Brokenhearted after her best friend leaves for the entire summer, Ivy rallies and finds herself something new and exciting to do: she hires herself out to look after people's farm animals and pets while they're away. Read more...
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Brokenhearted after her best friend leaves for the entire summer, Ivy rallies and finds herself something new and exciting to do: she hires herself out to look after people's farm animals and pets while they're away. So begins a summer of discovery and definition for tenderhearted but sensible Ivy, who must win over the stubborn pony Chestnut, take on the training of a puppy named Inca, and patiently court the trust of the magnificent but scarred racehorse, Andromeda. All this while tending to her own private hurts and hopes, and managing the hapless tagalong Billy Joe, who has a knack for trouble and accidents like nobody else. Celebrated writer Rosemary Wells delivers a compassionately observed and exquisitely distilled novel set in mid-century Nevada about a heroine with an exceptional gift, a heart of gold, and a budding dream for her future.
- ISBN-13: 9780763653521
- ISBN-10: 0763653527
- Publisher: Candlewick Press (MA)
- Publish Date: February 2013
- Page Count: 199
- Reading Level: Ages 8-12
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-12-17
- Reviewer: Staff
Wells’s quiet period piece is set in 1949 on a ranch near Reno, Nev., where almost-sixth-grader Ivy’s parents work. Ivy’s deep compassion for animals spurs her to offer herself as caretaker for pets and farm animals while their owners are away; her experiences inspire her aspirations to become a veterinarian. Effectively structured in three sections, each focusing on Ivy’s relationship with a different animal, the story proceeds chronologically and developmentally as Ivy faces crises with her charges—often caused by “nothing but trouble” Billy Joe, her careless companion and the ranch owners’ son—and grapples with middle-grade friendship problems. Secondary characters perform reliably: Dr. Rinaldi, the local vet, is always on hand for emergencies and career advice; Ivy’s hardworking parents stand by her; and the strangers who hire her are kind and sympathetic. Animal lovers will feast on the details Wells (Following Grandfather) includes and envy Ivy’s opportunities to lavish her care on dogs, horses, and even a new litter of fox kits; all will be quickly won over by her good nature, determination, confidence and loyalty. Art not seen by PW. Ages 8–11. (Feb.)