“A horse. A girl. Both considered troublemakers. Both misunderstood. Both looking for someone to care. I love horses. We used to own a few. Their personalities, like humans, are quite different. I love children. We raised a few of those. Put the children and the horses together and you have a story of friendship and love and sometimes conflict.
In Author C. K. Volnek’s tween novel, A HORSE CALLED TROUBLE, foster kid Tara Cummings is being punished for something she didn’t even do by having to attend horse therapy. Now, it isn’t that she doesn’t like horses, she does, but she’s tired of being blamed for everything that goes wrong. What occurs at Freedom Farms, the people she meets on the farm, along with a horse called Trouble, make Tara take a closer look at her life. Reading about the bond and understanding that grows between the girl and the horse that most people consider nothing but trouble brought back memories of the horses we once owned. Each one had a different personality. Horses and many other animals have a special sense of whether a person is kind or mean, and the author has shown this in the behavior of the horses in the story.
A HORSE CALLED TROUBLE would make a great addition to school classrooms and libraries to help students see how harmful bullying is. It’s also a reminder that people sometimes are not what they seem, and most everyone has a problem or two that cause them to behave the way they do. Even though the novel is written for middle grade readers, I think all ages will enjoy it.