It's the early half of the 19th century in coastal Nova Scotia, and almost-ten-year-old Ellie is adjusting to the recent death of her mother. But just when she finally begins to feel happy again, Ellie and her father move to remote Sable Island, a tiny, windblown crescent of grass and sand in the Atlantic. While her father works, Ellie explores the island, feeling alone and furious with her pa for making them leave their beloved home. Even meeting a spirited island girl named Sarah does little to dispel her anger and grief. Then one afternoon, Ellie encounters a wild stallion grazing on the dunes, and slowly forges a secret connection with the beautiful horse she names Orchid. But Ellie soon learns that Orchid and his family are threatened, and it may be up to her to save them. Based on historical fact, this early chapter book is a touching exploration of loss and loneliness and the redemptive power of love and friendship.
The Island HorseFeatured
For nine year old Ellie, life has been anything but easy. Having lost her mother and endured a recent move with her Pa to a tiny, sand and grass covered island in the Atlantic, called Sable Island, she's both angry and unhappy. There's lot to see and explore in her new home, even new people to meet, like Sarah, but Ellie still struggles. It isn't until she stumbles upon one of the island horses, a stallion she names Orchid, that Ellie begins to experience the healing only a horse can bring to both the heart and spirit.
Ellie is grieving both the loss of her mother and the move from the family home and the fact that she's having trouble adjusting is both realistic and relateable. Sarah is a good friend to Ellie even when Ellie is not the kindest to her. Ellie's father is loving and willing to do what he can to help her with Orchid when he sees how important saving the horses are to her.