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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Selah’s Stolen Dream (Dream Horse Adventure) by Susan Count is about two young girls and one very beautiful black filly who has stolen their hearts. Sweet Dream is Selah’s heart horse. They have a special connection and they are quickly moving towards stardom, quite literally, as there’s a movie deal in the works. But, Sweet Dream is stolen right before a big showing event. There is no trace. Selah’s heartbroken, but when her beloved grandfather almost loses his life and she risks her own safety to follow a lead, she must face reality - perhaps Sweet Dream is gone forever. Emma is deaf, but she loves horses. She’s saved her earnings and birthday/Christmas money to buy her very own horse. A black filly captures her attention at a local horse auction. The two connect immediately, which is something unusual as this horse tends to be very temperamental around others. She calls her Black Velvet. The horse connection helps Emma gain confidence as well as friends. She blossoms as a person as well as a rider. Until she sees a notice at a local tack shop that suggests her horse, the one she bought fair and square with her own money, is actually a stolen horse. Emma is torn, but can she do the right thing, even if it breaks her heart?
Susan Count’s young adult novel, Selah’s Stolen Dream (Dream Horse Adventures), is more than merely another horse story. Two parallel plots develop simultaneously: Selah’s story and Emma’s. The build-up of excitement leads to a shattering climax, but each girl shows maturity beyond their years in their ability to do the hardest thing ever, realizing that it is the right thing to do. Sharing their cherished heart horse is not an option since the girls live too far apart. Events develop as Sweet Dream has a knack for attracting the attention of more than two young girls. The story is full of horse lore, mystery, adventure and the difficult decisions young people have to make as they mature. A powerful story with a compelling plot!