Horse Books

The Scorpio Races

It is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die.”*

It happens every November. The Scorpio Races. Riders bring their water horses to the beach and pray that the ocean doesn’t awaken the violent magic of their steeds and cause them to turn on their masters. One such rider, Sean Kendrick, is at 19 years old the returning champion of the races on his beloved water steed Cor. He has high stakes in the race this year and can’t afford to lose, or what he loves most will be lost forever. Pitted against him is Puck Connolly; a girl who never wanted to race but has to be the first female rider in the history of the races and win or else she may lose her brother. The fates of these two riders are thrown together among the gnashing teeth, crashing waves, and stinging sand of the Scorpio Races; and they will never be the same again.

I would highly recommend The Scorpio Races, written by Maggie Stiefvater and published in 2011 by Scholastic Press, for ages 16+. There are a few minor profanities and off-color jokes to be wary of, as well as some high tension and gory deaths. It’s a wild novel with a rich story line and marvelous character voice; 4.5 out of 5 stars.

*excerpt taken from The Scorpio Races, written by Maggie Stiefvater and published in 2011 by the Scholastic Press

War Horse

War Horse, written by Michael Morpurgo and published in 1982 by the Scholastic Press, is an inspiring and moving tale of war, friendship, and the love between a horse and its owner. This novel falls under the historical fiction\middle grade genres.

Joey, a beautiful red-bay horse, is torn from his farm home and tossed headlong into war. Learning to pull heavy artillery, charge enemy forces, and carry wounded men-enemy and otherwise-Joey is passed from owner to owner, from English forces to German, and from kind men to cruel. He experiences both loss and joy, and is witness to the front line fighting in World War One. But through it all, he fights to stay alive. For his heart yearns for Albert, the farmer’s son he left behind him, and he’s determined to find him again. Will he escape the horrors of the war unscathed?

I recommend this book for ages 14+. There is some violence and mature language to watch out for, but all in all it’s an excellent book with a gripping plot, terse details, and memorable characters, both horse and human. 4 out of 5 stars.

The Ghost of Gold Creek

“My name is Misty Stevens.” *

After Misty’s mother takes one wrong step; her life changes forever. Her mother is gone, her father is impossible to understand, her best friend Lou is headed down a path that Misty can’t follow, and to top it all off, a mysterious wild horse is causing havoc among the neighboring ranches and farms.
Buried artifacts, ghost stories, emotions, and feelings for a particular boy leave Misty confused and worried for her sanity…and maybe even for her life.

All it takes is one wrong step. *

The Ghost of Gold Creek, written by Lisa Michelle Hess and published in 2019 by GlasIncPress, is a heartwarming story of love, loss, and coming of age. This book falls under the contemporary mystery romance genre.

I would recommend this book for ages 16+. There is romance, intrigue, and some thematic elements to watch out for. A well-composed story with memorable characters and compelling plot twists. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

…there is no going back, only forward. *

*All excerpts taken from The Ghost of Gold Creek, written by Lisa Michelle Hess and published in 2019 by GlasIncPress.

Courageous Love

The camp had come alive. The fire burned brightly, casting an eerie red glow into the sky… Andi ducked back into the shadows. A heartbeat later, powerful arms encircled Andi from behind. “Chica, you will live to regret this.” *


Courageous Love is a heart-thumping tale of escapades and adventures in San Joaquin Valley, California, 1885. Written by Susan K. Marlow and published in 2017 by Kregel Publications, this historical fiction story-fourth in the Andrea Carter Milestones series- will not disappoint long-time fans, and is an excellent introduction to the adventures of the Circle C ranch and its high-spirited family.

Andrea Carter-know by most as “Andi”-is a lively, 16-year-old ranch girl. She helps her older brothers run the Circle C ranch, and when she isn’t roping cattle or training horses, she learns trick riding with the help of young horse wrangler Riley Prescott. One day, when coming back from a training session, Andi and Riley come across a cut in the wire fence surrounding heathy black Angus cattle. When nothing seems to be wrong with the cattle, Riley and Andi mend the fence and leave; not knowing that someone had poisoned the cattle’s drinking water. Later, when they find a note- that was wrapped around a brick responsible for breaking a window during a party-telling them about the poison, they realize that cattle may be the least of their problems. Someone is out for revenge against the Carter family; someone who will do anything to ensure pain and sorrow in their midst.

Added to all these larger problems is Andi’s own personal one; her feelings for Riley. He has grown from merely being her friend to something else-something she is not sure she wants him to be. When her world changes dramatically overnight, she must reconcile herself and trust that God has a plan for her-with or without Riley.

Susan K. Marlow is an excellent author; she uses a medium amount of details and description and her dialogue is very good. The story flowed fairly quickly; there was an occasional slow spot at the beginning, but it quickened near the middle and kept it up until its conclusion. Courageous Love is an easy to medium read.

I would definitely recommend this book for girls-and even boys- ages 13+. There is some romance, as well as a few mature themes, but it has Godly morals and is written very well. 4 out of 5 stars.


God forgive me. I did what I had to do, but I hope I never have to do it again. *

*Excerpt taken from Chapter 24 pg. 175 of Courageous Love, written by Susan K. Marlow and published by Kregel Publications, 2017

**Excerpt taken from Chapter 25 pg. 126 of Courageous Love, written by Susan K. Marlow and published by Kregel Publications, 2017