Synopses & Reviews
This epic horse story, in the tradition of BLACK STALLION, marks exciting new territory for one of our most treasured and celebrated novelists.
A puzzling photograph, a box filled with faded toy horses, and a single fractured memory are all that Maya has left of her mother. In Grandmother house, she lives like a captive, tethered by rules... until a shocking event changes everything. A world away, in the rugged Wyoming wilderness, a wild mustang called Artemisia runs free, belonging only to the stars. In a land where mountain lions pose an ever-present threat, she must vigilantly defend her foal... until a devastating act separates them from their band. Like a braided rein, Maya's and Artemisia's lives will ultimately intertwine.
"An overprotected orphan, an imperious guardian who dies suddenly, a tender reunion with long-lost rustic relatives Ryan (Esperanza Rising) opens her tween crowd-pleaser with tried-and-true material, and follows with even more of a sure thing, a horse story. The author gets the romance just right, from 11-year-old heroine Maya's aching desire to learn about her long-dead mother and fit into her mother's family, to Maya's instant connection with the horses raised and trained by her great-aunt Vi. Details surrounding the care and riding of horses are both authentic and copious. Accordingly, readers aren't likely to mind either the clichd characters or gaps in plausibility. Nor will they blink as Ryan interweaves the narrative with segments told from the perspective of a wild mare named Artemisia (after, says Vi, the 17th-century painter Artemisia Gentileschi): 'She draped her neck over his withers, reassuring herself that [her colt] wasn't going anywhere with a band of bachelor stallions.' When Maya learns that Artemisia was once her mother's horse, a pairing seems inevitable; Ryan exploits it for maximum effect as the centerpiece of an attenuated survival sequence that involves an earthquake, broken bones, near-starvation, bareback riding and, of course, a bond between wild horse and child. The overstuffed quality of the plot may seem like a good thing to the target audience adventure plus horses trumps realism anytime. Ages 9-12. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Maya is a captive. In Grandmother's house in California, every word and action is strictly monitored, and even Maya's memories of her mother have been erased -- except within the imaginary world she has created. A world away, in the rugged Wyoming wilderness, a tobiano Paint horse called Artemisia runs free, belonging only to the stars. She embodies the spirit of the wild -- and she holds the key to Maya's memories. How Maya's and Artemisia's lives intertwine, like a braided rein, is at the heart of this richly drawn adventure about captivity and freedom, about holding on and letting go.
In Grandmothers house in California, Mayas every word and action are strictly monitored, and even Mayas memories of her mother have been erased. In the rugged Wyoming wilderness, a Tobiano Paint horse called Artemisia runs free. She embodies the spirit of the wild--and she holds the key to Mayas memories, in this epic new novel.
About the Author
Pam Munoz Ryan is the recipient of the NEA's Human and Civil Rights Award and the Virginia Hamilton Literary Award for multicultural literature. She has written more than thirty books which have garnered, among countless accolades, the Pura Belpre Medal, the Jane Addams Award, and the Schneider Family Award. Pam lives near San Diego. You can visit her at www.pammunozryan.com.