From School Library Journal
Grade 4-6. Twelve-year-old Alison has mixed feelings about leaving Chicago to spend her summer in Wyoming with her blind cousin, Kelly. Because she is afraid of heights and flying, Alison travels by train. She is warmly welcomed by everyone at her aunt and uncle's ranch, and in spite of some misgivings, eventually learns to ride. The wild mustangs that roam the mountains help to make her summer a truly adventurous one and so does Matt, a handsome neighbor. Her confidence grows as she puts aside her fear of heights to try to save Kelly's horse from a wild stallion. When summer is over, she chooses to fly home and can't wait to return to the ranch next year. The author has effectively woven interesting information about wild horses throughout the story. However, although the plot moves along at a steady pace, this is not a real page-turner. The sympathetic human characters are only mildly interesting; the actions and personalities of the horses provide the real drama. Full-page, black-and-white drawings appear throughout. Fans of equine stories will find this a pleasant, though not unforgettable, read.?Carol Schene, Taunton Public Schools, MA
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 5^-8. Alison has no desire to leave Chicago to spend the summer on the Wyoming ranch where her mother grew up. She is turning 13 and wants to celebrate with family and friends, not her aunt, uncle, and cousins, whom she doesn't even know. She's also afraid she'll be trapped into watching out for her cousin Kelly, who is blind. But her biggest concern is her extreme fear of heights. Much as she likes horses, the thought of getting on one nauseates her. But over the course of the summer, she confronts the obstacles she faces in both predictable and unpredictable ways, eventually ending up with the magical vacation she had hoped for. The dialogue is weak and the characters stereotypical, but Ryden, well-known for nonfiction books about nature, lets her knowledge of horses shine through and succeeds in creating a fast-paced adventure that won't disappoint horse lovers. Lauren Peterson