Title: Samirah's Ride: The Story of an Arabian Filly
Author: Annie Wedekind
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Year: 2010 (paperback)
Concepts: entrepreneurs, tourism, environmental conservation
Review: Some days it was difficult to tell who had more feistiness and pluck: young Jasper or her Arabian horse Samirah. As the only child in a family that operated a dude ranch in a lovely part of Utah, Jasper thrived on a lifestyle that involved working outside with the horses. Less enjoyable was her work indoors to maintain the guest quarters, but she understood that her family's livelihood depended on the money that the tourists brought to the ranch.
Over the course of just a few years, Jasper and Samirah had developed an extremely strong bond, one that involved an uncanny amount of communication and understanding. This bond faced a seemingly insurmountable challenge when a steady decline in tourism forced her parents to start selling off the herd. Jasper would let nothing come between her and her Arabian filly, but this resolve combined with her temper wound up placing them both in an even bigger mess.
Animal lovers will certainly enjoy this exciting novel for young readers, told from the horse's point of view (which may take a little while for the reader to become accustomed to). With its focus on the rewards and potential risks of operating a family business, an economics rationale serves as a key building block in the plot development. This feature helps the book stand apart from other tales of friendship between child and horse.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children