Riding Babyface

Wanda Snow
Young Adult

INSPIRATIONAL/HISTORICAL:  Winna Beckman’s dream is to become a horse trainer.  Just as Winna is facing both growing up and entering high school, her father announces that they will be moving to the California coast to run an apple orchard.  The only thing good about any of this is her daddy’s promise that he will buy her a new horse.


Winna is delighted when that dream comes true, not once but three times!  Her father has not only purchased a horse for her but another mare who is about to give birth.  As the summer moves on, Winna must learn many life lessons.  Boys (or at least one in particular) suddenly awakens feelings she has never known, tragedy strikes that she must learn to accept, hardships follow and she must learn to adjust and be happy.


This story is a sweet coming of age tale set in 1957 - a simpler time, when growing up wasn’t as fast but learning life’s lessons were just as hard.  Because of this difference, however, Winna’s character and her actions seem almost childlike even though she is fourteen years old.  The writing flows smoothly with a delightful innocence that is refreshing, yet, it reads more like a reminiscent memoir where one fondly recollects the personal events of their past, rather than an actual novel.  This keeps the book from rising above the average, as there is nothing to bind the reader to the plot and keep them anxiously reading.  Even so, it is a perfect way to relax, fall into soft memories and wind down before bed.


Ruth Lynn Ritter