Starlight Stables Bush Bolts by Soraya Nicholas
Published by Puffin Books
Part of the Australian adventure series STARLIGHT Stables, which involves three horse-mad friends, this latest inclusion, Bush Bolts, is an exciting chapter book for children 7-10.
When Poppy’s Chinese friend Sarah visits Starlight Stables, Poppy is hoping she will love her time there and also fall in love with the horses. Poppy also hopes her other friends Milly and Katie will like Sarah. Unfortunately, Sarah doesn’t like horses and Poppy has to find some other way to encourage her to enjoy her time at Starlight Stables.
At first it seems Sarah will be happy helping out Poppy’s Uncle Mark, a vet who is caring for native creatures recently injured or orphaned by a bushfire. However, Sarah is not only timid about horses and riding, she’s terrified at the thought of bushfires, because right now the local landscape is hot and dry.
Poppy wants to train hard in horsemanship in the hope she’ll be part of the Australian Young Rider Squad one day, but she initially feels obliged to remain at the stables with Sarah, which may mean not joining her other friends out with their horses.
Eventually, Sarah tries riding, but Milly and Katie are impatient she won’t attempt anything beyond basic riding.
When out riding in the paddocks Poppy, Milly, Katie and Sarah are confronted by bushfire. The girls need to ride fast to escape…but Sarah doesn’t know how.
This is a fast-moving story, with underlying themes of courage, friendship, resolving conflict and caring for each other and for wildlife. It contains a wealth of ‘horsey’ content, plus some bushfire safety information after the story ends.
CKT Book Reviewer
Author: Soraya Nicholas
Title: Starlight Stables Bush Bolts
Publisher: Puffin Books
Published: March 2016