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A horse for Angel (Republished as: A hundred…
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A horse for Angel (Republished as: A hundred horses)

by Sarah Lean

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Nell spends the summer with relatives she barely knows. Although she feared a boring summer on a farm, she meets Angel, a mysterious and kind of wild girl. Nell has much to learn about herself and about who Angel really is. ( )
  pataustin | Sep 10, 2014 |
Nell goes to stay with relatives on their farm for the school holidays and there she discovers a herd of horses, a mysterious girl named Angel, and learns about herself, her family, and growing up.

That's a really blah summary but, boiled down to essentials, this is a book that has been written many, many times before. Overscheduled girl who doesn't feel like her mom notices/loves her? Check. Conflicts with dead/divorced parent? Check. Goes to stay with slightly crazy relatives in the country? Check. Meets eccentric neighbor girl who veers from wild to magical? Check.

Ultimately though, there's nothing wrong with that. Middle grade thrives on repetition as much as the "read it again!" picture book crowd or the Magic Treehouse addicts. The unique, the unusual, the completely new (assuming anything really is that unique) is more than likely just going to sit on your shelf.

Does the author capture the feelings and thoughts of an eleven year old girl? Yes. Is her writing magical and her story both heartwarming and true? Yes. Does it have elements that the average reader of this genre will enjoy (horses, friendship, family difficulties...)? Yes.

That makes it a good book, even if it's nothing ground-breaking or unusual.

Verdict: If you've got a really tight budget, this isn't the first title I'd recommend, but if you have space for some additional purchases, definitely add this story. It's a great example of its genre and is sure to gather enthusiastic readers.

ISBN: 9780062122292; Published 2014 by Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins; Borrowed from another library in my consortium; Added to the library's wishlist
  JeanLittleLibrary | May 11, 2014 |
Eleven-year-old Nell has a very busy schedule during the school year with all her after school activities. There's drama club, math tutor, and swimming club to start. When she gets home, it seems like her mother is always working or on the phone or focused on something else. Nell was looking forward to spending her two weeks of Spring Break with her Nana just playing cards, talking, watching videos and tv. But a medical emergency causes a change of plan and Nell readies herself to spend her weeks with relatives she's never met: Aunt Liv and her two young children on a farm.

When Nell packs her bags, she comes across the carousel of metal horses that her father had made. It's the only thing that she has left of him. Her mother had removed all traces of him after he abandoned them. Nell wants to put the carousel together again and worries that her mother might discover this last trace of her father. She hides the carousel with her bag and brings it to Aunt Liv's.

Nell's not excited to spend the next weeks with chickens, geese, pigs, horses, cats, five-year-old Gem and seven-year-old Alfie. But Gem and Alfie are so happy to have her with them, introducing her to the animals, baking her cupcakes, showing her all their favorite places. She's the Big Sister-Cousin to them and she loves them back.

Nell encounters eleven-year-old Angel and is warned against her. Regarded as a troublemaker and living in the woods, Angel is associated with all sorts of disappearing animals and property. Angel seems surly, hostile, but there's something about her that reminds Nell of herself. Nell learns about Angel and where she stays from her young cousins. Nell searches for Angel and when she does find her, she follows her clues, and slowly makes friends.

Angel forces Nell to take risks and keep secrets. But their friendship brings the girls unexpected gifts and an adventure that changes their lives.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Nell and her adventures with her young cousins and Angel. A Hundred Horses is a story of hope, adventure and finding one's way. It drew me in from the start and I'm very much looking forward to sharing the story with my six-year-old niece.

Age Range: 8 - 12 years
Grade Level: 3 - 7
ISBN-10: 0062122290 - Hardcover $16.99
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (January 7, 2014), 224 pages.
Review copy courtesy of the publisher. ( )
  gaby317 | Mar 23, 2014 |
This novel is like a human being: rough in a few places, but smooth and shining overall. Rough in that occasionally the writing seems forced and stilted. Shining in that most of the novel is lyrical and flowing. Nell and Angel are both rough and shining, too; their growth through the story is beautiful to experience. A Hundred Horses also features strong elder-youth relationships, and of course, horse-human bonds. This latter is where the story shines most brightly. It was a pleasure to ride along with Nell and Angel, Aunt Liv, Alfie and Gem, Rita, Belle and Luna. ( )
  bookwren | Jan 30, 2014 |
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Epigraph
Dedication
For Mum
First words
Mom was late picking me up from drama club again.
Quotations
I watched Belle shift to lean against one leg, watched her test where she moved her hoof so she wouldn't stand on Angel's foot. Angel moved slightly. Neither of them watched her own feet. It was magic. Just them shifting their feet so each could stand where she needed to. (p. 108-9):
Chapter Twenty-Three: all of it is like a fairy tale
"People are mostly scared of themselves," Angel said. "They get scared of their own brilliance."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
A Hundred Horses "First published by HarperCollins in the U.K. in 2013 under the title A Horse for Angel." (Source).
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
What would you do to protect your secrets? Nell has packed her emotions away in a suitcase. But after a frightening encounter with a horse the case is stolen. Staying in the country with family she's never met before, Nell is drawn to a mysteriously wild, troubled girl. Angel has a strange affinity with horses and dark secrets she's unwilling to share. Secrets that she'll do anything to protect. But Nell and Angel will discover that to care for the things they love the most they must trust each other, to save a hundred horses...
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062122290, Hardcover)

From the author of A Dog Called Homeless, winner of the Schneider Family Book Award, comes another gentle novel with a touch of magic about the power of friendship and the truth of belonging.

Nell isn't happy about spending her vacation on a farm, but when she meets a half-wild and mysterious girl named Angel, the two girls are tied in an adventure that may help Nell discover something special about herself—and the most special of a hundred horses.

Girls and horses are a classic pairing, and fans of favorites such as My Friend Flicka and Misty of Chincoteague are sure to love the heartwarming friendship story and adorable—magical—animals in A Hundred Horses.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:24 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Eleven-year-old Nell must spend spring break in the country with an aunt and cousins she has never met, but while there she meets a mysterious, wild girl with a strange connection to horses and an uncanny understanding of Nell.

» see all 2 descriptions

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