WHIRLWIND (Random House 2010; also in paperback from Laurel Leaf, 2010) by Alison Hart
I’m always impressed with authors who can write sequels without making them repetitive for those who read the previous title and yet give enough information so those joining the series late can feel like they’ve been there the whole time. Just as she did in her RACING TO FREEDOM trilogy, Alison Hart handles the transition from SHADOW HORSE to WHIRLWIND beautifully. Her writing pulls you into a fascinating story and a different arena. In this case, it’s the world of horses (one of her favorite subjects, and one she knows an awful lot about) that will satisfy horse lovers and also explain enough to the rest of us that we feel a part of that world. Thirteen year old Jas is a spunky character who follows her heart but uses her head. In WHIRLWIND, she has a mystery to solve, people (and horses) to take care of, an enemy to fight, and a nefarious plot to uncover. Like Jas, the story itself is smart and full of heart. Note: The prequel, SHADOW HORSE, is also well worth reading — it was even nominated for an Edgar Award!
Also, Alison Hart has written one of those great “pick your own ending” books for the younger horsey set. It’s an AMERICAN GIRL book, TAKING THE REINS, for 8 to 10 — great fun!
Now, for the drum roll . . . YOU are eligible to win a copy of WHIRLWIND! Just post a comment and let me know why you would like this book. I’ll pull names out of a riding helmet (!) to pick the winner. AND runner up will receive TAKING THE REINS! Good luck to everyone!
See Alison Hart’s website at www.alisonhartbooks.com