The Island of Lost Horses by Stacey Gregg.
Not many people will have heard of the Abaco Barb horse, the rarest breed in the World. Stacey Gregg has and she has written another of her impressive horse stories with an historical context. This time it is about Christopher Columbus on his quest to the New World at a time when Spain was living in fear of the Spanish Inquisition and Jews were being persecuted not for the first or last time.
Stacey Gregg links 12 year old Beatriz a present day girl who is sailing with her marine biologist mother studying jellyfish in the warm seas around the Bahamas. Lucky girl. With a story of a girl Felipa from the year 1492. A girl who keeps a diary of her life.
While anchored near an island Beatriz sees a horse with top hat markings and is drawn to the horse. While chasing the horse she both are caught in a life and death struggle in mudflats and are rescued by and old woman named Annie.
It becomes clear that Beatriz and the horse are fated to be together and this attraction has roots in the history of Christopher Columbus. Felipa’s diary tells a story of persecution and flight to the New World with a top hat marked horse on one of Columbus’s ships. Is there a link between the two girls?
I really like Stacey Gregg’s novels. They have good values, strong girl characters and great adventure and of course horses. Can the rare Abaco barb horse species be saved and of course there is a hurricane. Wonderful ending.
Reluctant girls of primary and intermediate school age love them. This year another of Gregg’s novels The Princess and the Foal won children’s choice at the NZ Post Book Awards. This novel is just as good.