picture from audible

Narrated by Leonor A. Woodworth

Genre: children’s, middle grade camp adventure, feel good

*Spoilers possible in discussion


Mickey doesn’t want to go to camp until he gets there. He believes his asthma holds him back from doing any kind of physical activity.

Additional Comments:

  • Not sure why the author’s mentioned in the blurb. The blurb sounds like the end note on the audio.
  • I get that asthma was a central hindrance to the main character here, but to say it was belabored as a point is a massive understatement.
  • If you do 0 thinking about the many, many things wrong in the book, it’s a sweet, diamond-in-the-rough finds his way sort of story.
  • Bullies – stereotyped.
  • Friends – fine. Nice balance, one female bestie, one male bestie.
  • Paranormal aspect – fine for a kids’ story.
  • Story 2.5 of 5 stars: The camp itself is improbable. I’m not saying it couldn’t happen, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a summer camp that gives the kids that much freedom to do whatever they want whenever they want. Usually, there’s more structure.
  • More improbability: I don’t think 6 weeks is enough time to go from never-rode a horse to entering a big-time race, but that’s just a gut thing.

I don’t know much about the racing world. I Googled it, of course. Arguably not the best source of information, but the general consensus is that a jockey apprenticeship takes 4-6 years to complete, and you can’t start until you’re 16. Mickey is early teens at best.

  • So, the horse expert at this camp/ farm endeavor didn’t recognize Jackson as a Thoroughbred? Seems odd.
  • The secrecy thing seemed dumb. Why keep that from his parents, even if they legally could? Chess, yes. Horse racing, nope. If anything bad happened, they’d get the heck sued out of them. 
  • End Message: Is about as subtle as a cow standing up and dancing in a tutu. Fret not, it’s in the blurb and at the end, just in case you missed it when it was shoved in your ears for the last half hour of the book.
  • Message itself – You are all horses. (Translation: There are hidden talents in everybody, and they should believe in themselves and become that thoroughbred horse, not a plow horse.)
  • Performance 4 of 5 stars: I’m a fan of the narrator. She tends to pick nice clean reads.

Conclusion: 3.5 of 5 Stars

If you can overlook the heavy-handed messaging, it’s a cute kid story.

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