cover image Horses in the Garage

Horses in the Garage

Bonnie Pryor. Morrow Junior Books, $14 (153pp) ISBN 978-0-688-10567-9

The likable, level-headed Samantha Tate returns in this sequel to Rats, Spiders and Love. Portrayed with warmth and good spirits, the Tates move to the Midwest, where Samantha must cope with her mother's remarriage and a new school. There it appears her only real friend is her eccentric and unpopular next-door neighbor. As tensions mount at home between Samantha's sister and stepfather, the girl proposes a family project to pull everyone together. The subsequent adoption of two horses provides an amusing solution and offers the Tates plenty of distractions. With a light touch, Pryor skillfully examines the kinds of recognizable issues that come with changing families and new homes. Her story's lively pace and believable dialogue effectively delineate the give and take of a family in flux. While the novel's themes are not unique, readers will once again be quietly amused by this engaging family. Ages 9-up. (Sept.)