A Horse Called Trouble by C.K. Volnek
Abandoned by her mother at a young age, Tara Cummings has been passed from foster home to foster home; not wanted anywhere by anyone. At thirteen she’s skeptic and suspicious, with no family, and no friends. Horse therapy “will teach trust, perseverance, respect, and the value of teamwork,” or so says the program’s instructor. Tara is unconvinced. Trust only broke her heart, perseverance meant more failures, and no one respects or wants to team up with the misfit foster kid. At the farm, Tara meets Trouble, an angry and defiant horse, bent on destroying everything and everyone around him. Tara is frightened of the enraged horse, until she realizes Trouble is as misunderstood and untrusting as she is. Pushing aside her fear, a special bond is formed, much to the surprise of everyone at the farm. Trouble trusts Tara, and Tara in turn finds hope and acceptance as well as the will to love and trust again herself. But, Tara’s confidence is shaken as an even greater challenge looms ahead. Trouble’s mean and manipulative owner is the one and only Alissa, Tara’s nemesis. Can Tara overcome her own limitations and fight to save the horse who freed her heart and gave her life value and meaning? Or will Alissa destroy them both?
This book is a red-eye for two reasons. First, I stayed up until 3AM reading. I literally could not put the book down. Two, I cried. Tara is a character I grew to love and her heartache was my heartache. Tara is my younger, hurting self when I lacked the courage to stand up for myself. Thank goodness that I at least had a family that loved me. Bullying is very real and if you missed my post, you can read it here.
I highly recommend this book to middle grade classes, parents who want to talk to their children about bullying and any one who enjoys a solid book with strong characters.
I also interviewed C.K. Volnek. Check out the interview here!