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Set aside a special place for children to keep their own books.
Summary: Unlike many of the Sister series titles, this one puts just a couple of the girls at center stage. Lu received a gift of riding lessons for her birthday, but she hates horses. Donna loves horses but cannot afford lessons. Sounds like a match made in heaven. Or so the girls think when they switch identities. Their plan backfires when Lu (as Donna) appears in the paper as an award-winning rider. Now what? This is a chapter book series for reluctant readers (reading at ages 7-8).
Type of Reading: family reading, read aloud book, remedial reader
Recommended Age: read together: 7 to 10; read yourself: 9 to 12
Interest Level: 7 to 12
Age of Child: Read by a 12-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: Given how old these girls look, this didn’t seem too realistic that they would be gaga for horses. I did kind of like the story, but it wasn’t too believable; especially when Lu isn’t too upset when she has to muck out stalls! UGH!
Adult Reader Reaction: I also had trouble with how realistic this story would be or how girls could relate (how many girls get riding lessons for their birthday?)
Pros: Having two main characters as the focus made this less “busy” and easier to follow than some of the other titles in this series.
Cons: The poor posture of the characters as shown in the illustrations bothers me. Anyone taking riding lessons would be forced to abandon that “round shouldered look”.
Borrow or Buy: This is for a niche audience. I don’t think I would borrow or buy this book unless I had a horse-crazy girl to give it to (limited audience).
Educational Themes: The message in this book is about the importance of telling the truth. Problem solving could be taught by presenting the problem to students, asking them to come up with alternatives to Donna's and Lu’s solution.
Literary Categories: Fiction - friendship, easy reader series