Sunday, June 30, 2013

Catch Rider

Catch RiderLyne, Jennifer H. Catch Rider
4 June 2013, Clarion Books
E ARC from Netgalley.com

Sid has a hard life. Her father is dead, her mother is dysfunctional, and her mother's boyfriend is not a nice guy. Her uncle Wayne is the most supportive adult in her life, so when he suggests that she come work with him at the riding stable that employs him, she agrees. Unfortunately, a lot of the snotty girls that go to her school work through this stable, and are not nice to Sid at all. She tries not to let this hold her back-- school is not her favorite thing, and she really hopes that she can use her training and skills to become a "catch rider"; someone hired to ride people's horses in shows so that the horses look good and win. With Wayne's help, can she make this dream come true?
Strengths: Lots of details about the care and maintenance of horses, although with information about how they are shown. I don't know anything about how the rich in Virginia go about showing horses, but the drama between Sid and the other girls adds considerable interest (here in Ohio, teens who have horses seem to do a lot more of their own work, at least from what I've seen). Clearly, Lyne writes what she knows, and this book will be a huge hit with girls who are interested in horses.
Weaknesses: This was a bit coarse, and the girls I've had who liked horse books have been a bit on the naive side. It wasn't bad (chickensh**, etc.), but the language did give me pause.

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