AGES 7-10: After Maya’s parents are killed in an auto accident, she finds herself living with her very restrictive grandmother. The only memories of Maya’s mother are represented by a collection of small plastic horses and a crumpled photo Maya sequesters in a secret shoebox.
Endless processions of mean nannies care for Maya until her grandmother suddenly dies of a stroke. Maya is then sent to Montana to live with her maternal grandfather, uncle and aunt on their horse ranch. Maya discovers her mother’s horse Artemisia, now a wild mustang, running free on the open range. Unfortunately, the plot loses some credibility after a chain of exaggerated events occur in the conclusion. —Susan Sperry