Finny and the Boy from Horse Mountain by Andrea Young is set against the backdrop of the high-moneyed and sometimes unscrupulous equestrian sport of show jumping. Finny, a fifteen-year-old horse crazy girl in California, adopts an emaciated, untrained horse without her parents’ knowledge. Soon after adopting Sky, Finny meets Joe, a sixteen-year-old who has run away from his cruel uncle in Montana. Joe’s love for horses and desire to be a trainer match Finny’s dream of competing in the show jumping arena—against rich girls on fancier horses—and together, they train Sky to become a first-rate show jumper. But their path is fraught with danger. Sky is not like other horses. He’s so destructive and difficult, he gets them kicked out of the barn where Finny has been working and training. Helped by a kind woman who owns a horse rescue, Joe is able to prove both his and Sky’s incredible talents. When Joe is kidnapped by his violent uncle, Finny and Sky are the only ones who can save him. In a breathtaking finale, Sky and Finny must enter the underworld of the rodeo circuit, an after-hours, illegal race, where they will risk their lives to save the boy they love. Young demonstrates a masterful ability to set a breakneck pace and keep it up until the end of the novel. Finny and Joe are enduring characters who are sure to appear in upcoming sequels. Written for children in grades 5-8.
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