Monday, June 21, 2010

In The Middle Monday Reviews/ The Poney Whisperer: The Word on the Yard by Janet Rising

Monday, June 21, 2010
 Welcome to In the Middle Monday where I review middle level books geared towards grades fifth through eighth. 

Pia has always told her pony everything...but now he's talking back.
It's hard being the new girl in town-new school, new stable, new rivalries. It seems Pia's only friend is her pony, Drummer. But horses can't talk...can they?
Suddenly, all the horses are talking-to Pia Now she can understand Drummer, and does he have a lot to say Who knew this sweet-looking horse would have such an attitude. When news of Pia's pony-whispering power spreads, her popularity grows and she finally feels like she belongs...that's when everything starts to go wrong.

Pia is a relatable character with several problems most of which stem from her parent’s divorce. She has to deal with being the new kid both at school and at the stable where she boards her pony Drummer. Right away, she meets up with Cat, the stock mean girl, with a name to match and makes an enemy. While riding Drummer, Pia finds a small statue of Epona, the goddess of horses that allows Pia to converse with Drummer. If you thought Mr. Ed had attitude, let me just say that Drummer surpasses him hands down. With Pia’s new ability she quickly begins helping all the ponies in the stable with a variety of problems and become a celebrity. However, one pony belonging to the yard’s hunk, James, is not talking, and Pia begins to suspect abuse and is torn because she really likes James.

Word on the Yard is a quick read that will appeal to many tweens with a passion for horses. Pia deals with her problems in a fairly typical way. She makes some decisions that definitely get her into trouble, but is a strong enough character to accept her flaws and grow from the experience.

While the book has a limited audience, I think that Rising did a good job portraying several aspects of problems many teens face when adjusting to newly divorced parents (dad’s new wife, mom dating, and finding new friends). On the whole, The Word on the Yard was a fast-paced and cute story that even non-horse loving readers will find appealing.

Source: Copy provided by Sourcebooks
Subtitle:The Word on the Yard
Author:Rising, Janet
Publisher:Sourcebooks Jabberwock


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