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A Good Horse (Horses of Oak Valley Ranch, #2)
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A Good Horse (Horses of Oak Valley Ranch #2)

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  519 Ratings  ·  60 Reviews
When eighth grader Abby Lovitt looks out at those pure-gold rolling hills, she knows there’s no place she’d rather be than her family’s ranch—even with all the hard work of tending to nine horses. But some chores are no work at all, like grooming young Jack. At eight months, his rough foal coat has shed out, leaving a smooth, rich silk, like chocolate. As for Black George, ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published October 26th 2010 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2010)
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Adrienne Furness
I listened to this one, and at first I thought I wasn't going to like it, but it really grew on me. I enjoyed the window into a world I know very little about, on a few levels.
Jun 06, 2010 Camille rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horse-story, 2010
Holly Viken
Oct 23, 2016 Holly Viken rated it it was amazing
October book report
A good horse
Jane Smiley

The book A good horse is about a young girl named Abby Lovitt, and she is about to start the eighth grade. Abby lives with her very strict parents on their 26 acre horse ranch in California. The Lovitt families business consists of buying horses at low prices, getting them healthy and in beautiful condition, training them to jump and race, and then selling them for money. Abby knows that she shouldn’t get infatuated or too close with the horses because s
Jul 10, 2015 Christine rated it liked it
This is a challenging review to write because my thoughts are all over the place.

The writing: It’s excellent. I mean the author is a Pulitzer Prize winner. You don’t just buy one of those awards at the University of Phoenix or anything.

Horses: This was way fun to read about horses from someone who KNOWS her equine particulars. If the horse facts are not accurate, I won’t wade through the book.

Faith/Scripture: I was shocked at the first mention of faith. (Not having read the first book in the
Jane Debano
Apr 04, 2012 Jane Debano rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. It's a sequel to "The Georges and the Jewels" and continues the story of Abby Lovitt who lives on a horse ranch in California in the 1960's. She is now 13 and in 8th grade and continues her barn chores as well as daily riding the horses. She's decided to name one of the geldings Black George and he turns out to be a natural jumper. Her parents have decided to ask Jem Jarrow, a man who works with horses in a gentler, more intuitive way, to give her lessons. You might say Jarrow h ...more
Jan 30, 2013 Charissa marked it as not-for-me  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Charissa by: My sister's friend who gave her the book.
My sister keeps pointing out things that are wrong with this book. I picked it up just for fun, and believe me, she was right.

In my sister's words:
First of all, the author jumps right into stuff.
There's another horse series? I thought this was a stand alone!
Second, since when do teenage girls not care about anything? The closest to real emotions I saw was "It was fun."
Third, she seems not to care about the ponies. She keeps on mentioning her dad selling the ponies and not at all feeling sorry f
Sep 01, 2016 Andee rated it it was ok
Abbey and her parents own many horses. They train, buy, and sell horses. Abbey’s dad bought a new horse he was only 3. His name is Jack. Jack is an amazing horse, he is so sweet and willing to learn. Abbey is 13 years old. She has two main horses, Jack and Black George. Her mom doesn’t ride but her dad does. The dad has Lester and Lincoln. He trail rides them. They live in an open 26 acre horse ranch, where the horses can roam. Abby and her dad train their horses. They live on a beautiful ranch ...more
Linda C
This book is about Abby Lovitt and her interactions with two of the family horses. The family buys, trains and sells horses. They have 9 at the start of the story. One horse Black George seems to love jumping and Abby is taking lessons with him at a Hunter stable. The horse gets better and better and suddenly gets a lot of interest. The other horse is a colt, Jack, that was born of a mare that her father purchased in OK at the same sale as Black George and 2 others. The mare dies after giving bi ...more
Ms. Yingling
Apr 03, 2012 Ms. Yingling rated it it was ok
Abby is used to losing horses to new homes, but this time she may lose two. Black George is showing so well that he is sure to sell if Abby can continue to make him look good in the ring. Jack, a horse she rescued, is the foal of a stolen mare, and may be taken away from her as well. Abby continues to struggle with fitting in with her friends at school, although she enjoys being part of a play reading group, even though her mother is a bit disapproving of reading Shakespeare. When it looks like ...more
Lukas Austin
Oct 24, 2013 Lukas Austin rated it really liked it
This book Is definitely a book for people that love horses This book is about amy lovett who loves on a ranch with her father and her mother. They have horses and horses only, In the first book " The georges and the jewels" They named all of the male horses george and all of the female horses jewel. In the this book which is the second book amy's father goes to oklahoma to get horses from the auctions. He comes back with this mare. Later they found out that she was pregnant when she foaled to he ...more
Hannah Bendull
Jan 09, 2015 Hannah Bendull rated it really liked it
A Good Horse, by Jane Smiley, is a fictional book about two horses and a girl. This book is a sequel to the book The George's and the Jewels. The book takes place in in the 1960's of California. Abby Lovitt is in grade eight and lives on a farm with her parents. The girl has many chores but grooming horses has never been one of them. Abby has been taking care of Black George and Jack for a while now. When young Black George does well in the arena, potential buyers start paying attention and Abby ...more
Nov 30, 2015 Elodie added it
Shelves: read-7th-grade
I would recommend this book because it is very well written. The author does a good job of making her writing easy to follow while still being interesting. The main character is a girl named Abby Lovett. Abby doesn't care about what other people think about her and she is also very determined. For example, when Abby goes to a show, instead of wearing breeches and tall boots like all of the other girls she is quite happy wearing her too small show coat, jodhpurs, and paddock boots. She shows det ...more
Deni Ratterree
Sep 23, 2014 Deni Ratterree rated it really liked it
A Good Horse by Jane Smiley is about Abby Lovitt and her life on the family ranch. In the story, Abby and her father come across an extra special horse they name Black George. Black George has a gift. That gift is jumping. He goes over jumps with ease, and he loves to do it. Abby and Black George team up and enter a high-class horse show. This will expose Black George and Abby's father might be able to get top dollar for him when he sells him. Also, Abby has a favorite horse on the ranch. His na ...more
Abby has to deal with the possibility of two favorite horses leaving the farm: Black George, who Abby is discovering could become a high-level show jumper; and Jack, her beloved colt. Turns out Jack's dam may have been stolen and sold to Abby's father.

I felt like this story moved very slowly. There's a lot of detail about things like the courses Abby has to jump in shows that were boring. The religion of Abby's family seems like a strange sticking point for me; it isn't a major point in the sto
Feb 09, 2011 Marty rated it liked it
This is categorized as juvenile fiction, but it was more advanced than that. It was about a young girl (12 or 13?), but it really wasn't juvenile in content. If you really like horses, you would like this book. I kind of skimmed over the descriptions of the jumps and other horsey things. After reading it, I discovered that there was a previous book about this family. I may try to find that and read it. I was interested in the religious aspect of the book. This family is very religious, goes to c ...more
Barb Flory
Feb 05, 2017 Barb Flory rated it liked it
Loved it. This is #2 in the series.
Sep 07, 2012 Kristen rated it it was ok
This book will be absolutely perfect for kids who can't get enough horse stories, since there is lots of horse talk, horse shows, and horsemanship in this book. Abby, the main character, shows small glints of interesting features but is overall kind of flat, and more of a vehicle for experiencing the horses. For those reasons I was totally and completely bored while reading this book. However, in the hands of a horse-crazy middle-grade reader it's a fantastic book, and I will definitely keep buy ...more
Sally Jordan
Oct 22, 2013 Sally Jordan rated it really liked it
This denfinatly is a book for horse lovers! This book is about about a teenage girl, Abby Lovitt who lives on a horse ranch. In this book Abby Falls head over heels for a colt named Jack, Jacks mom died and now the people who owned his mother want him back. Abby is going to do everything that she can to stop them. If you want to know what happens to Jack I suggest you read this book! Jane Smiley is a great author.
Feb 14, 2014 Taylor rated it really liked it
I think I would have enjoyed this book more if I had it a few years ago and read the first book in the series first.
I was surprised at the literature quality of this book. Usually,modern children's series are written merely for entertainment and have little or no literature quality. But this series, written by a Pulitzer-prize winning author, had a refreshing style of writing and creativity. Not a lot of high-action and good for horse-lovers.
Mar 30, 2012 Sharilyn rated it liked it
I had sworn off Jane Smiley. I'd read and liked her 'Thousand Acres' but HATED 'Barn Blind' which left me depressed for days. However, I like to keep my foot in the Young Adult genre and this was available on Kindle from our local library. I was pleasantly surprised. She handles the characters well and the underlying plot line is a bit of a mystery right until the end. I'm not sure if it has enough action to captivate today's teen/pre-teen crowd, but the horsey set will like it.
Jul 18, 2015 Leslie rated it really liked it
I would recommend this book to any youngster,probably age 12-14,especially girls,who are horse crazy. The author did a good job of taking the reader through the daily work of caring for a horse/horses, which is the reality of having horses in your life.Well written and engaging.

When I bought the book I didn't realize it was geared for the 12-14 age group but was pleasantly surprised by the content and story.
Jun 04, 2012 Jami rated it really liked it
Audience: This is a great book for serious horse lovers as well as people of all ages interested in what daily ranch life if like. It is also a good book for a teacher looking for a higher level book to teach character development.

Appeal: The characters and the realistic horse situations draw horse lovers of all ages into this book. The horse lingo and the multi-level relationships keep readers wondering and hoping the whole way through.
Apr 19, 2014 Devynne rated it it was amazing
I love this new serise I started. When I read the first book last year I didn't realize there were others to read too. The only confusing part of the book is when the little girl explanes about which order of jumps she has to do and a couple of them you jump them then turn around and jump them again. My eyes were hurting just trying to keep up with the jumps.
Mar 17, 2012 Kim rated it really liked it
Great story about a girl on a working horse farm, her relationships with her family, friends, and of course, the horses. Jane Smiley clearly knows horses, and her writing rings true in all things equine. Would recommend for not only young teens interested in horses, but any adult who enjoys Smiley's superb writing.
Aug 30, 2010 Linda rated it really liked it
Shelves: horses
This is the kind of horse book I gobbled up a kid. Although not billed as a sequel, it picks up right where Smiley's THE GEORGES AND THE JEWELS left off, and I enjoyed this one even more. With lots of details about jumping, and a plot that deals with the possible loss of not just one, but two of the main character's favorite horses, it's a great read. Horse lovers of all ages will enjoy this one.
Stephanie A.
A nice follow-up to the first book, with mild elements of mystery and a much calmer and more close-knit relationship with both parents than I remember from said first book. I liked the additional showjumping detail and discussion of training her top two horses, Black Jumper and the foal, Jack. Also, I just learned this is a fully developed series and I am extremely excited to read more!
Apr 02, 2012 M— rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Oooh, this became a series! When did this happen?

I didn't like this book quite as much as I liked the first one, but I still found it very well done. The aspects of religion, both Abby's family's and others, continue to be handled deftly and without judgment. Recommended best for early teen readers.
Leslie Wahlquist
Aug 28, 2011 Leslie Wahlquist rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It's an easy read (intended for teens) -- and as a horse lover, its detail about horses and riding really brought the characters and the story to life. If you love horses --- you'll love this book.
Sep 06, 2012 Anna rated it really liked it
A sweet little horse story that falls on the line between middle grade and YA fiction. Jane Smiley is setting up some interesting things here in relation to religion, socioeconomic class issues, and self-discovery/growing up, and all of it is done with a light touch - truly lovely.
Nov 19, 2012 stephanie rated it liked it
awww, i so related to this. not the having the really nice horses part, but abby herself.

though i am sad that they make their money buying and selling horses. did you know the average horse goes through 6 or more owners in their lifetime? it makes me sad for black george.
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Jane Smiley is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist.

Born in Los Angeles, California, Smiley grew up in Webster Groves, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis, and graduated from John Burroughs School. She obtained a A.B. at Vassar College, then earned a M.F.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. While working towards her doctorate, she also spent a year studying in Iceland as a Fulbright Scholar
More about Jane Smiley...

Other Books in the Series

Horses of Oak Valley Ranch (5 books)
  • The Georges and the Jewels (Horses of Oak Valley Ranch, #1)
  • True Blue (Horses of Oak Valley Ranch, #3)
  • Pie in the Sky (Horses of Oak Valley Ranch, #4)
  • Gee Whiz (Horses of Oak Valley Ranch, #5)

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