“Ali McCormick used to love horses. But then she and her beloved pony Max were in an accident; Ali was injured, Max died, and Ali’s brother Danny, who caused the accident, joined the military. Now Danny has returned from Afghanistan, injured and traumatized. He’s learning to walk with the prosthetic that has replaced one of his legs, but he can’t seem to find a way to reconnect with family and friends. Withdrawn and quick to anger, Danny suffers from terrible nightmares and frightening mood changes.
When Ali and her friend Cara realize that an elderly neighbor has been neglecting her horses, they decide they have to act. Little does Ali realize that she’ll end up having to help care for these two horses, who are starved and suffering from malnutrition. Can Ali rise above her painful memories and love a horse again? And can Wind Dancer, also injured and traumatized, help Danny find meaning in his life again?”
– Taken from Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18319631-wind-dancer)
I’d like to thank Peachtree Publishers and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
This was a very quick read, given that the book is only 176 pages long. For me, personally, that’s a short book. For middle-graders, especially those not in the habit of reading, is a nice length. Because this is such a short book, I felt like some relevant details were left out. For instance, the synopsis mentions that Ali, the main character, suffered an accident involving her horse, Max. However, not enough details were given about the accident. I finished the book without knowing what exactly happened in that accident, other than the fact that Ali broke her arm and Max had to be euthanized due to a bad break.
At the end, I also missed a bit of closure. There is a big event right before the end and I would have liked to see the ramifications of that. I didn’t get the sense that Wind Dancer would really be okay, or even Danny, Ali’s brother. I did thoroughly enjoy all the scenes revolving around the horses. The way they were portrayed was really thought out and worked to really push the idea that the two horses were in an extremely dire situation.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5