The first in this series, the cover of The Lost Pony of Riverdale really caught my attention! It is well designed and features a gorgeous grey horse on the front, depicting Cloud in the story.
Eleven year old Poppy is distraught to learn that her father and stepmother have decided to move the family onto an old farm, far from her current home. Poppy is insistent they cannot move, afraid that memories of her mother will all but diminish with the move. Plus, why would she want to leave her friends and comfortable routine?
The promise of a pony at the new place is the only draw card for Poppy. When they arrive, this promise soon shatters and the eleven year old feels tricked by her parents. Surely they looked at the pony before agreeing to buy the property?
Working for the BBC, Poppy’s father often travels. This happens to be the case just after they move. Poppy is left feeling desolate. She is in the consistent company of her all too cheery step mother and her tiring half brother. And she doesn’t have a pony to play with.
These negatives build over time and every time Poppy feels herself frustrated with the situation, she takes this out on her step mother. The Lost Pony of Riverdale is a great read for preteens, touching on topics such as selfishness, animal abuse, the unpredictability of horses and the all important need to forgive others and be honest with them. Although a children’s novel, the themes covered are serious and the story has a wonderful moral behind it.
There are plenty of horse moments too, with a lot of information for the avid horse reader. Highly recommended.