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This middle grade historical novel set during the Great Depression is a moving tale of the spirit of American persistence, found family, and the magical partnership between girl and horse. Bea wakes to Daddy’s note in a hayloft, where he abandoned her with her little sister after the stock market crash took everything: Daddy’s job at the bank, their home, Mama’s health and life. How is Bea supposed to convince the imposing Mrs. Scott to take in two stray children? Mrs. Scott’s money and Virginia farm are drying up in a drought and the Great Depression, too. She might have to sell her beautiful horses, starting with a dangerous chestnut that has caused tragedy in the past and injures her stableman shortly after Bea arrives. Bea understands the chestnut’s skittish distrust. She sees hope in the powerful jumper — if he can compete at horse shows, they might save the farm, and maybe Bea can even win a place in Mrs. Scott’s heart.

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Related themes

Animals, History