The Lost Pony of Riverdale
post written by Emma Filbrun
Title: The Lost Pony of Riverdale
Author: Amanda Wills
Series: The Riverdale Pony Stories
Major Themes: England, Horses
Synopsis: After moving to a new home, Poppy finds peace with her memories and rescues a horse.
When I was a girl, I loved reading horse stories. I rarely read them anymore, but when The Lost Pony of Riverdale was free on Kindle recently I decided to give it a try. I was very pleasantly surprised to find that it was well-written, and there was more to it than just a horse story. There were actually three different plots woven together, making quite a good story. Of course, the horse was the main focus of the story, but just as important was the relationship between Poppy and her stepmother.
In the beginning of the story, Poppy’s parents have decided to buy a home in the country and move away from the city to a cottage in Devon at the edge of Dartmoor. Just as an aside, I enjoyed reading about the English countryside—that’s a place I know little about! Anyway, Poppy is unhappy with the idea; their home in Twickenham is the last link to her mother and she doesn’t want to lose it. When she hears that they will inherit a pony with the new house, though, she is reconciled to the move.
Then, they arrive at their new home and meet the pony—and he turns out to be a donkey instead! Poppy is devastated all over again, but eventually decides to make the best of it. Then, she discovers a mysterious pony in the woods. When she talks to Tory, the old woman they bought the house from, and learns the sad story behind this pony, she determines to save him. At the same time, her brother is determined to discover the mysterious Beast of Dartmoor—is there really a big cat roaming the moor?
Through the story, Poppy gets to know her stepmother better. She also learns more about herself, including some things she really didn’t like to know. I enjoyed watching her change. What I didn’t appreciate was the times she lied to her stepmother in order to be able to go out searching for the pony. She did realize toward the end that she shouldn’t have done that.
WARNING: One or two minor characters used a word or two that I didn’t care for. I hadn’t planned to review this book until I was most of the way through reading it, so didn’t mark the spots. One is the word “damn” in chapter 23. There wasn’t much, though.
Read Aloud—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 12
Links to buy The Lost Pony of Riverdale:
AbeBooks: View Choices on AbeBooks.com
Book Depository: Paperback
Keywords: England, Horses