Home > Categories > Books > Kids - General > Pine Valley Ponies #1: The Forbidden Trail review
Maddy and her pony Snowy are excited about starting riding lessons at Pine Valley Ranch. But why is the old riding trail to the ranch forbidden? Maddy might not have fancy jodhpurs and boots yet, but with friends like Iris Digby, riding is sure going to be fun!
I got these books specifically for my Miss Seven but Miss nine read them (albeit very quickly) and really enjoyed them also. This is a new series of books that will appeal to girls that love horses. Miss Nine thought hey were really really good and very funny. She liked that the main characters (Maddie and Iris and Pattie) in the story always did something cheeky.
These books would probably best appeal to ages seven to nine but younger readers may enjoy having these read to them. The chapters are fairly long however and were just slightly too long for me to want to read all at once! The girls enjoyed reading about Maddy beginning her lessons horse riding on Snowy and then her adventures as she gets to know everyone ate riding school and makes friends.
I did find that there was a lot of cantering and trotting etc but this didn't seem to bother the girls who I think felt like they were learning a lot about how to ride a horse. The storyline is really age appropriate for the intended age group that the book is intended for. Because it is series I can look forward to reading further books in the series and seeing how the characters develop. I can definitely recommend this book for any horse mad girls.
When I saw this series for review, I was keen to find out more as I'm always looking out for good starter chapter books for Miss 7. I was surprised that I hadn't heard of the series before, but then I realised this is a new series, with this being the very first book - great news for horse-mad kids, but I was I was keen to find out if it would be a good general book for those without much horsey knowledge or background too.
This book is suggested from age 6 up and advertised as a beginner chapter book, but it turned out it was more advanced than I thought it would be. It is quite a long book and a bit too daunting and beyond the reading level of my daughter but perfect for me to read to her as we like to get stuck into more in-depth books together now.
The book introduces us to Maddy, the main character and her pony Snowy. Upon starting riding lessons, we are introduced to other girls too - with plenty of chances to introduce different personalities with some subtle life lessons around making friends and dealing with tricky personalities.
The book is lengthy but the story ties together in the end and we even get some pony profiles and a glossary at the end. I didn't click that the highlighted words in the story were in the glossary - this would have been good to know at the beginning as I was struggling with some of the horsey terms along the way! What knowledge I did have, made some good discussion points between Miss 7 and I though, and after reading the first 2 books in this series, I now have a daughter wanting to ride horses... I'm just lucky she hasn't asked for her own pony yet!
I highly recommend this book for both for horse mad kids, but also for any girls who are just looking for some new reading material - I'll be sexist and say that this book is as girly as they come and probably not really geared to boys! I'd say that this book would easily interest children up to around 10 or so and it wouldn't be too easy for average readers of that age, but it would also suit competent younger readers or for reading to younger children. For this price, it's worth giving it a go.
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