Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Eager Star

Eager Star
Series: Winnie The Horse Gentler (2)
Dandi Daley Mackall
2002, Tyndale House

"I'll bridle him," Grant said, studying the lighter bit. He grabbed Star's ear, then thrust the bit at him. Star jerked his head up. Before I could stop him, Grant slapped his horse on the cheek.

"Quit it!" I cried, jerking the bridle out of Grant's hands. "You can't punish Star because you don't know how to put on a bridle!" My heart pounded. God? Take my anger...again! Please!

Series info - Winnie Willis tackles her second and third project horses after turning Wild Thing into Nickers in the first book in series.

Winnie's family settled in Ohio after her widowed father moved them around for a few years. She wants to follow in her mother's footsteps and become a gentle horse trainer, and has had one success with a wild Arabian mare. Now she's set on training her friend's Appaloosa and a classmate's barrel racing gelding. But can her gentle methods overcome the demanding, rough ways of Eager Star's owner?

This Christian novel balances the heroine's religious beliefs with the secular plots, and the heroine's attempts to apply equine behaviorism to the other kids in her new school are endearing. The author does a credible job of putting training and handling information into the plot in a natural way, although I'm sure others might debate her information. There is a glossary of horse terms, a guide to horse body language and a conformation chart at the end of the book, all very useful and interesting. It's a better series book, but it's still clearly a series book. The writing is competent but not strong, the plot involving but never urgent, and secondary characters are stock - the wacky pal, the hot ethnic pal, the distant father.

Nickers - grey Arabian mare
Towaco - Appaloosa mare
Bad Boy/Eager Star - bay gelding with star

Other books in Winnie series
Wild Thing
Bold Beauty
Midnight Mystery
Unhappy Appy
Gift Horse
Friendly Foal
Buckskin Bandit

Other horse books - the Horsefeathers! series
Horse Cents!
Horse Whispers In The Air
A Horse Of A Different Color
All The King's Horses
Horse Angel
Home Is Where Your Horse Is
A Horsefeather's Mystery

Starlight Animal Rescue series
Mad Dog
Wild Cat
Dark Horse

Other Books - nonfiction
Horse Files: A Horse Lover's Guide

Author information
A prolific professional writer who lives in Ohio, Daley Mackall has written fiction and nonfiction for children, teens and adults. Horsefeathers! is another equine series, while Starlight Animal Rescue features characters from the Winnie series.

Author Website

For another view of the Winnie series, see the blog Books, Mud and Compost

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