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A Special Kind of Courage: A Bonnie Book (The Bonnie Books) Paperback – October 30, 2013
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About the Author
Holding a trainer’s license since 1972, Barbara Van Tuyl had never thought to be a writer when she grew up. Inspired by books like the Black Stallion, her big break came when a friend passed on a fiction piece and gave it to her. Asked to create an outline, she decided to create a second one to show that a series could be viable. From those two outlines came the first two books in what became the Bonnie series: The Sweet Running Filly and A Horse Called Bonnie. Books one through five were published in the early 70s. Almost 30 years later, Barbara has penned A Special Kind of Courage, the sixth in the Bonnie series.
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I am particularly disappointed in how Julie was written. The beauty of the first two books in this series were that we had been given a heroine who didn't wring her hands and make bad choices, but someone level headed who could make a difference. In this book, that Julie is gone, replaced by a typical girl stereotype, someone who is in the way and sent on unimportant errands so she stays out of the way.
I enjoyed spending time with the rest of the cast though. And I'm glad Bonnie was given a voice one last time.
The writing was so different from what I remembered that I actually Googled Van Tuyl to find out if she was still alive, thinking that her estate might be capitalizing on her name using ghost writers. She appears to still be with us, so no excuse there!
And yes...just to be certain I wasn't mis-remembering, I did go back and re-read the other Bonnie books, and they were as good as I'd remembered.
I don't know what's happened to Van Tuyl's writing skills during the past 30 years, but I sincerely hope she gets it together before the next book in this series is released. As it stands, if you're a young horse lover (or even an old horse lover like me!), I recommend you read the original Bonnie series and give this new iteration a miss.