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Turning on a Dime

4.44  ·  Rating details ·  77 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Two girls from two different centuries and the horse that brings them together.

Teenage equestrian Samantha DeVries wants to be the first African American to ride in the Olympics. Her father, a successful trainer, pushes Sam to excel, while Sam’s academic mother tries to instill a sense of heritage in her headstrong daughter who’d rather be riding horses than studying histo
Paperback, 240 pages
Published May 14th 2014 by Pageworks Press
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Average rating 4.44  · 
Rating details
 ·  77 ratings  ·  26 reviews

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Kim Whitney
May 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Maggie Dana (author of the popular Timber Ridge Riders series) shows a new and exciting side of her writing with TURNING ON A DIME. The novel for young readers alternates chapters between the perspective of Samantha DeVries, who lives a life of horses and relative privilege and may become the first African American to ride in the Olympic Games (Sam is biracial), and Caroline Chandler, who lives a different life of privilege and horses (when she can escape the limits forced on young women of her
Jun 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy

Age Recommended: 12 and up

A great book about a magic dime that transports the holder to another time. Well-written and characters are well-developed but the ending is very abrupt.

Turning on a Dime


Samantha is a girl in modern time. She lives in the era of the iPhone and iTunes. Her world is turned upside down when she finds a dime that transports her to another era. There
May 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Nerdy horse people
This book was probably one of my favorite books ever! Being the geek that I am, I love the Civil War. That means that this book had a combination of two of my favorite things, history and horses. However, this book also sought me about how important it is to stay in the present and not to get all caught up in the future or past. This is summed up in the quote, "Can life really turn on a dime " (173)? I feel like this is saying that life can change in a moment and that you should never get stuck ...more
Rebekah Marshall-Liston
Feb 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: maggie-dana
It is an amazing and interesting book. I love Horses and have a few other horse stories that I have read. But, this story is one of my favourites now and will definitely will read again.
Carol Baldwin
Time travel. The Civil War. Multi-cultural. Horses. Romance. There aren't many books that fit such a wide variety of categories--but Turning on a Dime by Maggie Dana does just that.

Samantha DeVries' father is Lucas DeVries, a third-generation American of Dutch descent and master horseman; her mother, Gretchen, is an African American and a history buff who has traced her family's lineage back to 1875.

Caroline Chandler is the daughter of a plantation owner in Mississippi who prefers her brother’s
Jun 24, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Younger horse lovers.
You can see more of my reviews at My Blog

Wow, this is definitely a very unique horse book! There’s a huge mixture of stuff in this novel: time travel, special dimes, slavery, and horses. The topics covered can feel strange while mixed together, but I generally enjoyed it.

Samantha DeVries is the daughter of an Olympic horse rider. She’s been riding her entire life and is aiming to be the first African American to ride horses at the Olympics. When she goes on a trip to Mississippi with her father,
Annie McMahon
Oct 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Positive Points
Ooh, the Kindle copy I had didn't come with a cover, so I just saw it when I searched for a picture for this blog post. Wow, it really conveys what the story is about: two girls from different centuries, both crazy about horses. The interesting element in this story is that Samantha (from the twenty-first century) is African-American. She time-travels to 1863 in Mississippi and meets Caroline, whose family owns slaves. I won't say more about this, but I found it very interesting.
I’m often struck by how much we share with the equestrians of the past. Our tack, our boots, the very way we sit our horses -- whether we ride English or Western, we are very much in contact with our riding roots every day. Horsemanship is horsemanship, and, by the same token, the deep genetic need the truly horse-crazy feel to keep horses close to them probably hasn’t changed much in the past millennia or two, either.

But in Maggie Dana’s powerful new drama, Turning on a Dime, we’re asked to sto
Julia Nashif
This probably would have made more sense if I were a horse person.

Thank you, Pageworks Press and NetGalley, for this free title to review!

Don't get me wrong, I love horses. But I don't understand how people can have such strong connections with them. I've been looking for a book that would help me understand that. Was Turning on a Dime that book? A little bit.

What I DO understand is that I love lists, so here we go:

Things I liked:

1. The civil war time period. Not enough YA books are set in there
Tonja Drecker
Jun 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a fun mixture of themes rolled into one enjoyable story. Sam is shooting for the Olympics with her horse, Nugget, which would make her the first African American in this area to make it. When she accompanies her father to a Southern home with history to view several horses, she finds an antique dime and winds up transporting into the past.

Sam is a great, modern girl. She's determined, smart, tends to say what she thinks (not always at the right time) and loves her horse. It was easy to c
Jun 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
A fun read for young horse lovers (and the not so young), with two feisty heroines worth rooting for. Like most teenagers (and almost anyone else really), Sam relies on modern technology to make it through the day. So when she ends up 150 years in the past, things take a little getting used too. For Caroline, a girl born in the wrong time, having a girl from the future appear in her room, is like a wish come true.

Sam is hoping to be the first black girl on the US equestrian Team and her dad is h
Mary Pagones
Jun 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books as a child was Can I Get There by Candlelight? by Jean Slaughter Doty, which told story of two young girls--one from the past and one from the present--who transcended the barriers of time to form a brief friendship, united by a common love of horses. The idea that horses form a bond between all young girls, regardless of the age in which they live is brought to life once again in Turning on a Dime by Maggie Dana. Only the story of Caroline and Sam has something of a twi ...more
Jun 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
**Copy kindly provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**

Maggie Dana delivers a smooth read, and a light story in Turning on a dime. It is more of a middle grade or childrens book than YA, and this is reflected in the prose and short chapters, but overall it is still a very good read.

The characters were well rounded and interesting - both girls were tomboys, which I appreciated. They also had fire in their blood, and fought back against the various antagonists at every turn, never t
Samantha and Caroline are destined to become fast friends, with their mutual love of horses and spunky attitude. Unfortunately they live in different centuries. Caroline is a privileged Southern belle in the midst of the Civil War, and Samantha is a biracial Olympian in training. How on earth do these two meet? A pesky, supernatural dime. Before Samantha knows what's hit her, she's waking up in Caroline's room in 1863 and thrust into the chaos of Union troops laying siege to the slave-holding So ...more
May 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horses
Imagine two spunky girls from different centuries. Imagine that both are horse-girls, with a connection through the bloodlines of their horses. Now picture one of them as a privileged Southern white girl - stuck in fancy gowns when she’d rather be at the barn. The other is a talented Olympic-bound rider, who just happens to be bi-racial. When time travel causes these two girls to meet and instantly bond, they discover that Mississippi in 1863 is not a particularly safe place for their friendship ...more
Aug 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Interesting combination - horses, time travel and the Civil War. The story is told alternately by two teenage girls who love horses - Samantha, a present day girl whose goal is to be the first African American girl to ride in the Olympics, and Caroline, who lives on a plantation in Mississippi in 1863 where her father breeds horses. Caroline is a tomboy and gets in trouble frequently for not acting ladylike enough and for riding horses in her brothers breeches and getting dirty. When Samantha, w ...more
Eliza Graham
May 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Taking on history can be a demanding ask for a MG author--just a whiff of 'teaching' and you can lose your audience. Dana balances her interest in and enthusiasm for the period with an instinctive understanding of what makes any kind of novel for youngsters this age sing--in this case it's all about friendships and how we can override (no pun intended) differences. And differences between the two protagonist are manifold: mixed-race northener and white southener each approaching their strange hi ...more
Dale Leatherman
May 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dana steps fearlessly out on a limb with this unusual book set in worlds 150 years apart. It's a delightful read, whether you're a fan of horses--or time travel--or both. There are funny moments, such as Caroline's introduction to bras, i-phones and slang from the future. There are seriously scary moments, too, such as biracial Samantha finding herself in the hands of cruel slave masters--and clueless as to how to get back to the 21st century. However, the girls are curious teenagers with open m ...more
Rachael Eliker
May 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Turning on a Dime was a great read--the characters were relatable, the language was rich and descriptive and though it approached a sensitive subject such as slavery, Maggie presented it in a way that realized how horrific it was without being overly graphic. Deep down though, the book is about friendship and what really brings people together. In this case, horses were the common ground for girls of different culture, background and time. It was a very heartfelt novel with a couple of twists th ...more
Rachael Eliker
Jul 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Turning on a Dime was a great read--the characters were relatable, the language was rich and descriptive and though it approached a sensitive subject such as slavery, Maggie presented it in a way that realized how horrific it was without being overly graphic. Deep down though, the book is about friendship and what really brings people together. In this case, horses were the common ground for girls of different culture, background and time. It was a very heartfelt novel with a couple of twists th ...more
This book was way better than I was expecting. I've sporadically dipped into the YA horse genre, with varying results, but I think all it took was a plot that didn't entirely revolve around horses. this was fun. I really liked how Samantha's race was involved, but she was still really interesting beyond who she was. I mean, the plot wasn't really that sophisticated, and I thought that the relationship between Sam and Caroline could have been developed more- but all in all, this was heaps of fun.
Jun 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. I love horses and could identify with the bond the girls shared with their horses.

Yes, the story was a bit unrealistic. Everyone accepted time travel easily and without much fuss. Would I cause a fuss if this happened to me? umm.....yeah, big melt down. But it's fiction, it doesn't have to be realistic, just enjoyable to read.

And this book fulfilled that in spades. I loved the escapades and adventures, the friendships, the different time periods, just everything about
Chasia Lloyd
Jul 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Super super cute and fluffy read. Girl friendships + horses + time travel = fun. Racial issues are touched upon given that one of the MCs who is biracial with dark skin time travels to the south during the Civil War, but the story is overall a light and whimsical read. I don't enough of the time to say whether this book was historically accurate or not, but it was fun watching the girls learn about each other, and I was sad to see it end.
Clare O'Beara
This is a top-class time travel book which brings a girl from modern day face to face with her African-American heritage when she travels to the Civil War times.

The young lady she meets is from a land-owning family and they come together over their love for horses. Remounts are being sought by both sides, and the two girls have a desperate struggle to save their beloved horses - and themselves - from the turmoil.

I recommend this to teens looking for an unusual adventure read.
Katie Amanda
May 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

definitely a 5 star book!!!=perfect for horse lovers! Maggie Dana is a fantabulous writer and if you haven't already read her other books you really should!!!
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