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MG Book Review: Libby of High Hopes by Elise Primavera

This is a totally cute, sweet book about an almost-11-year-old girl named Libby who dreams of riding horses. But real life keeps getting in the way, from a big sister who gets all the breaks, an ex-best friend turned uber-competitive frenemy, to parents who just don’t seem to understand Libby’s need to learn to ride. But Libby is persistent young girl who doesn’t always take no for an answer.

If you have a young girl in your life who loves horses or even just animals in general, this is the book for her. I took riding lessons as a girl about Libby’s age and this book really took me back with all the vivid details of horse-grooming and riding (and what it’s like to watch on the side-lines) that kids are sure to devour. Even though I’ve learned that while I like horses, I don’t really like to ride them, this book really sucked me in and I read the whole thing in one sitting. Libby is a young lady who tries very hard and when things just don’t go her way, she never really loses her drive–something which made me root for her all the way. I also really appreciated that this book really drives home the idea that just because you aren’t good at doing something, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy doing it–a lesson I think younger me could’ve taken to heart.

What writers can learn from this book:

–How to write with a kid-friendly but not childish voice –How to include setting details without going too far –How to include normal family member characters in the plot in a realistic way –How to write a satisfying ending, without making things sappy or predictable

Note: I received a free copy of this book from the author.

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