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Mystery at Silver Key Stables: Charity Book Series, Book One Paperback – October 28, 2009

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Editorial Reviews


"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/

"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 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 for more information.


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Product Details

  • Series: Charity Book Series
  • Paperback: 150 pages
  • Publisher: BookSurge Publishing (October 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 143923017X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439230176
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,474,226 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alexandra Gritta
Author, "Mystery at Silver Key Stables," nominated for Henry Bergh Children's Book Award

I have been asked what inspired me to write and publish, "Mystery at Silver Key Stables." The truth is that I have always loved writing and horses, so it seemed natural that my first children's book would be about horses. I wanted to donate the net proceeds from the sale of my book to organizations that rescue and provide safe habitats for horses, which is how Charity Book Series®, Inc., a 501(c)3 charitable nonprofit corporation was founded, with me as acting President.

I eventually became part a community of people who share my concern for the general welfare of horses. Some of those individuals are fairly well known, while others are quiet heroes whose intervention on behalf of horses may be known only to a few. I feel honored to be among them.

For the love of all horses,
Alexandra Joy Gritta

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sharon Miner on March 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
WOW! This fictional horse story is interesting, exciting, realistic and emotionally satisfying. And the Oregon author, Alexandra Joy Gritta, is only 13 years-old! This debut book is part of her Charity Book Series, which benefits charitable equine organizations. See (...) to learn more.

The teen protagonist, Kelly, has just moved from Montana to Oregon and is having trouble fitting in - both at school and with the damp weather. Her saving grace is a local stable where she leases a horse. There, she meets other young horse lovers and all the equine residents.

Silver Key Stables not only offers lessons, leasing and boarding, but also has a sanctuary for wild horse herds. On a trail ride with a new friend, Kelly sees the stallion, Black Magic, and learns that it was once owned by the stable owner. The horse was unable to be ridden, however, and let loose with the mustangs. When the horse becomes injured, it is seen by a vet at the stable and nursed by Kelly, who develops a magical bond with the stallion.

Kelly also learns a horrible truth about the stable that changes the future of the riding program.

Although there were a few things that I found fault with (children with stallions are not the norm, and I think the author meant "cross rails" not "cross ties" in the jump ring) the overall story was very appealing because the teen voice provided a viewpoint that an adult writer could not achieve. Plus, the young author's goal of making reader's aware of the plight of stolen horses is quite admirable.

The artwork and descriptions of the horses at the end of the story is a wonderful addition.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Keith Forbes on March 23, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had never read a book by such a young author until I came upon Mystery at Silver Key Stables. I strongly recommend this book for the following reasons.

* The writing is wonderful and a top pick by my daughters for a bedtime story
* The book has very well done color illustrations that can be enjoyed by all ages
* There is a touching theme of responsibility and the humane treatment of animals
* Proceeds from the sale of this book are given to horse charities
* There is something powerful about showing my children what a young woman can accomplish in both the literary and philanthropic arenas

We can hardly wait for more books to come in this series!
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This young wrote a fabulous story. To think she wrote at age 13--wow! I certainly look forward to hearing more from this young lady! Keep writing!
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