Friday, February 20, 2009

Horse Show Fever
Elizabeth Harrover Johnson, il. Charles W. Walker
1962, Ives Washburn Inc.

Six months after his mother's death and his father's withdrawal into work, young Hugh has had enough. Sent off to camp for the summer, he promptly runs away and finds himself working on a horse farm near Princeton, N.J. Initially amused by the students who take lessons with gruff old Colonel Watson, he soon succumbs to the charm of both horses and showing.

This isn't the most dynamic or literate horse book, but it is interesting. The mentor figure, Colonel Watson, seems British in the whole Colonel thing, and is unusually complicated - kind to Hugh, who he takes in off the road and secretly helps a lot, and brusque to a student who's too nervous of him to learn anything. Of course, this last makes him a lot less likeable.

There is some practical information on stable management and riding. The illustrations are adequate.

Ginny - chestnut mare
Riley - black gelding
Rum Tum - bay mare

Princeton, NJ

Horse Show
Missing Daddy
My Parents Aren't So Bad, After All
I'm a TROUBLED teen (but not like, you know, on heroin)

Other Books
Christy Finds A Rider (1965) il. Sam Savitt
The Old Quarry Fox Hunt (1964)
The Pony That Didn't Grow (1963)
Almost Cousins (1961)
The Mysterious Trunk (1960)
The Several Secrets Of Will Monroe

About the Author
Johnson was born in Virginia but spent much of her life in Princeton, New Jersey. She died in 2007.

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