A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Readers will learn about horse racing and Brazilian culture.
Themes of courage, resilency, family bonds, and kindness to animals.
Positive Role Models
Not really a wild or difficult girl by any standard, the main character, Livie, shows courage and resiliency when she travels alone. Although she runs away from the school the first day, she asks for help. Livie's respectful efforts to communicate with her somewhat distant father are reciprocated and rewarded; her patience and empathy for people and animals show results.The adult characters are overwhelmingly positive role models.
Violence & Scariness
A horse falls during a race; a young horse is taken away from its mother when it is sold. A mention that Livie's mother died when she was 7 years old.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that a few sad moments won’t ruin this book for girls who love horse stories. Livie's mother died when she was 7; a horse falls during a race; a young horse is taken away from its mother when it is sold. Moments of growth become moments of grace; when Livie runs away from school her first day, she knows how to best ask for help, and a scary situation resolves reassuringly without encouraging similar behavior.
Is It Any Good?
This is a strong, sweet story about an immigrant family building a new life, but keeping strong ties to their life in Brazil. It features a great main character who is brave and empathetic, unusual details about the world of horse racing and training, and positive role models both young and old. Some sad but realistic events keep the story from being predictable and saccharine.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.