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Excerpt

Star Gazer

by Chris Platt

A spirited young girl’s determination and affection turns a lame horse into a rising competitor.

Jordan Mckenzie has just moved to rural Michigan, where she loves to watch the strong, tall Belgian draft horses at work on the nearby Amish and Mennonite farms. When Jordan and her new friend Jacob attend the local livestock auction, she sees one of these beautiful drafts about to be sold to the packers. Without her mom’s permission, she spends all her money to save the lame mare, determined to restore her to health and enter her in a log pulling contest at the upcoming state fair.

But Jordan knows very little about draft horses and even less about log pulling. She’s in trouble with her mom, and the local kids are making fun of her decision. With the help of Jacob, Jordan slowly learns to drive a team. With the state fair just around the corner, will Jordan be ready to compete? And will winning prove that she and Star Gazer really do belong?

Chris Platt, a former jockey, has written a dramatic and moving story highlighting the bond between a girl and her horse. Featuring plenty of horse-filled action scenes and information about horse care and horse behavior, Star Gazer is sure to delight equine enthusiasts.

Format: Hardcover
Price: $14.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-596-6
Publication Date: 9/1/2011
Page Count: 144
Size: 6 ̎ x 8-1/2 ̎
Age Range: 8 – 12
Language: English
AR Level: 5.0
GRL: T, Gr 5
Lexile: 760L
Themes: Hard Work, Horse Care and Training, Patience, Sacrifice
BISAC 1: JUV002130 JUVENILE FICTION / Animals / Horses
BISAC 2: JUV032090 JUVENILE FICTION / Sports & Recreation / Equestrian
BISAC 3: JUV039220 JUVENILE FICTION / Social Issues / Values & Virtues

Reviews

“Draft horses are underrepresented in literature, and Jordan’s ignorance offers plenty of scope for educating readers too. The Mennonite characters who help Jordan are interesting…the story moves at a steady clip.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“A lovely story about a young girl and the enormous (literally and figuratively) responsibility she take on in the form of a lame Percheron mare.” ―Night Owl Reviews

Awards

Parents’ Choice Approved Award ―Parents’ Choice Foundation, 2011

Kansas State Reading Circle Recommended Reading List (Middle School / Junior High) ―Kansas National Education Association, 2012

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.