A wild horse at last
After years of patiently being ridden by countless children at fairs, Speed the horse no longer lives up to his name. The night before his current owners have arranged to put him down due to his age and loss of spirit, 16-year-old Hattie Wyatt, Speed’s hired caretaker, kidnaps the horse from his New Hampshire farm. With her older friend, Delores, at the wheel and a “borrowed” horse trailer in tow, the girls set out on a life-changing westward road trip to find a rangeland established by the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, which will allow Speed to finally be a true horse.
Author Joseph Monninger creates a visceral experience, capturing the smells of living with horses and life on the road and the sights and feel of open land. Interspersed with playful banter, introspection and even a touch of romance, the girls’ journey is just as important as reaching their final destination as they each realize that they need a fresh start as much as Speed. While impulsive Hattie begins to wonder about the course of her life after the road trip, depression-prone Delores makes plans to reconnect with her absent biological father.
The highlight, of course, is the thrilling and bittersweet release of Speed and the anticipation of how he will adjust to his new surroundings and other wild horses. Finding Somewhere will appeal most strongly to horse fans (“Once you like horses, you can’t get them out of your head.”), but readers who enjoy stories of friendship will also appreciate Hattie and Delores’ fierce bond.