|Title||The Ghost Horse Of Meadow Green|
|Year of Publication||2005|
|Authors||MacDonald, A. L.|
|Publisher||Kids Can Press, Limited|
The Ghost Horse of Meadow Green is a realistic young adult novel, best suited for younger teen readers. Told in the third person, The Ghost Horse follows Kim’s move to Meadow Green, Nova Scotia. Kim is a timid young teenager with overbearing parents. Her two passions are horses (which her father, Colm, will never let her own), and her grandmother, Gramma-Lou. Gramma-Lou is Kim’s best friend and fellow horse aficionado. Kim is ecstatic at the prospect of Gramma-Lou coming to live with them, and plans to introduce her to the mysterious black horse that lives in the meadows behind the house. Though local lore says the meadow horse is only a ghost, Kim quickly discovers the animal is real; some other mystery is afoot. In her efforts to care for the stray, whom she names Ghost, Kim is drawn into the community of Hug a Horse Farm. There she finally makes friends: Tim, Margaret, Vanessa, and Jelly Bean the pony. These friends prove invaluable as Kim faces the new challenges of a grandmother with Alzheimer’s disease, a dark family secret, and the vindictive anger of the local bully, Slug. Themes of the novel include friendship, loyalty, and bravery, as well as aging and acceptance.
Kim scrambled to her feet, but the barn’s corners held no secrets. She walked quickly outside. A thick mist hugged the river and spilled over into the pasture. Standing knee deep in a gilded cloud carpet, as if floating like an angel, was the horse. He lifted his head and shook it vigorously, spraying a bright halo against the golden light. Kim gasped. It was like a scene from a wonderful dream – except for the horse.
He had a forelock so full of burdocks it stood up between his ears in a lump the size of a grapefruit. His tail was a club of burdocks that whooshed and thumped his rump when he swatted at the small blackflies that clustered over the weeping sores on his hocks. Those raw patches of skin were the only parts on the horse’s whole lower half that weren’t encrusted in manure. A frizzy, faded winter coat still clung in ragged patches on the upper half of the poor beast, and a frayed halter hung on his head, its original color masked in filth.
Kim was speechless. Not even a curse could express her disgust and horror. Even the very worst of the backyard ponies didn’t come within miles of looking this bad. She wanted to grab the person who let this happen and scream at them at the top of her lungs.