From School Library Journal
Grade 4–6—Twelve-year-old Lidie must leave her beloved home in Brazil for a new life in New York. She reunites with Pai and her older brother, who left shortly after Mamãe died five years earlier. Lidie's father and Rafael train racehorses for a wealthy benefactor. When she meets the filly Pai has dubbed Wild Girl, Lidie remembers her mother calling her by that name. The horse's story parallels hers, as they are both plunked down into an unfamiliar, sometimes harsh environment. But when at last Lidie rides Wild Girl, it is as if their spunky, spirited souls gloriously merge. This brief tale of the sense of powerlessness that accompanies childhood is magnified by the perspective of an immigrant girl. It also addresses the pain of separation from loved ones, and animal cruelty. These issues are dealt with in an evenhanded, never too sorrowful or desperate way. Readers will find hope and resiliency in this coming-of-age story.—Tracy Weiskind, Chicago Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2009:
“Giff’s characters are beautifully nuanced and entirely real, her prose is as streamlined and efficient as a galloping Thoroughbred.”From the Hardcover edition.