Believing in Horses, by Valerie Ormond

Click on cover image to purchase a copy

Click on cover image to purchase a copy

MWSA Review

Believing in Horses holds more than one lesson for readers. One held within the other. Sadie the focus of the story has to deal with and cope with her Dad’s deployment to Afghanistan, a difficult event for families in general, more so for children. The overarching story is one of change and how a young girl rises above hardship to help horses. 

Today far too much is in the media about how “kids” are just not responsible, to interested in themselves, music and cell phones. Sadie takes on a job that many adults would walk away from and many horse owners would run from and do. Overcoming the hardships, roadblocks, bad people and even good meaning people, she moves forward with her goal of helping horses.

There is a less publicized story of what happens to unwanted and poorly cared for pets. Ormond has spun a story that inspires. This is a book that all school age children should read and in light of the economic situation in this country shows what dedication and determination can accomplish. If a twelve year old can do this each of us could.  

Reviewed by: jim greenwald (2012)

Author's Synopsis

Horse-crazy Sadie Navarro moves for the sixth time to Bowie, Maryland, only to find out her Navy dad is deploying to Afghanistan for a year.  To ease the transition, Sadie's parents reward her with her dream of a lifetime, her own horse.  “Lucky,” her beautiful tri-color pinto, quickly becomes her best friend and equine learning partner.  Via the internet, Lucky and Sadie come across ten horses in a holding pen waiting to be sold at auction, and Sadie commits to saving them before harm comes to them.

With the help of her new teacher and classmates, a Maryland State Delegate, a local Washington TV reporter, a mounted policeman, her family and other colorful characters, she pursues her mission and faces unexpected roadblocks, some very dangerous for both her and her horse.  Sadie faces head-on the challenges experienced by military families and demonstrates how young people can act to bring about change if they believe in what they are doing.  In just a few short months, Sadie meets both good and bad people, and experiences joy, fear, disappointment, self-doubt, lost horses, and a level of responsibility she has never known before.