Book Review: Model Horse (for Young Readers)

If young readers (and their parents) in North America haven’t heard of author Jenny Hughes, that’s likely to change. Hughes, who lives in Dorset, England, has penned more than 22 horse books for readers 9 to 12. They’re sold in eight countries, but distribution in the U.S. has been limited in the past. Breakaway Books is now publishing her titles for the North American market, starting in 2013 with Model Horse (a new novel being released worldwide), Mystery at Black Horse Farm, and Fantasy Horse.

Model Horse by Jenny Hughes

Hughes’ books are based on her experience working on a farm, at a riding school and with polo ponies. In addition to her horse savvy, Hughes has a knack for combining mystery, danger and a mild “first romance” between her main characters and cute boys who come into their lives. Of course, nothing overshadows the girl-horse relationship.

Model Horse is a case in point. Casey fell in love with her first horse, Limelight, but he’s proving to be a bit of a challenge. In short, he spooks and dumps her or runs away with her. Her parents, understandably, want her to sell him and get another horse. So does her instructor.

Casey is desperate to find the key to harmony with Limelight. Therefore, she jumps at the chance when her best friend, Hannah, invites Casey to join her on a summer vacation at the beachfront mansion of her eccentric Aunt Molly, who is an expert in dealing with problem horses. A family mystery (and some cool guys) also await so the plot quickly thickens.

Be sure to read my reviews of Fantasy Horse and Mystery at Black Horse Farm, also by Jenny Hughes.

Model Horse, a 192-page paperback, is published by Breakaway Books, PO Box 24, Halcottsville, NY 12438. Find it in your local bookstore at $9.95 or phone 607-326-4805 or email

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