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Wild Girl by [Giff, Patricia Reilly]
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Wild Girl Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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.

Review

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.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2812 KB
  • Print Length: 162 pages
  • Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books (July 31, 2009)
  • Publication Date: August 11, 2009
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002JRQM40
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #650,768 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Twelve-year-old Lidie has spent the past several years imagining what life in America would be like. Her father and older brother, Rafael, have lived in America ever since her mother died when Lidie was seven. Although they left for New York after the incident, Lidie stayed behind in Brazil with her aunt and uncle, waiting for her father to send for her.

Now it's time for Lidie herself to head to America, and she has mixed feelings. She will miss the bright colors and bold tastes of life on her uncle's farm and in her aunt's kitchen. She will miss the challenges of school. Most of all, she will miss her favorite horse, Cavalo, whom she loves to ride like the wind.

Meanwhile, as Lidie is making the long journey from Brazil to New York, so is another girl --- this one a filly from South Carolina. She is mistrustful of most humans, is terrified of cats, and longs more than anything to return to her mother. But there are other plans for her as she too leaves her home and heads north to New York.

When Lidie arrives at her father's house, she is rather nervous. But her anxiety soon gives way to disappointment when she realizes that her father and brother think that she's still seven years old! They want to buy her snow boots with bunnies on them, and they've decorated her room with Disney characters. Worst of all, they don't even know that she is an excellent horse rider, possibly even better than her brother, who's training to be a jockey. They don't seem to know her at all. School is also a challenge --- the subjects are easy, but the English words she has studied don't help when she has an emergency, like really needing to use the bathroom.
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Format: Hardcover
Wild Girl should be on the reading lists of every aspiring or established author of horsey fiction.

It's not that it's amazing. It's just a good story, centered on a likable girl with realistic problems that have nothing to do with a horse of her own plot. The horse in question is not the second coming of every wonder horse in fiction. She's just a young filly that doesn't quite know what's expected of her, and is as equally scared as she is curious. Like most horses in the world.

Lidie arrives in New York knowing little English, and hardly knowing the father and brother that arrive to meet her. There is enough understandable awkwardness to go around, and Lidie is left feeling about as cold as the New York winter she's suddenly walked into from her Brazilian sunshine. It doesn't help matters that her family remembers her as a seven-year-old girl, obsessed with Disney and the color pink. Lidie's done some growing up, and these things were cast aside years ago, but she hasn't grown up enough to come out and easily tell her father and brother who she is, what she likes, and what she's capable of.

To make matters worse, nothing is exactly easy for Lidie on her first day of school. Language barriers create some horrifying memories, and she bolts, convinced that she's never going to fit in. Poor Lidie's got a lot on her plate, so when they drive out to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to pick up a couple of horses, she finds a bit of a kindred spirit in Wild Girl, a filly that's been on a similar journey.

In the end, filly and girl are both missing something. They eventually find what they're looking for. It's a sweet book, with none of the usual grating horse story components you'll usually find.
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Format: Hardcover
My 9 year old son and I read this book together. He couldn't put it down and didn't want it to end. I struggle to get him to read with me, especially chapter books, but this one was perfect for him. It was a simple story line with some new words for him. "If your child loves horses they would love this," my son says. Great!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is the story of a beautiful horse named Wild Girl and a girl named Lidie from Brazil. More than anything, she loves to ride horse fast! Wild Girl is a calm, gray, white and black horse that you would not expect to go fast, but she can really run! When Lidie turned 12, she moved to a farm in Queens, New York to live with her dad and brother, Rafael. Her dad and brother still think of her as a little girl they once left behind in Brazil. She needs to show them what a great rider she is, so they will realize that she's an older girl now and that she can truly handle a horse. Family and friendship are really what this incredible story is about. This amazing and fascinating story would be a fantastic book for horse lovers and students that enjoy reading fiction.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wow! What a great story! The protagonist, Lidie, is a lovable character and not just because she's horse crazy. The emotional turmoil is heartbreaking at times when she leaves her native Brazil and moves to Queens, NY to be with her father and brother who work at a racing stable. They still think she is a seven-year-old who loves Snow White, while Lidia is 12 and, unknown to her father and brother, rides very well. Being at a new school where no one understands her language, and she knows very little English, Lidia is overwhelmed.

A new horse at the stable named Wild Girl (Lidia's dead mother's nickname for her as well) helps her overcome all the new obstacles and bring the family together.

This is a "must read" for all young readers and horse lovers of all ages.
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