I am so excited to be a part of this awesome tour. Middle grade is such a fun genre, and I adored this book immensely. A huge thank you to TBR and Beyond Tours for graciously hosting this tour and NetGalley and the publisher for the widget to read this book! There are so many people on this great tour, and you can see all stops right here.
The Line Tender meets The Secret Horses of Briar Hillin this hopeful, heartfelt story about one girl’s search for legendary horses and her quest to piece her family back together.
Twelve-year-old Claire Barton doesn’t like the “flutter feeling” that fills her chest when she worries about the future, but she knows what she loves: the land that’s been in her family for three generations; her best friend Maya; her family’s horses, Sunny and Sam; and her older
brother Andy. That’s why, with Andy recently sent to rehab after a DUI, and her parents planning to sell the horses, Claire’s world feels like it might flutter to pieces.
When Claire learns about equine therapy, she imagines a less lonely future that keeps her family together, brother and horses included. But, when she finds mysterious wild horses in the woods behind her house, she realizes she has a bit more company than she bargained for. With this new secret-and a little bit of luck-Claire will discover the beauty of change, the power of family, and the strength within herself.
This story was so awesome. I don’t think I have enjoyed a middle grade so much in awhile if I am being totally honest. Books like this are so important these days. Claire is dealing with anxiety in her life after her brother is sent to rehab for his addiction to opioids. She is adjusting to life with him being gone and wondering how she is going to also deal with the horses of her family farm being sold. She has a lot of big feelings, and they are hard to deal with.
I thought this book was well done, and it deals with strong topics. However, books like this need to be shared and read because this is a reality now. There are scenes where Claire attends a support group, and she learns to deal with her feelings. She also grows to understand addiction is a tricky thing, and she grows up somewhat throughout the story. I love her dedication to the horses and wanting to find the truth about the wild horses she sees. I just think this book is just really important with the way the world is now, and I hope many middle grade students will read it. I would definitely put this in a middle school library.
4 stars ⭐️
Sarah R. Baughman is an author whose debut middle grade novel, THE LIGHT IN THE LAKE, is forthcoming from Little, Brown Books For Young Readers in 2019. A former middle and high school English teacher currently working as an educational consultant, Sarah graduated from Grinnell College and the University of Michigan, where she studied English, German, and Education. Sarah is represented by Katie Grimm at Don Congdon Associates. When she’s not writing, she’s probably reading, running, or getting outdoors with her family.