Joe and the Lightning Pony by Victoria Eveleigh

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Joe and the Lightning Pony by Victoria Eveleigh

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Second books in a series of three are traditionally the weak link - this is anything but. It's a great story for boys (or girls) in the 8+ age group and there are difficult issues dealt with sensitively. Highly recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 170 Date: July 2013
Publisher: Orion Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1444005929

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Joe has discovered that his pony, Lightning, is brilliant at mounted games - you know that ones we see kids and their ponies playing at the Horse of the Year Show. What we see is the competition for the Prince Phillip Cup and Joe can't wait for him and Lightning to try out for the local Pony Club team. He adores Lightning - the pony we heard so much about in Joe and the Hidden Horseshoe - but he knows that he'll soon be too big for the her. Other children might worry about how they would get another pony to ride but Joe is worried about Lightning. Joe and his family brought her back to health - but would that continue if the pony was sold on?

You will get more out of this book if you've read Joe and the Hidden Horseshoe but it is still an exciting read for boys (or girls) in the eight-plus age group. Victoria Eveleigh not only knows her animals and the pony world in particular - she knows children and how they think. She's spot on with this story. Not many boys get involved in Pony Club, which is a pity as it's a great environment for boys and girls and this series of books is brilliant not just for the boys who are interested in horses, but also for those who might like to try it or for those who just enjoy a good story.

It isn't just a story about all the great fun you can have, either. It's realistic about the problems of growing out of a pony to which you've become very attached. For many families the money invested in the animal - and the cost of another - will mean that it's not possible to keep the smaller pony - and it's not really fair on the animal either. They need exercise and interaction. But I was most impressed by the part of the book which deals with serious illness in animals and those occasions when the only option is euthanasia. It's dealt with sensitively and the emotions of the young people involved are not glossed over or minimised.

Eveleigh gives us great characters too - and even the minor ones come off the page and inhabit your mind. As the book is only 150 pages of text I'm amazed that she can give us such a substantial cast in so few words. This is the second book in the series and usually they're the weak link but I thought that this was a decided step up from the first book in the series and I'm really keen to see what happens to Joe, his family and the animals in the final part. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

If there are too few boys at Pony Club then there are far too few books for boys in this age group. Recently we've been impressed by The Child's Elephant by Rachel Campbell-Johnston.

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


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


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