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Pony Detectives: Starlight Stables    by Soraya Nicholas order for
Pony Detectives
by Soraya Nicholas
Order:  USA  Can
Puffin, 2017 (2017)
* *   Reviewed by Jessica Maguire

Poppy has had a hard year. Life at home has become difficult after the passing of the young girl's father. Poppy's grief stricken mother has left Poppy to take on a more adult role, caring for her brother, doing household chores, and worrying about her mother. When Poppy is sent to spend time at her aunt and uncle's horse stables she feels excited, nervous, and guilty.

Poppy soon settles into the routine of riding with her aunt, caring for the horses, and helping with the riding school. Much to Poppy's delight she even finally gets a pony of her very own.

But Poppy's summer isn't coming up all roses. Two new girls have received a scholarship to attend Aunt Sophie's riding school. Milly and Katie will be training all summer with Poppy. It's up to Poppy to help the girls both with their riding and making them feel welcomed at Starlight Stables. Poppy worries, wondering if the girls will like her and if they will all get along.

The girls get into all kinds of trouble. A horse thief is on the loose and the trio suspects that a nasty neighbor is involved. Will the girls find themselves in more danger than they can handle?

Starlight Stables is a delightful new series for readers ages seven to nine years old who have outgrown the Pony Pals series, yet aren't quite ready for The Saddle Club. I enjoyed this action-packed story about transitioning into a new life, going outside of one's comfort boundaries, making new friends, and experiencing new things. Living in North America, I was delighted by the setting of Australia (there aren't any gum trees or kangaroos where I'm from) and I even picked up some new slang.

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