Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Nineteen-year-old Martha Lessen leaves home by herself in order to make a living breaking horses. She doesn't get far from home when she finds new family--the owners of the horses she breaks. She sets up a circle--two horses per ranch that she works with, and she travels the circuit, gently training horses to stand still in barbed wire, take children in their saddle, and just be overall darn good horses. Martha is quiet, shy, and unsure of herself around people, and her bumbling is adorable. She isn't sure what do around affection and sarcasm because her family life was rough and mean.
My words aren't doing justice to this quiet read. It's just a sweetheart of a novel about farm life at the bring of World War I and trying to make it as female on your own in a man's world. So, so good.
And, yes. I like horse books. I've reviewed mysteries like Tami Hoag's Dark Horse and years ago I read all of Dick Francis's jockey mysteries, the Misty books, and scores of other horsey kid books!
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
This has been compared to David Small's Stitiches (there's even an endorsement from Small on the book), but I just didn't see the comparison other than that it's a graphic novel and a memoir.
This book is a 2013 Alex Award Winner and I can see the teen appeal. I also understand how committees want to have a wide range of genres present on the list. But I wouldn't have fought to keep this one on it. I know, I know--I'm in the minority here because it won so many awards and has received praise from tons of people, including many of my friends. But I just didn't see what the fuss was all about.