Perfect Distance by Kim Ablon Whitney
I really enjoyed this horse book. It tells the story of Francie, who rides with a top trainer and is trying to compete at the Maclay Finals in New York. But Francie doesn’t feel like she exactly fits in at the barn where her dad is the barn manager. He’s Mexican and Francie’s mother left when she was very young.
I loved this book because first, it is a very good well-written story and it kept me interested until the very end. I also liked it because it gave me a little peek into the world of training for a competition like the Maclay - which I would love to do! And the characters were interesting and diverse. Not the usual stuff you read in many horse novels.
Note from Sydney’s Mom: I also read Perfect Distance and enjoyed it a great deal. Whitney is an excellent writer. However I will caution that this is a young adult book and discusses some topics that are more appropriate for older girls. Parents should check it out and decide if it is right for their horsecrazy daughters.
Interview with the Author:How long have you been a horsecrazy girl?
From about the age of five. I started riding in the summer with family. We all went trail-riding on Cape Cod. After the summer was over, I begged my parents to let me take lessons and from then on all I ever cared about was horses!Did you train and compete like Francie growing up?
I started out doing Pony Club and showing in local shows and worked my way up to riding on the A Circuit. Like Francie, I showed in the equitation as a junior. I didn't do quite as well as her, however! I did compete in all the Finals and I got ribbons at the Medal Finals and the USET Finals in my last junior year.What inspired you to write your book, Perfect Distance?
Growing up, I devoured any book about horses but at the time there were never any books that were about the A Circuit and doing the equitation that seemed to get it just right. I wanted to write that book!How long did it take you to write it?
Probably about two years. It was harder than I thought it would be to write. Writing about something you love so much and know so well seemed like it would be easy buy it actually was hard!Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
Read a lot! Reading lots of different books gives me great ideas for my own writing. I'm constantly learning how to write--and how not to write--from books I'm reading.Do you have horses now?
Sadly, I had to put down my old jumper, Courtside, this past fall. He was 23 years old and was happily retired and then got suddenly ill with what we think was heart failure. I've owned a horse since I was ten so it's very strange for me now not to have a horse in my life. I'm hoping to have another horse sometime soon!