Thirteen year old Kate is concerned that her parents don't have enough money to send her younger autistic brother to a camp that would be so good for him. Her friend Melissa comes up with a trail-ride fund raising idea and Colt adds a scavenger hunt to it. Kate and her friends get planning. They want send a bunch of autistic kids to the camp. They'll ask businesses to donate prizes. What could possibly go wrong? When the antique jewelry box Kate's mom was using to store the registration money goes missing, Kate and her friends have a mystery to solve.
I continue to really like this youth fiction series. The dialog between Kate and her friends is a great mix of affection and teasing. As with the others in the series, there are moral lessons to learn from the actions of the characters in the novel. Kate and her friends do some things without telling the parents and one really backfires (and lands on Kate's dad). Readers will learn that it's best to be open and honest with parents and others. They'll also read about a very good example of forgiveness and restoration.
Kids will get some insight into setting up a trail ride as well as a scavenger hunt. They'll also learn about hoarding when the kids visit an elderly man. “Maybe he was cranky because he needs a friend.” (184)
I love the new character, Jake. He's a kid with a huge St. Bernard named “Mouse” and a bunch of quirky knowledge he loves to share. He's my kind of nerdy kid and I hope he'll be in future novels. It is fun to see Kate's circle of friends expand.
Perhaps the best part of this book for me, an older reader, was the mention of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys mysteries. I grew up on those books and this novel would be a good way to introduce them to contemporary young readers.
I recommend this whole series to girls aged 8 - 12 who like horse stories. It is a fun one containing some great moral lessons.
My rating: 5/5 stars.
You can read my reviews of the earlier books in the series:
I am taking part in a blog tour of this book and you can read other reviews here.
Miralee Ferrell is an award-winning author of sixteen novels. She is a speaker and licensed minister counseling hurting women. She and her husband live along the Columbia River Gorge in southern Washington State. You can find out more at http://miraleeferrell.com/
David C Cook, 204 pages. You can buy a copy here.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through Litfuse for the purpose of an independent and honest review.