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Booktalking "Astra" by Chris Platt

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Astra is an Arabian mare whom 13-year-old Lily is in love with. Only problem is that this mare was involved in the accident that caused her mother's death. Lily's father says no riding, and he is particularly wary of Astra. Luckily, though, he allows her to volunteer at neighboring Whispering Pines Ranch, where Astra lives, along with the other endurance racers. Lily finds it quite exciting to feed the horses and await their return from their long workouts.

Mr. Henley owns Whispering Pines, and his son Charlie never misses an opportunity to tease Lily. Daughter Jill is more mature, at 16 years old, and she offers comfort to Lily when Astra becomes sick. Lily vows to help rehabilitate the downed mare, and she is at her side during the worst of her illness.

Building fences with newcomer Devin, his black Arabian gelding, Jericho, and her friend Meloney; Lily attempts to build a home for her beloved equine friend. Horses grazing in her backyard, dreaming of riding, Lily is immersed in everything horsy.

Astra by Chris Platt, 2010

The author has competed on endurance rides. I loved learning about endurance riding; I like the Energizer Bunny personalities of Arabian horses. However, I do not agree that people should buy and care for horses that they cannot afford.

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