Project Description



by Chris Platt

Horses are Lily’s life—just like they’d been her mother’s. But will her overprotective father stop her from fulfilling her—and her mother’s—dreams?

Thirteen-year-old Lily O’Neil’s passion is Arabian horses. Someday she wants to be a great endurance rider like her mother. But a year earlier, after a freak riding accident took her mother s life, Lily’s father sold his daughter’s beloved pony and forbade her to ride ever again.

When Lily’s grandmother comes to live with them, however, she convinces Mr. O’Neil to let Lily clean stalls on the neighboring Arabian ranch, a place her mother had worked—and loved. Lily is ecstatic, especially since she’ll be near her mother’s favorite horse, Astra. Lily’s mother had always believed that Astra had the talent to become a national champion. Her goal was to ride her in the famous Tevis Cup Endurance Race, the toughest horse race in America.

But when Astra falls ill because of the negligence of her new rider, Lily must fight to save the life of her mother’s beloved mare. Will Astra ever race again?

Author Chris Platt, a former jockey, has written a dramatic, memorable story of a young girl’s fierce determination in the face of enormous odds. The story features plenty of horse-filled action scenes. Information about Arabian horses, endurance racing, and horse behavior is presented throughout the text, which is sure to delight equine enthusiasts.

Hardcover: $15.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-541-6
Total Pages: 176
Size: 6 x 8 1/2
Language: English
Accelerated Reader
AR Quiz#: 139092
AR Reading Level: 4.8
AR Points: 6

F&P (Fountas & Pinnell)
F&P Level: R
F&P Grade: 4

Reading Counts
Reading Counts Level: 4.5
Reading Counts Points: 11
Reading Counts Interest Level: 3-5


“…An inspirational story of love, loss, and high hopes shines through in this realistic fiction novel. Recommended.” ―Library Media Connection

“…Filled with information about endurance racing as well as a cast of interesting supporting characters, this novel is a quick and enjoyable read…” ―School Library Journal

“…echoes beloved classics such as Enid Bagnold’s National Velvet.” ―Booklist

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“…Astra is a compelling story with details about the care and keep of horses that will interest anyone who loves animals. Platt knows her horse facts and can tell a good tale…Themes of friendship, competition, and love drive the action with a well-thought-out plot line and likeable characters. I highly recommend Astra as a great read…” ―Scholastic Kids Press Corps

“…Who says no one is writing good new books about horse adventures for pre-teens anymore? ‘Astra’ comes to the rescue of all horse-crazy tweens…” ―Midwest Book Review

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Meet the Author

Chris Platt, one of the first female jockeys in Oregon, is the author of more than a dozen books for young readers, including the popular horse novels Willow King, its sequel Race the Wind, and many titles in the Thoroughbred series. She lives in Nevada.