August 05, 2014

Red River Stallion: Guest Review 1

by Troon Harrison
Bloomsbury
978-1599908458
304 pp.
Ages 10-14
2013

Red River Stallion is a moving, deep story that perfectly portrays the struggle to find one's identity and destiny.  The author was able to capture how difficult it is to find one's purpose and future in the world, using the life of Amelia Otterchild, and kept me engaged throughout the entire read.

Red River Stallion is centered around a young Cree girl named Amelia, who is alone to look after her younger sister since the death of her mother and the disappearance of her father.  She is able to get a glimpse of happiness when she befriends a beautiful stallion the she presumes to be her soul guardian, but the only way for Amelia to remain with him is to travel with her sister to the Red River Valley, the last known location of her father.  As she journeys, frightened and hopeful, Amelia is faced with challenges of all kinds, from raging storms to sickening grief.  But by making new friends and accepting truths of the past, Amelia perseveres to continue her search for her father, comforted by the love of her family and close companions.

What was most enjoyable about Red River Stallion was the character depth.  Amelia's outside appearance showed courage, curiosity and a deep passion for horses.  But the inner conflict she felt was also very powerful, a battle between grief from the past and hope for the future.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading about all of these feelings inside of her, and seeing the way she changed as the good began to overpower the bad.

I also enjoyed the culture that was woven into the Red River Stallion story.  Through reading about Amelia and her adventures, I discovered many interesting truths of First Nations history that I had not been aware of before reading.  Their beliefs, their habits, and their very lives were expertly scattered throughout the story, and kept me fascinated cover to cover.

All in all, Red River Stallion was an expertly written, wonderfully detailed story that kept my interest through every chapter.  It was bursting with culture, inner conflict and themes of hope, renewal and friendship.  I can confidently rate it with nine stars out of ten, and would certainly recommend it to any reader.

Niki, Age 12

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