by Betty Levin
Matt has always dreamed of owning a horse. His great-uncle, a filmmaker who travels the world to find rare animals, promises to send him one, although Matt\’s parents think this is a misunderstanding. Matt works hard to get a space ready in the old carriage house on their property in the suburbs; his family assumes he\’s just playing out there. When he announces the horse has arrived (early in the morning when everyone else was sleeping) they think it\’s still a game and nobody goes out to see the horse for nearly a week! Then they\’re all stunned. Matt is crushed when his family says he can\’t keep the horse- but since it\’s an unusual breed- a Norwegian Fjord- they contact the horse farm it came from to try and find a buyer. Meanwhile Matt works hard to take care of his horse, alleviate its boredom (stuck in the stall or taking walks around the streets most of the time) and figure out how to scrape enough money for its food and other necessities. His friend next door helps out, he cajoles his older siblings to contribute, and before long all the neighborhood kids want to come see his horse, pet it, lead it around, maybe take a ride. They find someone to give some basic riding lessons, and then get a bright idea to enter the horse in a local pet show. Maybe the prize will help them keep it. It doesn\’t turn out perfectly, but there is a satisfactory solution in the end.