'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 15 October 2010

Review: Balancing Act

Annie Boyd may be relatively new to the Ridgeview pony club, but she is one dedicated horse-lover. When club instructor Erica asks Annie if she wants to act as strapper for her pony Cadence during the National Dressage Championships, Annie is thrilled and takes the job.

It's when Annie learns of the Interschool Gymkhana, that things start to go a little bit awry.

Determined to convince the school principal to allow the school to enter the Gymkhana, Annie works tirelessly to gain the support and sponsorship needed to put together a school team.

Happily, her hard work pays off and the team is formed, but in all the hoo-ha, Annie fails to remember she had promised Erica she would look after Cadence during the National Championships... which just happens to be on the very same day as the Gymkhana.

But how can she let both sides down? She can't. She must do both. And being a clever, dedicated girl, she just knows she can do it.

But can she? How Annie deals with this unfortunate coincidence is indeed a balancing act. As she runs between the two shows, it quickly becomes clear things are not going to work out as planned.

Lovely, extremely real, totally likeable and well-meaning, Annie is a character girls will warmly relate to. The relationships built between her parents, friends and Erica are well-intertwined and meaningful without becoming stodgy, and of course, her love of horses is palpable.

The book, just one in 8-book Riding High series, has a beautiful balance between enthralling storyline and plenty of horse action - with beautifully detailed scenes describing the horses and their moves at both the gymkhana and championships - making this a perfect book for horse-lovers as well as girls who just love a good storyline that makes them cheer on the lead character.

It's clear Kelly knows her horses and her passion for them shines in this wonderful series. A must-have for horsegirls.

Title: Balancing Act
Author: Bernadette Kelly
Publisher: Black Dog Books, $14.99 RRP
Publication Date: 2007
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781921167560
For ages: 7-12
Type: Junior Fiction

Other books in the Riding High series:
If Wishes Were Horses
Team Challenge
Making Waves
Pony Trek
Leap of Faith
Making the Grade
Heads or Tails?