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Whirlwind by [Hart, Alison]
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Whirlwind Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A Virginia author of more than twenty-four novels for children and teens, Alison Hart is an avid horse rider who loves a good mystery. She has been reading and writing about animals since she was a girl. Her novel Shadow Horse, the prequel to Whirlwind, was nominated for an Edgar Award. To find out more about Alison, her horses, and her books, visit her Web site at

From the Paperback edition.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

"Ow! That hurt!" Jasmine Schuler scolded the huge chestnut horse she was grooming. Shadow pricked his ears gleefully. Quickly Jas curled her fingers into pretend teeth. When Shadow swung around to nip her again, she "bit" him on the side of his mouth.  

Throwing up his head, the gelding stared at her in surprise.  

Jas stifled a laugh. Shadow was special, because she'd helped rescue him from a killer auction. He'd had an untreated thyroid condition and had been in bad shape. Now that the horse was healthy, he'd turned into a brat who needed to learn proper manners.  

Shadow inspected his feed tub, licking it for leftover grain instead of trying to bite her again. "That's better," Jas praised.  

When Shadow had arrived at Second Chance Farm, an animal rescue facility, Jas had turned him out with Jinx, a quiet quarter horse. Jinx used flattened ears and his teeth to put the bigger gelding in his place. Jas was trying to do the same, and it was starting to work.  

As a reward for good behavior, she massaged the crest of his neck. Horse massage. Jas had been riding from the time she could walk. Yet, since living at the rescue farm, her foster home, she'd learned so many new things about animals.  

While Jas brushed Shadow's springy mane, she thought about how her life had changed. Less than two months ago, she'd been living at High Meadows, a premier horse farm. Her grandfather, Karl, was the resident caretaker. She had worked there, too, grooming and riding the farm's top-rated show horses. Then the owner, Hugh Robicheaux, had accused Grandfather of killing Jas's favorite horse, a beautiful chestnut Thoroughbred named Whirlwind. Grandfather had been so distraught that he'd had a stroke. He'd gone tothe hospital, then a nursing home. Jas had been so angry she'd attacked Hugh. She'd ended up in court, then in foster care.  

Foster care. Jas yanked at a tangle in Shadow's mane. When she'd first arrived at Second Chance Farm, she'd been miserable. Now she loved it here. But soon her grandfather was getting out of the nursing home. Foster care would end. Originally, her social worker had arranged for Jas and Grandfather to live in an apartment, which meant that Jas wouldn't be able to take care of Shadow. Miss Hahn, her foster mom, had arranged for the big horse to be adopted.   Even now, Jas's heart twisted at the thought of losing Shadow. And not just because she'd lost so much already. She loved the giant goof of a horse.  

But at the last minute, Miss Hahn had decided against adopting out Shadow. She had asked Jas and Grandfather to live with her at the farm. Jas would continue caring for Shadow and the other animals, and Grandfather would work as a caretaker. It was a second chance for both of them.  

Jas hugged Shadow, her arms barely reaching around his huge neck. "You're still mine to love," she told him. So why am I not totally happy?  

Whirlwind. Jas slid the worn photo from the back pocket of her jeans. The mare's head was high, her ears pricked for the camera. A tricolored ribbon hung from her bridle. Jas sat in the saddle, posing for the camera, too. Her expression was triumphant, sparkling. The picture had been taken last May after they'd won a championship at Devon.  

Now the mare was gone.  

A chorus of honking and clucking announced the arrival of Miss Hahn. Jas stuck the photo back in her pocket. She peered from the stall just as her foster mother strode into the barn, her stiff leg swinging. Trotting after her was an entourage of animals: geese, cats, and chickens. Jas had nicknamed them "the underfoot gang," because they always got in the way. Old Sam, a German shepherd, and Rose, the farm's potbellied pig, had been patiently waiting for Jas outside Shadow's stall. But when they spotted Miss Hahn, they rushed toward her, tails wagging furiously.  

"They're like paparazzi stampeding a celebrity," Jas said to her foster mother. "All you need is a red carpet and evening gown instead of a dirt floor and overalls." Her light mood faded when she saw the solemn look on Miss Hahn's face.  

"Officer Lacey from Animal Control called. We have an emergency," Miss Hahn said. "The trailer's hitched and ready. Chase isn't here yet, and I'd like some help. You still have time before lockdown. How about it?"

From the Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • File Size: 402 KB
  • Print Length: 274 pages
  • Publisher: Laurel Leaf (May 15, 2010)
  • Publication Date: May 25, 2010
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0036S4A0E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #560,016 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
It's to be a weeklong celebration of Alison Hart, Esteemed Reader. Today we're celebrating the release of her newest book, Whirlwind, available for the first time to non ninjas this week (we ninjas are able to get our books early). I've already read and loved it and I think you will also. It's worth noting that Whirlwind is actually the sequel to Shadow Horse. You don't need to have read that book to enjoy Whirlwind, but reading Whirlwind first will spoil Shadow Horse for you. My advice? Read both and buy copies as Christmas gifts this year (as I know Alison Hart reads this blog, I'm sure she'll appreciate it).

Later this week, we'll cap our celebration by having none other than Alison Hart here at this very blog to answer the same 7 Questions asked of every writer kind enough to join us. And check back next week when we'll be celebrating Dr. Melissa Walker and her brand new book, A Place For Delta. And the very next week we'll have Kathleen Van Cleve and her book Drizzle, and after that, Bonnie Doerr and her book Island Sting. Oh what a glorious time it is to be a ninja! I hope you're as excited as I am, Esteemed Reader.

And now let's talk Whirlwind. To be fair, Whirlwind is actually a book for teens, or a young adult novel, or possibly even a tween novel. Some of you may remember that a few weeks ago we discussed Emma's River, a middle grade novel by Alison Hart. If you don't remember that, here's the link.I'm trying to leave YA books to the Young Adult Ninjas out there, but I thought reading both types of books by the same author might provide a nice discussion for the differences between the two genres (as though I needed an excuse to read a new Alison Hart book).
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Two months after the beginning of Shadow Horse, Jas is nearing the end of what is essentially court ordered house arrest. She's pretty obsessed with the idea that Whirlwind might still be alive, and so is the insurance company that Hugh Robicheaux has a history of scamming. Hugh, however, has no intention of being brought down, because people like him "always win." People like Jas have ankle monitors and live in mobile homes, like they're supposed to. Lucky for Jas, she's not about to accept anything that Hugh says, and uses just about every resource around her to marshal interest in finding Whirlwind.

Enter the insurance agency's investigator, M. Baylor. All of a sudden finding Whirlwind stops looking like a crapshoot and more of an actual possibility. Hugh knows it, too, and starts to threaten not only Jas, but Second Chance Farm. Hugh also knows more than he should, leading Jas to suspect there's a spy in their midst, but at a charity case rescue like Second Chance Farm, who could be feeding information to a man they all loathe?

There's illegal search and seizure, sexual tension, and murder. There's even a hurricane. What more can you want?

What I like about Whirlwind is that it's not just a horse book and it's not just a horse mystery. It's a young adult novel about a girl who's going through a lot, as well as trying to grow up. She's a barely fourteen-year-old kid taking care of her elderly grandfather, navigating a possible romance, and trying to take down the most influential man in town. It sounds like a lot for one girl and a rescue farm to tackle, but it's done with a gritty realism that had me immediately addicted.

Jas isn't a spoiled brat with horse ownership on the brain. She's human.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Loved the premise, the heroine was a spunky, albeit sometimes a bit rash, little thing. I'd have gone after the villain with a hoof pick too. My main complaint about both stories is there is no closure. Without telling you how it ends, an epilogue would have been nice. You know, after the rotten stuff, how everyone is, after. Ending it so abruptly kinda, sorta, jars you. And for heavens sake, Alison, get a copy editor. You're a good story teller and with practice you'll be a great one. Read some of Nora Robert's early stuff. Some of it made you wince.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Whirlwind is the continuation of Jas in her search for justice and her beloved horse. As with Shadow, this story kept my interest through the entire book. And, as with Shadow, it ends abruptly. It left me feeling dropped. Otherwise it is well written.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Tnank you thank you thank you for writing the sequel. I have been waiting for this. And it didn't let me down at all. I don't want to give anything away but suffice it to say all ends well. But you have to read this WONDERFUL sequel to understand Jas and her obsession (only it really isn't one).

We meet new friends, 4 legged and 2. And Hugh is as arrogant as ever. Jas grows up a lot in this book and tackles some really hard stuff--stuff that would make growns ups shudder. But she doesn't back down.

Honestly I think Alison could write a whole wonderful series based on Jas and Whirlwind. Not only a wonderful series in and of itself but giving kids a chance to see what a resuce horse can really do. If more people would look into adopting a rescue instead of breeding we wouldn't be drowning in unwanted horses.
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