Oh, and the unpretentious yet profound language. After reading the book, I was surprised to find out that the author was a man. The dialogues between the two main characters (both female) are very real. It is one of the best YA novels. So tired of the me-too YA books centered around super natural+romance or distopia+romance themes. I wish there were more meaningful YA books like this.
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