Required Reading

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Ariel’s Journey by Doug Kane and Christy Wood

This is the first book in the Ice Horse Adventures series. If this book is an indication of the quality of the series, then the series will be a hit. The book’s target audience is pre-adolescent through teen readers. I think they can easily expand their target market. While not a taxing read, the book provides food for thought on interpersonal relations as well as stereotyping. I am going to recommend it to my daughter’s book club for young mothers.

The main non-human characters are the Icelandic horses. This is a breed I am not familiar with but they are more than adequately documented by the book. The story line starts as an almost typical adolescent interpersonal friction scenario but develops into a delightful trip into fantasy. The young protagonists are thrust into a very adult situation and forced to not only cope but to master a very delicate and dangerous situation.

If you are familiar with any of my fantasy reviews, then you know I am strongly attracted to anthropomorphic stories. The relationships the girls have with their horses undergo some very interesting changes as the story progresses.

As an ex-guidance counselor and parent I can testify that the authors accurately portray the interpersonal relationships and the friction that can develop between groups of teens. The pollyanna solution for a confrontational situation suggested by one of the mothers leads to the development of the fantasy sequence.

I enjoyed the book and in no shape or form do I fit into the target market. I suspect that early teens and especially those into horses will find this book and the series just short of intoxicating.

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