Tuesday, 5 April 2016

#BookReview - Blue Ribbons by Kim Ablon Whitney’s @kimablonwhitney

I had the very great pleasure of reviewing Blue Ribbons by YA author, Kim Ablon Whitney.

 Let's take a look at the book...


Regan Sternlicht has always had the best ponies on the 'A' Circuit. So it’s no surprise when her mother wants to buy Woodland’s Tried and True as her next medium pony hunter.

But what if Regan doesn’t want another fancy pony to add to her string? What if she wants to be more like her friends at the farm: Hailey, who has only one pony, and Jane, who brings along her father’s project ponies.

Regan has decided what you want doesn’t really matter when your mom is in remission from cancer. Join the three girls for a summer, culminating in the USEF Pony Finals, where they will make decisions and face challenges inside and outside of the show ring that will change their lives and their friendship forever. 

 ***

What did I think of the book?  
 
Regan's mother has it all planed out. She is going to buy Regan the best pony on the circuit. It is going to be a great summer.

Regan seemingly has it all. She comes from a privileged and wealthy family. There are private aeroplanes, fancy cars and of course, expensive competition ponies.

However Regan has a problem...she does not want the pony her mum has just bought her. Yes, he may well be every girls dream. She will, without a shadow of a doubt, go on to win many ribbons with him. Then why is it, that every times she looks at him, all she could think about is her mother...her dying mother?

There are many wonderful Middle Grade pony books out there, but this one, I felt, was a little bit special. It not only immerses you in the competitive pony world, but it also explores the complex relationship between Regan and her mother. At times it is heart-breaking, as Regan watches her mother's health deteriorate, to the extent where she begins to show signs of dementia.

This book is just as much a journey about Regan coping with her mother’s illness as well as being a great pony story. Regan is a very likable character; she pretends to love her new pony for the sake of her mother.

 What I loved about this book was that it turned the usual 'pony story,' on its head. Usually it is the rich kid that is portrayed as 'spoilt' and having everything done for her, with, lets not forget, the pushy mother. Although, Regan's mother is a little like this at the beginning, Regan does not play to form. Yes, she has a groom, but she is more than happy to muck in. What she really wants is a horse she can work with, not one that could make even the most untalented of riders look good.

I thought Blue Ribbons was an outstanding novel. I would highly recommend.


Where Can I Buy This Fabulous Book?

About the author.
I live in Newton, Massachusetts with my husband, three kids, and my hound/lab rescue dog, Macie. 

In addition to writing fiction, I’ve written for many horse magazines, including The Chronicle of the Horse and Practical Horseman.  I’ve covered the World Cup Finals and lots of other big events.  I also do freelance PR writing and communications work.  I am a member of the PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Children’s Book Discovery Award Committee.

I am a USEF ‘R’ judge in hunters, equitation, and jumpers.  I’ve judged the Washington International Horse Show Junior Equitation Finals, the Capital Challenge, the Winter Equestrian Festival, Lake Placid, the Vermont Summer Festival, and lots more big shows.  I also enjoy judging one-day local shows, local medal finals, IEA, and IHSA shows.

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