A ship washed ashore . . .
When fourteen-year-old Nora Donovan hears that Spanish soldiers may be sailing near the west coast of Ireland, she never expects that one of their ships will actually crash on the shore next to her home. Helping to clear the wreckage, Nora discovers a beautiful white stallion, injured and lost. Nora boldly leads the horse to a nearby cave and nurses him back to health.
But hiding in the cave is one of the soldiers. He's also injured, very young, and wanted by the English army. Nora wants to help the boy get home safely, but she'll have to risk everything -- including the magnificent stallion.
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Victoria Holmes grew up on a farm in England, where she learned to ride at the age of two. When she wasn't riding ponies and hand-rearing calves, she enjoyed reading and writing stories of her own. She studied English at Oxford University, where the beautiful ancient buildings and sense of tradition inspired an interest in history. Victoria now works in London as a children's book editor and escapes to the English countryside whenever she can to ride horses and walk her dog, Missy.From School Library Journal:
Grade 6-9–Nora Donovan, 14, doesn't fit the mold of a proper young lady, preferring the company of wild ponies to that of people. The atmosphere is tense in 16th-century Ireland because the British are persecuting Catholics and the Spanish are sending soldiers to defend Catholicism. During a terrible storm, a ship from the Armada wrecks near Nora's village and she rescues a young Spanish sailor and an Andalusian stallion. She hides them both in a cave and tries to figure out how to get José back to Spain. Thinking that her clan leader will help, she takes José to the man's castle. However, once they arrive, he is claimed as a prisoner and Lir is taken for a war horse. After rescuing them both, Nora eventually finds a way to help her friend get home and then sets Lir free to run with the wild ponies. An author's note explains that the Connemara pony is descended from these shipwrecked stallions. Readers who want anything and everything to do with horses will enjoy this story and its myriad equine details, but others may feel bogged down. The main characters are not well developed and it is difficult to maintain interest in them. The freedom Nora enjoys does not seem believable and the plot is predictable. Jane Yolen's The Queen's Own Fool (Philomel, 2000), set during the same time period, has stronger characters.–Cheri Dobbs, Detroit Country Day Middle School, Beverly Hills, MI
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Book Description HarperCollins, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0060520280
Book Description HarperCollins, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110060520280
Book Description HarperCollins. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0060520280 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.0949197