MissingPaperback - 2011
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Too many things are missing from Thea’s life right now. She and her father miss her mother, who died four long years ago. Thea misses having a real home – she and her dad are always moving now, from one British Columbia town to another, “trying to leave the past behind.” They never remain in a community long enough for Thea to establish friendships and a sense of home. Thea feels the loss of the close companionship she used to have with her dad before the tragedy, and she misses riding the horses which used to be so much a part of the family’s life before her mom was killed by a horse.
Now her dad has another temporary job – this time, at a new resort ranch on Gumboot Lake. From their arrival, Thea loves the ranch. She hopes that they might stay there, working with Renegade, an injured horse for which Thea is helping to care. She starts to make friends, like Van, a local boy, and Chloe. She even starts to feel that she is fitting in at school. Then Thea discovers that a mysterious tragedy happened long ago on the ranch, under former owners. She is intrigued – as is Van, whose grandfather was implicated. They begin to work together to clear his name and solve the mystery, and before long, Thea realizes that she has put down roots on the ranch. She cares very much about its future, about Renegade, about Van and his family, and about finding the answers to the mystery.
Can Thea somehow convince her dad that it’s time to settle down, at Gumboot Lake, instead of moving on once again?
This quiet, compelling story, involving a very likeable heroine, was written by Canadian author Becky Citra.
** Recommended for ages 10 to 13 years.
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