I thought this was going to be more of a YA book, but I think I’d definitely bump it down to J/FIC. So in cataloguer speak, that means I feel it’s more suitable for children 12 years of age or less. I wanted to read this book because it’s essentially a sequel, and I like to test books to see if they are readable without having read the first. This one did pass that test. There were of course allusions to the first book, and perhaps I’d understand a few more things if I had read her first. I also wanted to see if a woman could really “get” a boy. I didn’t really feel she did, but then again, I’m just a woman too, so maybe I’m wrong in what I’d expect a boy to think and do.
I wasn’t extraordinarily pleased with the book. It took forever to get into the story and then once the exciting stuff started to happen, it didn’t last long (and no, I’m not just talking about the climax). The story as a whole just didn’t seem to flow too well and the ending was just not good. The first part dealt mainly with the family moving into an apartment and then the last part dealt with the boy searching for his estranged father because his mom was sick.
An older child may enjoy the book because it is easy to read, does bring out some interesting themes and ideas about brothers and sisters, single parent homes, and of course horses that they’ll relate to and they’ll want to keep reading just to see what happens with the rifle.