Title: Sheltie Races On
Author: Peter Clover
Pages: 87
Reading Level: 7-9
Star Rating: ★★★

Yes, this is a horse story. Yes, I purchased it on my own initiative. And strangely enough, I enjoyed it.

The Story.

Emma loves her Shetland pony. She loves brushing him, she loves training him, and most especially, she loves riding him! And although she’s dreamed of racing him in competitions, she never imagined that it would actually happen! And here she’s been invited to team Sheltie up with Carrie Palmer’s pony, Topper to race in the County Show! Of course, she won’t actually drive in the race, just help with the training, but still! How fun!

But when Carrie accidently breaks her arm just before the race, it seems that Emma will have to be the one in the spotlight. Can she stand the pressure? And will Sheltie and Topper behave long enough to win the race?

Discussion.

I was really quite impressed by how sweet this story is. I mean, it’s total fluff and practically pointless, but it was sweet fluff. Emma has a happy joyful spirit and she enjoys close relationships with her family members. When given the opportunity to participate in the race, Emma’s first action is to request permission of her mother. She also maintains a very sweet relationship with her little brother with whom she initiates playtimes. They often laugh together and comfort each other.

That said, the characters are entirely one-dimensional. Emma is sweet and only sweet. Carrie is sweet and only sweet. Their opponent is mean and only mean. He demonstrates his meanness by sneering at her and accusing her of theft. Because he is obviously evil and is punished at the end, I didn’t find his behavior disturbing.

The only theme that bothers me comes in late in the story. While Emma is feeling nervous, a woman points out a statue of Queen Boadicea and praises her for her bravery and fighting spirit. In an attempt to feel more courageous herself, Emma begins pretending that she is Queen Boadicea.

Conclusion. Like I said, a bit fluffy, but entirely sweet.

Review © 2013 Laura Verret

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