July 19, 2014

Review: Turning on a Dime by Maggie Dana

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 history. But Sam’s beliefs and her carefully constructed world shatter like a jelly jar when she travels through a time portal and lands in the canopy bed of an 1860s Southern belle.
Even more surprised by Sam’s unexpected arrival is Caroline Chandler. She’s a tomboy who wears breeches beneath her crinoline and rides horses bareback, much to the dismay of her critical mother.
But neither girl has time to fret over petticoats and prejudice. The Civil War is raging, and soldiers from both sides are stealing horses. At risk is Pandora, Caroline’s beloved mare. Without her, Sam’s future Olympic horse, Nugget, might not exist in the present.
Neither will Sam if the slave catchers grab her.
This is one of the best historic books that I've read in a long time! At first, I was apprehensive because the story was about two young horse-crazy girls and I felt the connection wasn't there. However, after the first chapter, I was completely hooked. Author Maggie Dana wrote a book about time travel, horses, young girls, iPods, a magic dime, the Civil War, and slavery and she made it the most enjoyable and exciting read that a bibliophile could hope for. Samantha (Sam) and Caroline are two young women trying to make sense of the evils of slavery and the importance of freedom while dodging peril along the way. The action was fast-paced so the book literally sped by for me. Also, Dana doesn't hold back on the harsh realities of how life was for slaves and women in the 1800's which made me appreciate the author and the book even more. Young readers will find education and entertainment merging into a heroic tale of spirit and courage.
Publisher- Pageworks Press
Reviewer Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by~Cindi Clubbs
Thank you to the author for the donation of this book to the Read for your Future book program in exchange for a honest review!
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