After her best friend leaves for a summer, Ivy finds a job looking after people’s farms and their animals. Her summer is filled with winning over a stubborn pony, training a puppy and her discovering her love of animals set in mid-century Nevada on a ranch. — Martha Cornwell
In a heart and humor-filled adventure by On the Blue Comet author Rosemary Wells, a girl spends a summer caring for animals in the mid-century Southwest.
Brokenhearted after her best friend leaves for the entire summer, Ivy rallies and finds herself something new and exciting to do: she hires herself out to look after people’s farm animals and pets while they’re away. So begins a summer of discovery and definition for tenderhearted but sensible Ivy, who must win over the stubborn pony Chestnut, take on the training of a puppy named Inca, and patiently court the trust of the magnificent but scarred racehorse, Andromeda. All this while tending to her own private hurts and hopes, and managing the hapless tagalong Billy Joe, who has a knack for trouble and accidents like nobody else. Celebrated writer Rosemary Wells delivers a compassionately observed and exquisitely distilled novel set in mid-century Nevada about a heroine with an exceptional gift, a heart of gold, and a budding dream for her future.
About the Author
Rosemary Wells has written and/or illustrated more than 120 books for children, including Following Grandfather, illustrated by Christopher Denise, and On the Blue Comet, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline. Rosemary Wells lives in upstate New York.
Jim LaMarche is the illustrator of more than twenty books for children, including Dennis Haseley’s A Story for Bear; The Carousel by Liz Rosenberg; The Rainbabies by Laura Krauss Melmed; and Albert by Donna Jo Napoli. He is the author-illustrator of The Raft. Jim LaMarche grew up in Wisconsin and now lives in California.
Animal lovers will feast on the details Wells (Following Grandfather) includes and envy Ivy’s opportunities to lavish her care on dogs, horses, and even a new litter of fox kits; all will be quickly won over by her good nature, determination, confidence and loyalty. —Publishers Weekly
This will be popular with animal lovers, especially those who enjoyed Jessie Haas’ Beware the Mare series. —Booklist
Ivy is...immensely likable and will inspire children who are interested in veterinary care...Give this one to animal lovers. —School Library Journal
Wells’ narrative voice is as thoughtful and dependable as Ivy herself, and she capably evokes the historical and geographical settings, giving just enough detail to make the surroundings intriguing without distracting readers from the main threads of Ivy’s story. Animal-loving youngsters who dream of becoming vets will be in heaven here, and girls with their own friendship troubles may also relate to Ivy’s difficulties with Annie. —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
The moving story, told from a third-person limited perspective, brings the characters to life for young readers. —The Horn Book
In this warm-hearted novel, Wells offers a sympathetic but realistic portrait of human nature and a convincing message about the value of compassion and a job well-done. —BookPage
Wells' fine sense of plot and characterization make this tale of Ivy's summer and the people and animals she works with a sheer delight. —Yellow Brick Road