This young adult story about a horse-mad young girl is an entertaining read which provides a painless education about some aspects of owning large draft horses and the importance of properly researching a subject and logically evaluating it before taking on responsibility for another living being. The author does a nice job of exploring some of the ramifications of pet ownership when one is adopting a 2000 pound horse as well as portraying the reactions of children who are brought into contact with cultures other than their own. The insecurity of a young girl whose father is no longer actively in her life as well as the pressures upon the remaining parent are poignantly portrayed even as one follows Jordan on her quest to rescue her new friend who just might wind up teaching Jordan a thing or two.
“Star Gazer” by Chris Platt is a lovely story about a young girl and the enormous (literally and figuratively) responsibility she takes on in the form of a lame Percheron mare. Struggling to adjust to living in a new state, thirteen year old Jordan and her mother are adjusting to their changed lives and Jordan meets neighbors in rural Michigan who are quite different from those she was used to in busy Los Angeles, California. One thing that Jordan has brought with her is a strong desire to have her own horse but she will have to learn many new things about the beautiful and large equine named Star Gazer. She will discover that her new Mennonite friends are just the ones to teach her some of the things that she needs to know if only she is willing to be taught.
Thirteen-year-old Jordan McKenzie loves draft horses gentle giants, as they re known in the horse industry. Her favorite is the sweet, dependable Black Percheron, and she hopes that her mom will let her have one someday. But considering they don t own even one animal on the small farm they rent in their new southern Michigan town, that seems very unlikely. Jordan s fortunes change at a local livestock auction. With the help of a Mennonite boy, Jacob Yoder, she and her mom bid on a draft mare who is in danger of being sold to a slaughterhouse. She s thrilled to become the proud owner of a large, two-thousand-pound draft horse named Star Gazer. But Jordan s joy is short-lived when she learns that her new horse, once the winner of many log pulling contests, is lame and depressed due to years of neglect. Furious, Jordan vows to beat Star Gazer s former owner in the state pulling contest at the end of the summer but can she get Star Gazer s health and confidence back?