Joe and the Hidden Horseshoe by Victoria Eveleigh

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Joe and the Hidden Horseshoe by Victoria Eveleigh

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Buy Joe and the Hidden Horseshoe by Victoria Eveleigh at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A book about ponies which features a boy and it's the first in the series. We're hoping it will start a trend!
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 160 Date: May 2013
Publisher: Orion Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1444005912

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Joe did not want to move. Birmingham suited him just fine. It was where his friends were and his school - and he'd got life sorted quite nicely. But his father had got his dream job as head of a group of village primary schools and the family - Mum, Dad, Joe and his younger sister Emily - moved to a farmhouse in Devon. His Mum was determined that she and Emily would have ponies to ride and not being prone to thinking things through before acting it wasn't long before Lady and Lightning arrived in a horsebox. Mum should have made checks on the ponies before deciding to buy them and she should have been even more wary when the ponies were delivered with little ceremony. But she wasn't.

Most stories about horses and ponies feature girls and it's just about a year ago that author popped in to explain to us why this had to change. We've loved Eveleigh's stories about Katy and the herd of Exmoor ponies which lived on her farm and we've been excited about the promised series about Joe. So, how does this first book in the series stack up?

I like Joe. He's at that stage of doing his best, but not always getting things right. He can make bad decisions and he's not always completely truthful although it's always from the best of intentions, obviously. He likes boy things and he can get annoyed with his little sister (I was with him on that...) but his heart is in the right place and even if Emily is annoying he doesn't split on her when he might easily have done. There's a basic interest in matters equine, but it was good to see it gradually growing and his skills improving.

Eveleigh knows her animals and her countryside - she brings it all off the page beautifully. There's an added bonus of some delightful pencil drawings by her husband, Chris, which open each chapter.

The story suffers slightly from being the first in a series with quite a bit of setting up to do and there was perhaps a little too much explanation included, particularly about the problems which Lady and Lightning suffer from. If you're interested in horses and ponies then you'll see the relevance but otherwise this might be just a little over the top. It didn't stop me reading though and I wasn't going to put the book down until I found out what happened to the family and all the animals. I'm also looking forward to the next book in the series. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy of the book to the Bookbag.

Book about horse and ponies for boys are few and far between but we can recommend Chancey by Gigi Amateau which is in the tradition of Black Beauty but ending on a positive note.

Buy Joe and the Hidden Horseshoe by Victoria Eveleigh at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Joe and the Hidden Horseshoe by Victoria Eveleigh at Amazon.co.uk


Buy Joe and the Hidden Horseshoe by Victoria Eveleigh at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Joe and the Hidden Horseshoe by Victoria Eveleigh at Amazon.com.

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