"Mystery at Silver Key Stables is a wonderfully written first book for this young writer. Her passion for horses is evident ...Her understanding of the current crisis for horses in this country at her tender age shows great maturity and compassion...that she was inspired to write this book to benefit horses in need at this critical and difficult time is truly touching." --Whitney Wright, Director of Hope for Horses, Asheville, NC
"Well written...and intriguing to the end. This young author reached into a world in which I have lived. I can only hope the readers of this book understand that, although these characters are fictional, the victims and criminals are very real. I deal with similar stories daily and was touched by the way Alexandra...brought this very real issue to life. This child gets it." --Debi Metcalfe, Author of Horse Theft. Been There--Done That, and Founder of Stolen Horse International/NetPosse.com
"An insightful look at kids and horses and the relationship that brings them together." --David O'Connor, President and CEO United States Equestrian Federation, Inc., Lexington, KY
"Impressive...clear, simple, and evocative and the plot...is laid out and woven well." --Alexandra Marks, Christian Science Monitor
"Mystery at Silver Key Stables is a must have for all young horse enthusiasts. The twist of mystery woven into a heartwarming horse story makes it a fun and engaging book to read. The author's depth of compassion for horses is very evident in her writing and is truly impressive for her young age." --Diana Pikulski, Executive Director Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, Saratoga Springs, NY
Heartwarming story for young readers who love horses. In her debut novel, 14-year-old Gritta writes about what she knows and loves: horses.
Mystery at Silver Key Stables tells the tale of Kelly Normand, who feels out of place and miserable in her family's new home in Oregon until she starts taking riding lessons. Silver Key Stables is the one place Kelly is comfortable, as it reminds her of happier times spent riding in Montana before the family's move.
Using simple imagery and an eye for detail, the author brings the stables, horses and riding trails into clear focus for young readers, who will be drawn to the spirited characters--human and horse. The animals even help Kelly connect with her annoying little brother, if only for the short time she spends demonstrating how to care for and ride the magnificent animals.
Besides the stabled horses, Silver Key Stables has something different to offer--a wild mustang herd which is part of the owner's mustang-rescue operation. Kelly and Farid, a stable hand about Kelly's age, get dangerously close to the herd while out riding. Shortly afterward, the leader, Black Magic, gets injured and the pair take care of the huge stallion. Initially resistant, Black Magic slowly responds to Kelly's gentle ministrations. Things seem to be going well until she discovers the black horse, and several others on the ranch, were actually stolen. ... breathtaking illustrations and well-written passages describe the stolen horse's temperament, background and ultimate fate.
A compelling story written with familiarity and tenderness. -- Kirkus Discoveries Review
I LOVE THE BOOK!!!!...emotion, suspense, and a draw to keep...reading to see what would happen next. -- Susan Pohlman, Founder, Whispering Winds Equine Rescue and Living Legends Wild Horse Sanctuary, Roseburg, Oregon
The heroine is bold, head-strong, and fearless. Young readers looking for a good horse story with a happy ending won't be disappointed. -- Jacque Schultz, Senior Director, ASPCA National Outreach, New York, NY
This story is captivating to readers of all ages. A well-written page-turner by a young, talented writer! Her love and understanding of horses is very evident and it is inspiring to see a young writer already on the road to success. -- Jennifer Malpass, Board Chair, United States Equine Rescue League
About the Author
Alexandra Joy Gritta began writing her debut novel, Mystery at Silver Key Stables, when she was twelve years old. This thrilling mystery is charmingly written and beautifully illustrated, with a subtle but poignant appeal for the humane treatment of horses. It has been nominated for the prestigious 2009 ASPCA Henry Bergh Children’s Book Award, and has garnered massive support from equestrian organizations across the country. Book proceeds will be donated to charitable organizations that help rescue and provide safe habitats for horses. Please visit www.alexandragritta.com for more information.