“The Outside of a Horse” gives hope

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There's nothing so good for the inside of a man as the outside of a horse. -Old English proverb

 

There's nothing so good for the inside of a man as the outside of a horse. -Old English proverb

 

Hannah Gale grows up listening to her father's stories of the year he spent as a kid, living and working as a cowboy in the Nevada desert. Hannah's mother died when she was little, and her dad remarried a year later. Hannah's dad then is sent to Iraq with the military, and Hannah lives with her step mother, and her new baby brother. She sneaks away every day to visit the horse stable near her house, so she can feel closer to her dad. She has never touched the horses, until now. She volunteers to work at the stable, mucking out stalls, until she becomes comfortable with the horses.

 

Near her thirteenth birthday, Hannah's dad comes home. Hannah thinks her life will get better, but instead everything only gets much, much worse. Her dad has had a serious injury, and Hannah goes to the horses she now loves for comfort. Then, when her stepmom leaves with her baby brother, Hannah and her dad have to take care of themselves. Both Hannah and her dad must learn to live with the new person her dad has become. The horses help teach them both.

 

I would recommend this book for 10-14 year olds. Some parts of the book are really sad, but "The Outside of a Horse," by Ginny Rorby, is a wonderful story of love, forgiveness, and daring to hope for the impossible.