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Spirit Riding Free: The Adventure Begins

Review

Spirit Riding Free: The Adventure Begins

As a longtime fan of Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, I was delighted to learn that Spirit was being reimagined for young readers with the release of SPIRIT RIDING FREE by Suzanne Selfors. Based on the new original Netflix series of the same name, this book introduces readers to Lucky, a young girl who travels to the Wild West for her father’s job and learns that there is more to being brave and standing out than she ever knew.

Twelve-year-old Lucky Prescott is not the best example of a reputable young lady. Although she loves reading, Lucky is more interested in wild adventures and daydreams than the correct etiquette for tea or arriving places on time. Although she adores her best friend and the exciting books they share, Lucky craves the sort of adventure she has only ever read about.

"SPIRIT RIDING FREE is a lovely, timeless read. With the perfect amounts of history, adventure and heartfelt emotions, it is a terrific reimagining of the horse we first met in Spirit."

When Lucky’s beloved father is tasked with moving west to oversee the family business, Lucky is horrified at the prospect of staying behind with strict Aunt Cora. With a little luck, however, she is allowed to travel with her father. As they set out to leave, however, they are shocked when stuffy Aunt Cora joins them with her best luggage in tow.

The train ride west is perhaps not as exciting as Lucky might have dreamed, but when she sees a majestic wild stallion running alongside the train, she begins to hope that this really will be a new beginning for her. However, the stallion is soon captured by wranglers, breaking Lucky’s heart; she knows what it is like to be cooped up and chained when all you want is to run free.

When the Prescotts arrive in Miradero, Lucky is more nervous than she anticipated. Will she make friends? Will she learn to ride a horse? How will she ever fit in? Of course, Lucky is not the only new visitor in town: she soon sees the wild stallion tied to a post, preparing to be “broken in.” As Lucky navigates the ins and outs of small-town and tries to understand her powerful connection with the wild stallion, drama and terrible choices force Lucky and the horse she names Spirit to band together to save the day.

As a booklover and dreamer myself, I adored Lucky. She was spunky and smart but often held back because of her wild ideas. When she finally found a kindred spirit in the horse, Spirit, it became clear that Lucky is destined for far more than just being a respectable lady. SPIRIT RIDING FREE is a lovely, timeless read. With the perfect amounts of history, adventure and heartfelt emotions, it is a terrific reimagining of the horse we first met in Spirit. Although I have not yet watched the Netflix adaptation, I am eagerly looking forward to the next installment in the book series, where I hope we learn more about Lucky’s mysterious mother and see a new side of Aunt Cora.

Reviewed by Rebecca Munro on May 22, 2017

Spirit Riding Free: The Adventure Begins
by Suzanne Selfors