Sarah's Stars

Andrea Spalding. The White Horse Talisman
Orca Book Publishers  $8.95  ISBN 1-55143-222-6  183 pg.
Reviewed by Rachael, Age 13

Chantal almost tumbled out of the open window in excitement. “A shooting star … a real shooting star … It landed up there!” She craned her neck to check the downs beyond the farm, where an ancient white horse was carved into the hillside, a magical horse carved through the grass into the white chalk so long ago that no one could remember how or why. The shooting star had aimed right for it.

Chantal and her brother, Adam, are spending the summer in England with their cousins, Owen, and Holly. When Chantal starts acting very strangely, her cousins start to worry. But Adam knows exactly what is going on. She’s trying to get attention by blabbering on about some stupid story she made up. Though this does seem typical, Adam and the cousins start to worry when she starts talking about horse magic and spells resulting in a broken leg. What’s going on? How does Chantal know about these old myths of England? Why has she been acting so odd?

The White Horse Talisman was one of those books where, in the beginning, you’re thinking that you’re getting into a profound, and mature theory about good versus evil. I thought that I wouldn’t understand the concepts. Though, once I got to the main storyline, I found that it was completely suitable for my reading comprehension level. I would recommend this book for kids’ aged 11-14. 

I, personally, am not too keen on old myth stories, but when reading The White Horse Talisman, I discovered a deep interest in history and it’s mysteries.  I found myself comparing this novel to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe countless times throughout the story.  I found many character similarities, and quite enjoyed the detailed vocabulary that really, truly made you feel like you were right there with Chantal and Adam.  Another thing that I quite enjoyed about the characters was that you could really relate to them.  I know what it’s like having an older brother. And Andrea Spalding hit the nail right on the head when writing about many of the kinks and hardships in their relationships, and lives.

I think that this book was an awesome read; though it is not my all-time favourite, I still found it very interesting.  As such, I hereby give The White Horse Talisman 4.5 shining stars.

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