Astra a Compelling Read

New Chris Platt book gets to the heart of horses

  • Grades: 3–5, 6–8

Astra           
Author: Chris Platt
Publisher/Release Date: Peachtree Publishers/September 2010
No. of Pages: 176 Hardcover
Recommended Reading Level: Ages 9 to 12


Even if you're not a horse lover, you'll love Chris Platt's new book, Astra. In the book, 13-year old Lily's mother dies from an accident while riding her Arabian horse, Astra. The horse survives, but Lily's father forbids his daughter to ever ride horses again. He even sells her pony.

Lily, who shares her mother's dream of someday winning the famous Tevis Cup Endurance Race, is devastated. Her grandmother helps convince her dad to let her work cleaning stables at a nearby ranch. Her mother used to work there and that is where Astra now lives.

The tension builds when Astra gets sick. Lily feels it's her responsibility to make sure the horse lives—Astra is her only link to her mother.

Astra is a compelling story with details about the care and keep of horses that will interest anyone who loves animals. Platt knows her horse facts and can tell a good tale.

The book has more than horses, though. Themes of friendship, competition, and love drive the action with a well-thought-out plot line and likeable characters. I highly recommend Astra as a great read.

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