Backyard Horse Tales

Sox 2nd Edition

Fiction - Animals
124 Pages
Reviewed on 05/07/2012
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

An accomplished equestrian, with a life time of experience: as trainer, exhibitor, 4-H and youth club coach, as well as a horse show judge, Jackie Anton brings many years of experience working with horses and young riders to her “Backyard Horse Tales."
Sox 2nd Edition This award winning book shares love between Sox and Emma. You will l this story of a handicaped foal and a lonely child with a learning disibility. (Reading level 8 and up).

"Backyard Horse Tales 2: is collecting multiple awards. To find out more follow the link to the author's website.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite

Sox found himself in an alien world when he was born. His mother was there with him and he quickly adapted. It was very sweet listening as his mother explained things. When children excitedly and loudly approached the new foal, he rushed to warn his mother of danger. Once he realized they were safe he put on a little show for them, running and hopping. Like most youngsters, Sox was always full of questions. His favorite thing was when he was groomed. Everything was a new experience to Sox. Life was exciting. Sox’s favorite human was little Emma with freckles on her nose. Chapter 2 is entries from Emma’s diary. Emma was living with her grandmother until her mother returned home from deployment. Emma was not used to living in a rural area and she was very unhappy. After Emma got permission from her mom to take riding lessons she and Sox became close. Emma would talk to Sox and tell him her secrets, her fears and how much she missed her mom. Emma and Sox were kindred spirits.

I have to mention the remarkable illustrations first. They appear to be in pencil or maybe charcoal; no matter what the media was, the illustrations are charming. They complement the text. This delightful tale is narrated by Sox. While I lived on a farm I never had a horse. "Backyard Horse Tales" gave me a feeling of what it would be like to work with a horse each day. This book will appeal to children from second to sixth grade. While this book is a lovely horse tale I think there are also several lessons for both adults and children. Emma was very sad and missed her mother a lot. Obviously her grandmother loved her but it was the friendship of an animal that helped her survive her mother’s absence. Sox took Emma’s mind off of her mother. As she talked to him it eased her pain. There is also a lot of information in this book concerning horse, how they train them, what it is like to be a young foal and much more. I very much enjoyed this book.

Joy H.

Emma is not happy with her current living conditions. When Emma’s parents split a few years earlier, this forced her mom to join the Army in order to make a decent living. Things were fine until Emma’s mom was deployed to Iraq, and Emma was forced to come and live with her grandmother. Being brought up in the lights and blitz of city life, moving to the country didn’t suit Emma at all. And those clothes, why does her grandmother have to dress her like that for school? But Emma’s grandmother, her mom’s mother, wouldn’t let Emma complain to her mom about her unlikable conditions, instead she told Emma to write her thoughts in her journal for her mom to read when she returned home from Iraq. Meanwhile, Sox, a pony with a handicap, is living in the barn on the farm. Just as Emma, Sox is lonely because of his disabilities. Soon Sox and Emma find that they can encourage each other and help one another’s loneliness, so they form a friendship that will take them though a whirlwind of difficulties and excitements in their journey ahead.

This is a heartwarming story about a girl and her horse. Not just any girl, not just any horse. Each had their own disability, but each in a unique way helped the other through their lonely times and troubles. You will laugh a little and cry a little as you follow the journey of these two buddies. You will see the changes and growing up that is happening to Emma through reading her journal entries. You will find out what happens with these two loyal friends. Will they stay together forever? I highly encourage you to grab a copy of this book for your young reader. “Backyard Horse Tales” will be a story they will want to read over and over.

Brenda C.

Sox is a bay Quarter Horse who got his name because of the socks he had on his hind legs. We meet Sox as he is making his way into the world and because he was such a large colt he was born with a contracted tendon on his right leg, and only time will tell whether or not it will affect Sox. Everything is new to Sox so he depends on his mother Sandy for answers. We meet Sox's human family but it is one special girl named Emma, who is living next door with her grandmother while her mother is away, that Sox bonds with. They become great friends and a wonderful comfort to each other. Will Sox outgrow his problem with his leg and become the wonderful show horse he was meant to be? While the story is told through the eyes of humans as well as horses, I think the author did an amazing job of telling the story through the eyes of the horse Sox. From his birth to the grand adventures that he takes as he grows up, I could really imagine I was seeing the world through the eyes of a horse. It was interesting to see Sox grow into a beautiful horse and learn the many things that were expected of him. I really know next to nothing about showing a horse but felt I got a bit of an education reading this story. I enjoyed the antics of Sox and think that the relationship that developed between him and Emma was wonderful. I think the diary entries that Emma wrote allow the reader to really get to know her. From her worries over her mother, to dealing with being the new kid in school after moving in with her grandmother, Sox and her diary became her two closest confidants. I liked that the author touched on Attention Deficit Disorder, as well as parents in the military, and single parents, because these topics are things most can relate to.

"Backyard Horse Tales Sox" is a wonderfully written story, with interesting characters and an ending that really left me wanting more! While this is a story that is geared toward young readers I think it will appeal to anyone who enjoys horse stories, or who is looking for a quick satisfying read.

Lori M.

Jackie Anton wrote a powerful opening when she described the birth of a baby horse in “Backyard Horse Tales: Sox.” Sox is a precocious little colt that, despite having a game leg, is spunky, happy and very inquisitive. The interactions between Sox and his mother are so cute when she explains to him what cows are and what humans are. But personally I think Sox was right and his mom was wrong when he thought children were dangerous and she told him that they’re not.

The story is really of two main characters and alternates between being told from the perspective of Sox the little horse and Emma, a little girl. Emma’s interactions are told through diary entries. Emma, like Sox, has her own problems to deal with. Her parents have divorced and her mom joined the Army and got deployed to Iraq, forcing Emma into living with her Grandma and attending a new school. Just like Sox’s disability with his leg, Emma too has a disability – Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and the stories tell us how each of them cope with their issues and become friends. Both Emma and Sox make a best friend out of Katie and form a wonderful relationship.

The book teaches young readers about horse reining and it was fun to see a mention of the Kentucky Horse Park because I live in Kentucky. Anton also provides a vocabulary of equestrian-related terms to help the reader understand different concepts which may be new to them and a diagram showing all the names of the different parts of a horse.