Children's Books

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NOVEMBER 7, 2006
Hoofbeats: Lara and the Gray Mare and others
Set in thirteenth century Ireland, this tale of a young clan member and the horse that she loves and cares for is told in four quickly read novels. In the first, Lara and the Gray Mare, she delivers a foal to a horse experiencing a difficult birth. She promises the dying mare that she will become the filly's substitute mother - not knowing that her words will lead to her and the young horse being taken prisoner by a neighboring clan. Throughout the second installment, Lara and the Moon-Colored Filly, she schemes to remain near the horse she now calls Dannsair by working in her captor's barns. When ownership of Dannsair is transferred to the Baron of Athenry Castle (in the third novel), Lara passes herself off as a stable lad to stay near the horse she thinks of as her own. Riding in and winning a race wearing the Baron's colors, Lara believes his promise that she has won possession of Dannsair only to find out that she has been deceived. Once again, in Lara and the Silent Place, she and her beloved horse are forced to flee. Well-drawn characters and an authentic historical setting make these four parts of the Hoofbeats series must-reads especially for those who enjoy horse stories.

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