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Mending Horses (Paperback)

Mending Horses By M.P. Barker Cover Image
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Daniel Linnehan is an indentured servant no more. He has his papers, his beloved horse, Ivy, and a new direction in life. But an Irish teenager, wearing fine clothes and riding an even finer horse, is asking for trouble. After a terrible misunderstanding leaves Daniel beaten, the peddler Jonathan Stocking takes Daniel under his wing. Billy, another Irish youngster traveling with Mr. Stocking, is not thrilled that the two must work together, first as peddlers on the road and then in a traveling circus where Daniel heals and trains the skittish circus ponies and Billy charms audiences with a singing voice from heaven. All too soon, past secrets catch up to them, bringing danger and heartache. This deeply moving sequel to A Difficult Boy weaves an indelible piece of historical fiction into a gripping adventure that explores themes of patience, courage, kindness, and the true meaning of family.

About the Author

M. P. Barker has more than two decades of experience as a historian, an archivist, and a writer. She has worked as a costumed historical interpreter at Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts, where she got a firsthand taste of nineteenth-century new England rural life by milking cows and mucking out barns; and she has been an archivist at the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum. Her first novel, A Difficult Boy, was an IRA Notable Book for a Global Society. She lives in Massachusetts.

Praise For…

★ "Fluid writing and a true sense of historyincluding fascinating insights into early circusesraise this well above the usual. Barker's characters are nuanced, difficult, and real, and so is her sense of horses. An absorbing look into a patch of past not often examined." —Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

"Barker's deft sketches even endow most peripheral characters with individuality... Barker fashions a well-researched roster of circus eccentrics to serve as a colorful backdrop to Daniel's slow flowering as a horse trainer and Billy's pugnacious evolution towards contentment...The sideshow troupers, tragic childhoods, and near-fatal altercationsplus some gender disguisecould combine for a noisy novel, but Barker crafts a story of grace and strength." School Library Journal

★ "Barker skillfully evokes the realities of class, racial, and gender oppression in the nineteenth century through a rich cast, lifelike setting, and complex, compelling plot." —Booklist, Starred Review

Product Details
ISBN: 9780823440047
ISBN-10: 0823440044
Publisher: Holiday House
Publication Date: June 12th, 2018
Pages: 308
Language: English