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Maddie's Dream

Review

Maddie's Dream

Horse lovers and those just meeting the appealing animals will enjoy Maddie and her friends in this smart, engaging read, the first in a new series.Maddie’s family teases her because she gets passionate about a hobby and then drops it when she finds a new one, like she did with judo. But she knows riding is different. She never minds tacking up the equipment before riding or grooming the horses, especially the beautiful Cloudy. She’s been waiting a year to go on the Snack and Swim ride with Cloudy. A year ago, neither the pony nor the new rider was ready, but the stable owner said they could go together for the event this year. Maddie can’t wait to ride the pony --- who looks just like the famous Misty of Chincoteague --- into the water for the event.

In between riding lessons, Maddie plays for the Pelicans. With a military mother, her family had to move several times and she has been on several teams. But this is the first time she’s been asked to try out for a travel team. Her family is excited about the opportunity, but Maddie does not want to take away from her riding time.

Horse lovers and those just meeting the appealing animals will enjoy Maddie and her friends in this smart, engaging read

The Richardsons, who originally purchased Cloudy at the Chincoteague auction and had to give her to the stable because of the animal’s spoiled behavior, now wants her back. Solano stables has spent time and worked with riders like Maddie to help ease the horse’s temperament and teach her consistent behaviors. After watching Amber Richardson handle Cloudy badly, Maddie can’t believe the family really is ready to take care of the pony again. She is determined to stop the process, even if it means buying the horse herself!

Maddie and three other girls started the Pony Post, an online site where they can talk about their Chincoteague ponies. They are all over the country, with Maddie being in California. At first, Maddie is afraid to tell them that Cloudy may be sold, thinking she’d have no more connection to the girls, but they badger her into telling them what is bothering her. Then they help her brainstorm ways to earn money. In between soccer and riding, Maddie does as many odd jobs as she can, but she still can’t raise enough.

As she and her friends work to solve this conflict, the details of riding and life in the stable will make readers want to go horseback riding themselves, especially the section on the Snack and Swim. Many may also want to pick up Marguerite Henry’s original Chincoteague classic horse stories. Maddie and her family are realistic as she feels pulled in several directions by different interests. Even if readers aren’t into riding, they will relate to the busy life Maddie leads and her struggle to keep up with her friends and sports. The stories of the other Pony Pals are no doubt coming next in this smart series.

Reviewed by Amy Alessio on July 9, 2014

Maddie's Dream
(Marguerite Henry's Ponies of Chincoteague #1)
by Catherine Hapka

  • Publication Date: July 8, 2014
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Aladdin
  • ISBN-10: 1481403362
  • ISBN-13: 9781481403368