Friday, October 7, 2011

Horse Dreams - Dandi Daley Mackall


"Meet Ellie James, a fourth grader with a great imagination.  Ellie spends a lot of time daydreaming about owning a black stallion show horse and winning trophies in the horse show.  But when the answer to all her dreams and prayers gallops into her life, will Ellie be able to recognize it?" (Back cover excerpt)

This is the first book by Dandi Daley Mackall I have read, even though she has many on the market.  This new series, Backyard Horses, is written for ages 9-12, but even as an adult, I thoroughly enjoyed this first book!  

After reading the first few pages, you are quickly drawn in to Ellie's life of horses, and the life of her family.  From her quirky mom, to her deaf brother Ethan, even her ad/jingle singing dad, there is much a young tween can learn from this book...
  •  I love how the title of each chapter is also displayed in sign language, so the reader can learn the alphabet signs while reading this book.  There is a page at the end of the book that displays each sign for the entire alphabet.
  • My all-time favorite aspect?  The subtle way the author "sneaks' in God and Christianity into the writing.  I love how Ellie is not afraid to ask God for different things in her prayers, and to even admit that she may not talk to Him as much as she should during the daytime hours.  
  • There are many life lessons throughout this book that are great for youngsters to learn...especially this one:  It was right there all the time.  You may spend your whole life looking/longing for something, not realizing, that it was right in front of you the the whole time, you had it all along, but you just didn't realize it!
I checked online, and book 2, Cowboy Colt, is now available!  Books 3 and 4 are coming out spring 2012!  Now, if my girls could just get home from school, I could start reading them this book and embark on a great new series with them!

I give this book 5 Stars!

**I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my thoughts on this book. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.**

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