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Racing Manhattan

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  106 ratings  ·  30 reviews
In a cheering and relatable story of adversity overcome, an outcast teen coaxes a defiant Thoroughbred back into the thrill of competition.

Alone in the world, Jay Barton is a teenage misfit with nothing much going for her besides an extraordinary talent for understanding racehorses and riding them like a pro. When, in a desperate attempt to escape her shifty, opportunistic
Paperback, 352 pages
Published June 2nd 2016 by Andersen
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Average rating 4.23  · 
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Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Wendy by: Goodreads Giveaways
Realistic and emotionally-charged “Racing Manhattan” which I won through Goodreads Giveaways opens when Jasmine (Jay) Barton considered her Uncle Bill and his family’s charity case and mocked at school as a “freak” for her tomboyish ways runs away from Coddington Hall and her skill at winning illegal pony races joining the Wilkinson Yard in Newmarket as a “lad” (a stable hand).

Although bullied by the other lads, her luck soon changes when she meets a neglected cantankerous, and detested thorough
I received a free digital copy from the author/publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest feedback.

Jay lives with Uncle Bill, Step-Aunt Elaine and cousin and 'sometimes best friend' Michaela and all she really loves in life is horses. Following success in the illegal horse tracks, Jay runs away from the home she never felt she belonged in and becomes a 'lad' in a racing stables. Soon Jay meets Manhattan, a grumpy no-hoper mare who just needs a little bit of love. Soon Jay and Manhattan a
Clare O'Beara
This very credible read feels as though it was set a few decades ago, but we are told that the racing yard shown is somewhat old-fashioned and more modern yards exist.
Sexism and bullying are rife when a girl from a troubled background tries to work her way up from groom to apprentice jockey. A fine grey mare called Manhattan is just as difficult and will be condemned if she doesn't shape up and start winning races, as her Arab owner won't breed from losers. And our young heroine has a dodgy unc
Jul 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, age-ya, horses
Jay has been obsessed with horses ever since her mom died and she had to go live with her Uncle Bill's family. Uncle Bill could sense that Jay raced to win, and entered her into the not-quite-legal pony racing circuit. But when Jay's cousin and best friend Michaela starts treating Jay like a servant, Jay decides its time to cut ties with her and with Uncle Bill. She runs off to try her hand at real horse racing. At the Wilkinson racing stables, Jay persists until she's given a job. Despite being ...more
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Racing Manhattan by Terence Blacker, 343 pages. Candlewick Press, 2016. $18.

Content: Language: PG (3 swears); Mature Content: PG; Violence: PG.



Jay Barton feels the most at home among horses. Jay lives with her uncle and cousin, but doesn’t feel accepted as family. When Jay overhears her cousin gossiping about her, Jay runs away and gets a job at a racing stable. Jay falls in love with a misbehaving horse named Manhattan and tries to
Morgan Ehnert
Dec 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Caitlin Janke
I received an advanced copy through goodreads first-reads.
Where was this book ten years ago when I was a teen?
Racing Manhattan is a great read for teens and adults. It’s nice that its surrounding a teen and a horse she believes in without having to have a love interest involved. I love that you don’t have to anything about horse racing to enjoy the story. I grew up with horses and was more into barrel racing in Canada so the racing scene was new to me. The terms were well explained and done in
Nadine Keels
Dec 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jay isn't much like the other teenagers around her, but she's uniquely good with ponies. Even as a Thoroughbred, Manhattan has never made a positive mark as a racehorse. The pairing of these two misfits will be a fight involving more than a racetrack in Racing Manhattan, a novel by author Terence Blacker.

Well. Even with the "cheering" language in this book's official blurb, don't mistake this for a "cheerful" tale. Despite being a story of a young lover of ponies, horses, and riding, it isn't th
Excellent teen novel about being a jockey in England. Jay (Jasmine) leaves her life with her uncle, who had her riding in dodgy "pony" races so that he could win by gambling on her, to try being a real jockey in Newmarket, England's mecca for horse racing. Taken on as a stable "lad" (even the girl stablehands are called lads, although they are few and far between) in a small stable where the trainer's wife is secretly the brains behind the operation (again, a primarily male-dominated and often c ...more
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review-books
Racing Manhattan is a young adult novel mixing the underdog story of Seabiscuit with hints of a modern Cinderella.

Jay Barton is forced to live with an uncle she barely knows upon losing her mother to cancer. Her wealthy uncle introduces her to the sport of horse racing, where she quickly begins spending all her time amongst the horses. Feeling like the outsider, Jay runs off to become a “lad” taking care of the horses and learning the ropes of becoming a jockey. One horse in particular, Manhatt
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is something to say for reading a book where you know there will be a happy ending with all loose ends tied up. Sometimes, that is exactly what I need out of a book. That is certainly what I got with Racing Manhattan. Jay, the main character, was a delight to read about- watching her grow throughout the book as she discovers herself and grows stronger in her convictions.

This is a classic coming of age novel and a tale of survival - not just for Jay, but for Manhattan, the mare, as well. F
Aug 20, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I couldn’t get past the weird writing style of this books to see anything else. It almost wants to be free verse because it has 3-4 stanza lines at the end of each chapter after the prose. It also had them interspersed through the text in a couple key moments which totally took me out of the story. It also was a lot of telling and very little showing. For instance, instead of showing character traits it put a couple facts about them in parenthesis after two newly introduced characters. There was ...more
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
#partner | Thank you @candlewickpress for giving me this free copy way back at #aasl17!
WOW! I loved this book!! I flew through it! I love horses, although don’t own my own and don’t have interest in racing. 🐴

Jay is a girl with a sorry family life and a passion for horses. She’s better when she’s with them and just wants to race. She leaves home at 16 and flies by the seat of her pants. She finds a racing stable and begins trying to prove herself.

And then there’s Manhattan, the dappling grey th
Karen Treadwell
May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I didn't know anything about the racing environment in the United Kingdom or anywhere else for that matter so it was good to learn about it. I've always loved horses so even though I'm not into racing I enjoyed reading about them and their care. I loved the fact that there was a female protagonist and she had to fight her way through the male dominated culture of racing to prove herself. Jay was really lucky since she was given more than one second chance to reach her ...more
Dec 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great story of a girl and a horse. I enjoyed the relationship she had with the horses. I worried for her as problems beset her. I couldn't turn pages fast enough during the races. I was glad to see her growth as a person and her development of a forgiving nature. A very fun book. I would highly recommend. I won my copy from LibraryThing and am grateful to the publisher for the gift.
Jun 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. As a horse person (and someone who worked with racehorses for years), it was refreshing to read a book about racehorses that used correct terminology and really understood the personality of different horses. Highly recommended!
Jackie Rogers
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. Story great. Characters great. Writing very good. Is about a young girl who has had a struggling life. A horse who has had the same and headed for slaughter. Is about dreams and racing. You will enjoy this book. Thanks to Goodreads.
John Clark
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The author's efforts to research in order to get this story right show. It's a dandy read, not only for teens, but for anyone appreciating a gutsy heroine with flaws and a passion that's strong enough to overcome anything.
Dec 05, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-new
Kim Piddington
Dec 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Plenty of character drama interspersed with the racing horse drama. Clear voice.
Katrin V
Blacker gives a bleak picture of the English racing world. No one seems to have integrity. The details of apprenticeship are good. The running present tense narrative doesn’t work for me.
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love horse books. Jay overcomes a hard family life, a fiery temper and sexual harassment to follow her dreams of being a horse jockey. Thumbs up.
Jay lives with her aunt and uncle and their daughter at their stables. Usually Jay and her cousin Michaela are best friends, sharing a love of horses and racing. As they grow older, they get more distant and relations with her uncle, always tense, get worse as he tries to manipulate Jay and her horse jockey abilities to make some illegal money. Jay runs away and finds work at another stable where she falls in love with a misfit horse who has a lot of potential beneath his misunderstood and possi ...more
Elizabeth Hošková
Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book provided me with understanding for my own astonishing mare, who happens to be just like Manhattan from the story.
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love love love horse books and this gem is perfect for all ye fellow horse lovers!
I really liked Jay, she was hardworking, nice, and responsible and of course, she really loved horses. The book was remarkably fast paced but didn't feel rushed, the writing style and dialogue were great, and the overall story was very entertaining.
I had a hard time figuring out Jay's uncle, (I think his name was Bill) he seemed really mean throughout the book, but there were parts where he seemed to actually re
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved it! Nothing goes terribly wrong and all is settled well in the end. Might be to calm or boring for some but a nice, easy read. I loved the relationship between her and the horse; and how the yard stood behind her.

There was a strong element of a fight for women in a mans world which was great and fit in well. The strong but quiet support from Mrs Wilkinson was lovely.
Jun 01, 2016 added it
Straightforward equine tale of a girl and her horse, set in a racing stable.Lovely front cover.
Jun 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Really good solid read. If you like horse racing you will not be disappointed.
Shawna Marae Hummingbird
rated it it was amazing
Jul 30, 2019
Ciara St. John
rated it it was amazing
May 20, 2020
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Terence Blacker wanted to be a jockey when he grew and up. In fact, he could ride before he could walk, and his childhood hero was the great steeplechaser Mill House (a horse). He lives in Norfolk, England.

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