Karen Wood is the author of the five Diamond Spirit books, an adventurous series set in the Australian outback about friendship, courage and the love of horses. She has also published two rural romance books for teens, Jumping Fences and Rain Dance. She is currently working on a series of chapter books for younger children called Trickstars. Karen is married with two children, a few horses, some dogs, chooks and a very cute rabbit. She lives on a small acreage on the Central Coast, New South Wales, where she spends as much time as possible with kids and horses or at her laptop, dreaming up a new book.
This is the first book that comes to mind. It is about a boy who is given a pony as a gift by his father, but it comes with a set of conditions, that he has to look after it, clean its stall, etc. The boy, Jody is so proud of his horse. I remember the scene where he shows all his school friends. As a kid I so desperately wanted a horse, it was all I ever thought about. I related so strongly to the story. I also loved the authentic detail in which Steinbeck described the pony’s illness later on and I felt the intensity of Jody’s loss when the horse died. When I began writing my first book, Diamond Spirit, I hunted down a copy of this book and re-read it after many years and found that I still loved it. As an adult I had a better appreciation for Steinbeck’s brilliant use of dialogue and characterisation.
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