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Red River Stallion


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A stirring adventure quest perfect for horse-mad girls

About the Author

Born in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, Canada, Troon was raised mainly in Cornwall, England. Returning to Canada, she spent ten years on the west coast before moving to Ontario where she completed studies in sociology, English literature and primary education. Troon has written many books for children and teens in a range of genres, including historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy and contemporary fiction. Red River Stallion is her second book for Bloomsbury.


Harrison's tale of a 14-year-old Native American girl's search for her father on the North American frontier after her mother dies is beautifully written, at times reminiscent of Scott O'Dell. Orphans Amelia Otterchild Mackenzie and her younger half-sister, Charlotte, have barely survived a recent famine that plagued their Cree tribe, which lives near the Hudson Bay. When Amelia connects with Foxfire-a magnificent red stallion traveling with his English owner, Orchid Spencer, to the Red River Valley-Amelia knows it is her destiny to join them on this trip and find her father. The journey and the overall story are slow, with great detail given to the time period, the land, and the horses; Amelia's (and Harrison's) affection for the animals is evident on every page. As a heroine, Amelia is determined, loyal, proud, and protective. For readers who enjoy being transported back in time and appreciate the careful way that Harrison (The Horse Road) lays out each scene (as well as those who are as fond of horses as Harrison is) Amelia's journey will be a delight. Ages 8-12. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Gr 5-8-When 14-year-old Amelia Otterchild Mackenzie is orphaned, she and her younger half sister, Charlotte, are taken in by her mother's ailing tribe, the Swampy Cree of the Hudson Bay area. Her Scottish father left the family for the Red River Valley years earlier but never returned. When a beautiful and mysterious horse washes ashore, saving Amelia's life, she recognizes him as her pawakan, or spirit guide. The horse, a red Norfolk stallion named Foxfire, belongs to Orchid, a proper young British woman who is taking the horse as dowry to her new husband in the Red River Valley. Believing this to be an omen, Amelia is determined to accompany the horse and search for her father. Despite strong cultural differences, Amelia and Orchid learn from each other and form a common bond in caring for Foxfire during the long, harsh journey. Amelia is strong and likable, her native knowledge and perspective interesting and fresh. Historical detail is plentiful almost to the point of slowing down the story at times, but the language is beautiful and accomplished, making this novel of discovery and survival an enjoyable and authentic read. With plenty of equestrian-infused drama and a satisfying conclusion, it won't disappoint strong readers of historical fiction and horse lovers.-Madeline J. Bryant, Los Angeles Public Library (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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