In Briar Hill, an English estate for young TB patients evacuated from the Blitz, Emmaline sees winged horses through the hallway mirrors. When one escapes into her world to recover from an injury, she must protect it from the pursuing darkness. Part Secret Garden, part Book Thief.
— Jennifer Armstrong
"Deserves a spot on the shelf next to the most beloved children's classics—yes, even The Secret Garden." —Shelf Awareness, Starred Review
Described as "reminiscent of the Chronicles of Narnia" in a starred review, The Secret Horses of Briar Hill shows readers everywhere that there is color in our world—they just need to know where to look.
There are winged horses that live in the mirrors of Briar Hill hospital—the mirrors that reflect the elegant rooms once home to a princess, now filled with sick children. Only Emmaline can see the creatures. It is her secret.
One morning, Emmaline climbs over the wall of the hospital’s abandoned gardens and discovers something incredible: a white horse with a broken wing has left the mirror-world and entered her own.
The horse, named Foxfire, is hiding from a dark and sinister force—a Black Horse who hunts by colorless moonlight. If Emmaline is to keep him from finding her new friend, she must surround Foxfire with treasures of brilliant shades. But where can Emmaline find color in a world of gray?
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2016
"Endearing characters, metaphors for life and death, and a slow revelation of the horrors of war give this slim novel a surprising amount of heft."—Booklist, Starred Review
"In clear, gripping, flawless prose . . . this exquisite, beautifully illustrated middle-grade novel explodes with raw anguish, magic and hope, and readers will clutch it to their chests and not want to let go."—Shelf Awareness, Starred Review
"Reminiscent of the Chronicles of Narnia, Elizabeth Goudge, or a child's version of Life of Pi. . . . Readers will love this to pieces." —Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
"Magical, terrifying, and full of heart. Open these pages, and ride true."—Newbery Honor-winning author Kathi Appelt
"A remarkable book. Astonishing!"—Michael Morpurgo, author of War Horse
About the Author
MEGAN SHEPHERD grew up in her family’s independent bookstore in the Blue Ridge Mountains. She is the author of several acclaimed young adult books, and The Secret Horses of Briar Hill is her debut middle-grade novel. Shepherd lives and writes on a 125-year-old farm outside Asheville, North Carolina, with her husband, two cats, and a dog. You can visit her at meganshepherd.com
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2016
“Emmaline's narration is unreliable, flawlessly childlike, and deeply honest; her faith in magic brings her solace and, possibly, healing. The magical realism is reminiscent of the Chronicles of Narnia, Elizabeth Goudge, or a child's version of Life of Pi...Readers will love this to pieces.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred review "In clear, gripping, flawless prose,...this exquisite, beautifully illustrated middle-grade novel explodes with raw anguish, magic and hope, and readers will clutch it to their chests and not want to let go."—Shelf Awareness Reviews, Starred review
"Endearing characters, metaphors for life and death, and a slow revelation of the horrors of war give this slim novel a surprising amount of heft."—Booklist, Starred review
"Magical, terrifying, and full of heart. Open these pages, and ride true."-Kathi Appelt, Newbery Honor-winning author of The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp
"A remarkable book. Astonishing!"-Michael Morpurgo, author of War Horse
“A story that will stay with you long after you finish reading it.” —MARY BROWN, BOOKS, BYTES & BEYOND, NJ
“A classic magical feel with a heart-pounding story.” —RAE ANN PARKER, PARNASSUS BOOKS, TN
“The seven-to-ten-year-old version of myself would have been in love with this book, reading and rereading until it fell apart as badly as my well-worn copy of The Secret Garden.” —KARI MEUTSCH, PHOENIX BOOKS, VT
“The Secret Horses of Briar Hill has all the elements of a lasting classic.” —CHRISTOPHER ROSE, ANDOVER BOOKSTORE, MA