Almost-11-year-old Libby Thump is told by her teacher at the end of fourth grade that she needs “to live up to her potential.” Libby is encouraged by this since it must mean she has potential, but worries what that is exactly. After she discovers the High Hopes Horse Farm, she believes her potential lies in her desire to be the world’s best horse rider.

A string of disappointments and obstacles keep Libby from becoming who she thinks she should be, and the reader will feel her pain every step of the way. The frustrations of adult expectations and of being the little sister are real and palpable. Gloriously, Libby eventually discovers that who you are is just as important as you will be.

Elise Primavera expertly draws us into Libby’s life, creating her world in simple prose that perfectly echoes the mind of a 10-year-old girl. Primavera also illustrates the book with pen and ink drawings that are a wonderful complement to the story. Her knowledge of horses and horse riding is evident—a major plus for all the horse-crazy girls who read this book.

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