Title: Foals in the FieldFoals in the Field
Author: Ben M. Baglio
Pages: 133
Reading Level: 9-12
Star Rating: ★★★

Animal Ark.

The Story.

Mandy and James are so excited for their friend, Nick Summers. A lover of horses, Nick is trying to fix up his family home, Drysdale Farm, so that he can stable and breed horses there. However, before his father will allow him definite ownership of the property, Nick must prove that he can capably handle and profit from the business.

When Nick’s mare, Bessie goes into pre-mature labor and a massive storm rocks Wexford, it seems impossible for Nick to prove himself to his father. Can Mandy and James think of a way out?

Discussion.

The relationships are, as always, fairly positive. Mandy and James get along, they get along with their parents, and they exhibit an unselfish willingness to help Nick out on his building projects. Mrs. Ponsonby is, as always, the butt of some mockery (from adults as well as the kids), but in the end she demonstrates a surprising amount of investment in the community.

The only troubling part of the story is when Mandy decides that she needs to talk with Nick’s father in order to learn why he doesn’t like horses and to advocate Nick’s cause. She doesn’t ask her parents’ permission and even lies in order to travel to York and speak with him. She talks James into lying for her as well, although he is very unwilling. They are quickly caught out and are both ashamed of themselves. Later, when Mandy has another “brilliant” idea, she clears it with her parents before going forward with it. (Ironically, this one involves trickery, too.)

Bessie gives birth to two ponies, one of whom dies in an accident. This scene is sad.

Conclusion. Alright as filler fiction.

Review © 2014 Laura Verret

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