Hapka, Catherine. Maddie's Dream (Ponies of Chincoteague)
July 8th 2014
Maddie is part of an on line message board consisting of four tweens who all are interested in Chincoteague ponies. Maddie is the only girl who does not own her pony, but she rides Cloudy at Ms. Emerson's stable. When the family who sold Cloudy to the stables, the Richardsons, are interested in buying Cloudy back, Maddie is concerned not only that she won't be able to ride her beloved pony, but also about Cloudy's welfare, since the Richardson's did not train Cloudy well. Maddie tries several different ways to convince the Richardsons that Cloudy is not a good horse, but this only angers Ms. Emerson. In the end, Maddie is able to continue to visit Cloudy as well as keep up with her other love, soccer.
Strengths: There have been a lot of girls interested in horses in the last few years, and this book is the perfect length. The fact that it is part of a series makes it even better. Definitely purchasing. Hapka clearly knows horse stuff, and perhaps these will encourage readers to pick up Marguerite Henry's books.
Weaknesses: I thought I had started with the second book in the series; the first part of the book doesn't explain the message board that well, but the other books cover different girls who are involved in this. Not great literature, but will be popular with the readers of Angela Darling or the new Carolyn Keene Nancy Drew books.
Blue Ribbon Summer is book two, and there are at least two more planned for later this fall.