It is summer and Read Around the World again! All summer people have been recommending books for students to read to learn more about cultures around the world. This is the 7th annual Read Around The World Summer Series for Multicultural Kid Blogs. It runs from June 15 – August 14 this year. You can find all the recommended books on social media with the hashtag #readaroundtheworld.
A Pony for Quarantine by Clare O’Beara is so much more than a “horse” book as by way of the pony theme it shares many life lessons for teens. Previously I reviewed and created teaching supplements for two of O’Beara’s other books, Rodeo Finn and Showjumping Team. Although not a trilogy, this is her third horse-theme book which is perfectly aligned with current events. The situation all families found themselves in last spring is described when Moya, age 13, is sent home from school. She is worried about if her family, and especially her gran, will become sick. She can hear neighbors cleaning to be prepared in the event they will be sick. Her own parents leave to shop for food, and although they might not get everything they want, will be able to get food. The store is only allowing 100 people inside at a time.
Remember those days? Reading this book, I remembered the feelings I first had when I heard of Covid-19 caused by novel coronavirus. The world seemed upside down. Everyone seemed scared as restaurants and schools closed. Mum gives Moya sage advice and is honest with her. It was reassuring to read those conversations which might help clarify the situation for some readers.
The setting of the story helped Moya continue to care for her pony which helped lower costs, but also gave her something nice to do during the lockdown. The stable was 2 kilometers from her house, the furthest people were allowed to travel. We learn about the other rules in Ireland at that time. The guards did question her once and asked for her phone number. People who did not live near the stable decided to turn their ponies out to the pasture. The cost of livery would otherwise have been too high.
Moya settles into online school and learns the ropes of muting her microphone and participating in her teacher’s Instagram group. Otherwise, she is not allowed on Instagram. She also cares for her younger brother who is autistic. The way the family cares for the brother is enlightening for people who are perhaps unfamiliar with neurodiversity. Gran is always in Moya’s thoughts, and she calls and sends videos to stay in contact.
The parents of pony riders have a clever thought to hold a virtual horse show. Behind the scenes, they decide to give prizes, as well, which is a complete surprise to Moya and the other riders. During the story, Moya is saving money for a rug (a blanket) for her pony which will be clipped short when the actual horse shows begin again. She does save enough money, which is another important life skill.
Of course, I made a teaching supplement for homeschools and teachers. It is a free instant download at the next link:
Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoy the other books, as well.