Finny and the Boy from Horse Mountain
Mother-Daughter book clubs have become increasingly popular over the years as terrific ways to increase the special bond between them, share the joy of reading, and learn how to look at writing with a more critical eye.
Finny and the Boy from Horse Mountain is the perfect book for just such clubs. Written for those between 9-13 years, it is also an exhilarating read for adults. Finny, a girl whose parents have divorced and started new families of their own is not so much unloved as just sort of left over. She loves horses and finds fulfillment by working at riding stables and spending time with her beloved rescue horse, Sky.
Joe, a runaway, is also deeply involved in the horse world; he specializes in breaking wild horses making them suitable for riding. Through a series of both tragic and heartwarming events, they find each other and develop a relationship that fills both of their need for “family.”
Andrea Young’s characters really come alive. The plotting is tight, suspenseful, and thrilling. As a choice for a Mother –Daughter book club, it will offer readers the opportunity to discuss the meaning of family, the angst of the teen-age years, the good and evil nature of humans, and what it means to follow your dreams. Impossible to put down, readers will hate to see the story end. Luckily, this is first of a trilogy; happily, we’ll meet up with Finny and Joe again.
- Sally G. Reed, Executive Director United for Libraries, a division of the American Library Association.
This review was printed in the United for Libraries September/October Newsletter, "The Voice"!
A neglected horse, a teen runaway, a spoiled, rich girl, divorced and remarried parents, and even horse rustlers bring a myriad of complications to 15-year-old Finny’s life in California.
She works at Silver Spur Stables to earn riding lessons and dreams of having her own horse. When she rescues Sky from a sad situation, it seems as if her dream is coming true. Sky, however, proves to be a difficult horse. Finny finds help in unexpected places, especially with Joe, a homeless teen who turns out to be a true horse whisperer.
In this tale, the good guys finish first and the villains eventually pay for their bad acts. Finny is a likable character with a caring heart and tremendous resilience.
There is a good variety of supporting characters and Sky provides many interesting moments as he stymies and amazes the humans with his raw talent and quirky personality. There are enough plot twists, from horse stealing to budding romance, to keep things moving quickly to a satisfying end.
–Carol Schene, formerly at Taunton Public Schools, MA
“Finny and the Boy from Horse Mountain is an exciting and touching read for horse lovers of any age. It's a story of young love, excitement, and, of course, the love and devotion to animals that brings together so many people. Finny and Joe, along with Sky, the horse, are the perfect characters to tell a story that will captivate you from page one. The perfect mix of the 'wild west' side of horses and the competitive world of show jumping, this is a must read for any horse lover.”
(Georgina Bloomberg , author of the A Circuit series of novels, and top competitor in the international world of show jumping)
“Finny is a great heroine, smart, sweet and determined. When she sets out to rescue the badly neglected, half-wild horse Sky there’s no one to help her until she meets runaway teen Joe. Their story is both beautifully observed and heart-warming as they battle against all odds to get their own lives on track and complete the glorious Sky’s transformation.”
(Jenny Hughes, author of twenty-one best selling horse novels, worldwide)
“Love it! This book beautifully represents the special bond between the horse and rider. It demonstrates that with hard work and persistence you can reach your goals. Add a first love to the mix and you have a great story!”
(Kilian McGrath, FEI North American Young Rider Gold Medalist)
This review was printed in the School Library Journal!