cover image Dream of Night

Dream of Night

Heather Henson, S&S/Atheneum, $15.99 (224p) ISBN 978-1-4169-4899-5

Alternating among the points of view of a damaged racehorse, an abused child, and the remarkable woman who brings them together, Henson (Here's How I See It—Here's How It Is) creates an affecting story about emotional recovery. Foster parent and animal rescuer Jess DiLima receives two new wards on the same day: Dream of Night, a "shell of a horse" she saves on a Humane Society run, and Shiloh, a 12-year-old charge of the state. Both are full of anger and resentment when they arrive at Jess's rundown farm ("And Shiloh knows. The black horse hates the woman. Hates her, pure and simple. And somehow this makes it better"). But over time, touched by Jess's unwavering gentleness and patience, they begin to trust again. Besides highlighting the connections between Night and Shiloh, Henson also sheds light on Jess's painful history, sensitively conveying why she needs the horse and child as much as they need her. The book's climax—in which Night's previous owner attempts to steal him away— reveals the strength of bonds that have formed among the characters. Ages 8–12. (May)