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Mister Boots Hardcover – July 21, 2005
Top Customer Reviews
She meets a man on their property one night, who tells her he is really a horse, named Mister Boots. He too has been abused by his human owners. Bobby feeds and clothes him, and eventually takes him home. Events follow quickly from their. The mother dies. Mister Boots and the older girl, Jocelyn, fall in love. Their father, Robert Lassiter, returns and the abuse begins again. He wants Bobby to become a magician, just like him -- and she finds she is good at that, and wants to do it. They head to LA (Bobby dressed as a boy -- which her father still thinks she is), and become a successful magic act, despite Mister Boots's refusal to turn into a horse onstage. Bobby makes her first ever friendship with a girl her age: a similarly bereft Mexican girl named Rosie whom she meets in a sort of hobo camp. They meet their father's long time mistress -- or is she really his wife, and are they illegitimate? But then the Depression hits, and the money dries up, and things get worse and worse, until a final revelation and a final horrible act.
It's a charming and hopeful story in one sense, with a delightful narrator in Bobby.Read more ›
I'm not sure this is actually a YA book. The character is young for a teen book, but it takes place during the great depression and there is some death and violence, so it might possibly be classified as teen for that. The issue of placing it aside, I liked it. Bobby was fun and clever, and Mister Boots was sweet. It took me a while to really get into it, but I think that was me and not the book, because there is action almost from the beginning.
I do agree with a previous reviewer that the book is dark. The physical and emotional abuse were disturbing (stripping Bobby naked to whip her entire body or having her clothes pulled down by a stranger who begins to make advances to her once he finds out 'he' is a 'she').
So, I did not find this book to be sweet or a nice little novel. I think for a certain age group it might be appealing but the content is definitely geared to an older audience. I agree with the young adult classification.
As a side note, it was very hard to get my head around Mister Boots occasional transformations from animal to human form and the fact that in the end a child was conceived that had to be hidden at home so no one would know about her. I thought Bobby's musing about whether or not her sister could actually have a horse baby was kind of silly and, lo and behold, in the end she did!