Every young girl loves horses. We’ve all gone through it. The stage where we dream of owning a horse ranch, or a horse, and then eventually settle for a picture of a horse? This story paints a beautiful view of the dreams and aspirations that can happen to a young girl who loves horses.
The 2nd in the Pony Jumpers series Eleventh Hour by Kate Lattey, is excellent for anyone who loves horses and horse stories written in the young adult genre. Published in 2020, this tale encompasses the love of horses and equestrian competition tempered with the element of mercy and compassion for a horse that may not be considered ‘worthy.’
When Susannah finds a starved horse at the local animal rescue, her first instinct is to help save it. As a competitor in seasonal equestrian events, she is knowledgeable about horses and knows she can make a difference. Her father sees things a little differently and would prefer to buy a better horse. Can Susannah convince him to let her take a chance on a horse that may not pan out as a competitor? To find out, you must read the book!
I loved the premise of this story. Mercy is a great quality in a character, and Susanna’s character is so well-developed in this book. The depth of the emotion regarding care for animals is an admirable trait, and this book delivers that element very well.
Told in the first-person narrative, this book contains all of the emotions a reader expects as they journey through Susannah’s struggles and see things from her direct point of view. The pacing was excellent and kept me engaged all the way through.
I liked the glossary of words for Maori, the indigenous language of New Zealand. The pronunciation guide was impressive as well. This attention to detail adds a professional polish to the formatting of the book and provides useful information to the reader.
Although the wonderfully descriptive writing style is excellent in this book, there is room for some improvement regarding punctuation, as in this sentence, “The combined smell of horses[,] and hay[,] and shavings[,] and leather[,] was the best perfume I could ever imagine, and I greeted the ponies warmly.”
I am rating this book with four stars (a Great Read) for the reasons I have listed. It seems a nicely original telling of a story, although the concept of a girl competing in equestrian events may not be as unique. If you are a lover of animals, especially horses, this is the book for you!