Young Heather Richardson has never owned a horse, except in her dreams. There, she is haunted by a beautiful black stallion who is in trouble. Her luck changes when she talks to Chauncy, her new bus driver, and learns he owns Morgan horses. He invites her to meet them, where she discovers the horse she has been dreaming of, Blackjack, is real. She starts working for Chauncy in exchange for riding lessons.
Just when things can't seem to get better, Chauncy gives Heather the chance to ride Blackjack in a horse show in hopes Blackjack will win a futurity championship. This means Heather needs to learn saddle seat, which is a new riding style for her, and she gets to help Blackjack get ready for their first riding class together in the show ring. Shortly after the show is over, Heather's troubling dreams about Blackjack come true, and she has to save him.
Blackjack: Dreaming of a Morgan Horse was written for 9-12-year-old readers, but it is such a realistic and endearing story that horse lovers of all ages can relate to it. At the age of 38, I found it engaging and entertaining. It has all the classic elements of a great horse book: young girl faces obstacles, but her love for her horse helps her through.
Blackjack is great for young readers, because it shows them what hard work and dedication can bring about. Ms. Feld also weaves good information on horse care and horse shows into the story, so it is an educational and entertaining horse story at the same time. As someone who has owned and shown horses for most of my life, I can attest that the information and events are very accurate! It is a sweet tale with just the right amount of both action and emotion.
Blackjack: Dreaming of a Morgan Horse is the first in Ellen Feld’s Morgan Horse series, which contains several more titles. She has received several national awards, and Breyer (a well-known company that makes models of horse breeds and famous horses) made a model of Blackjack to sell with the book. I have read two other books in the series and hope to read more, because they are so entertaining and are such sweet stories with charactes I enjoy.