Bonnie Bryant is the author of nearly a hundred books about horses.
The first of the four-book Saddle Club series introduces readers to Pine Hollow Stables and the girls who ride there: Stevie, Lisa, Veronica and Carole. Aspiring equestrians will enjoy the novel's wealth of detailed, accurate horse lore. Unfortunately, the convincing riding scenes are linked together by a predictable story line that drifts aimlessly between Stevie's efforts to earn money for an overnight trail ride and the difficulties Lisa encounters when she tries to make friends at the stable. Much of this action is curiously motiveless: Why, for instance, is Lisa's domineering mother so eager to push her daughter into riding lessons? And what, if anything, is the real reason for spoiled rich-girl Veronica's nastiness? Even horse-crazy readers may lose patience with this cavalier treatment of the story's human elements. Ages 9-12. (July)