Review: MYSTERY RIDER / by Miralee Ferrell

Mystery Rider, / by Miralee Ferrell. (Horse and Friends, 3)
David C. Cook     ISBN 9780781411134
INT (MS)     Grades 3-7     Rating: 4

mystery riderMiralee Ferrell, adult historical fiction author, presents the third book in her series especially for horse-loving preteens.

In Mystery Rider, Kate is cautious and suspicious when Melissa, a former mean classmate, suddenly starts acting nice to Kate and her friends, Tori and Colt. Why is she changing how she acts towards them? How long will it last? Can they trust her?

Then Kate observes a mysterious rider on a beautiful black horse. Could it be her classmate? Is she playing a trick on them? Why does the rider wear a hooded cloak and ride at dusk? It will take detective work by Kate and her friends to discover who is behind the mystery and faith to uncover the truth.

Miralee Ferrell’s love for horses is evident in her stories. More character-driven than plot-driven, Ferrell’s books focus on Kate and the challenges she faces. Kate is a normal teen who struggles with her attitude, but realizes when she is in the wrong. She prays for God to help her, but the tone isn’t preachy.

Told from Kate’s perspective but mostly in a third-person, parents will welcome Kate as a role model. Her friends include a homeschooled boy who is just a friend and a Latina girl who is her best friend. Ferrell’s book has discussion questions for reflection by the reader, which challenges them to deepen their friendships and learn from Kate’s experiences about judging and misunderstanding others.

Recommended for school and public libraries, especially for fans of Dandi Daley Mackall. Blue Ribbon Trail Ride (Book 4) is expected in Spring 2016.

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publisher in exchange for a honest review. 

–reprinted with permission, Christian Library Journal, 2015.