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Booktalking "Flying Changes" by Sara Gruen



Annemarie Zimmer loves her 17-year-old one-eyed warm blood, Hurrah, and her teenage daughter, Eva. She helps her mother, Mutti, by teaching riding lessons at her stable. She sleeps in the barn, and horses fill her mind, her thoughts and her days. One freak jump killed Hurrah's brother, Harry, and the hippophile cannot stop reliving it.

Unfortunately, Eva refuses to think about anything besides jumping. Like galloping straight towards a paddock fence on frozen ground on a horse who lacks depth perception. She begs her mother to allow her to compete. Dressage simply will not cut it with this high-flying girl.

Nathalie has many working students living in a house near her stable, and Eva wants to join them. Smokin' Joe is a superstar blue roan Nokota who refuses to let just anyone ride him. Girl and horse fall in love and in step. Eva feels alive on Joe, and he searches for her instructions. He will jump anything, and it is Nathalie's hope that the gelding has Olympic potential. 

Impossibly slick footing at an eventing competition puts all of the riders and their horses in peril. Eva must choose between a riding career or returning home. Mrs. Zimmer struggles to reach her daughter.

Flying Changes by Sara Gruen, 2005


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