Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Tales of Sasha

Tales of Sasha:The Big Secret
written by Alexa Pearl; illustrated by Paco Sordo
2017 (Little Bee Books)
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher
Books #1 and #2 are available now.

I stink at staying still, thought Sasha, but she tried to be like her sisters.

Sasha isn't like her sisters Zara and Poppy. They want to eat grass and talk. She wants to race and find out what is beyond the forbidden trees. Running makes her happy. Walking in a straight line under the gaze of an older teacher horse doesn't. Unlike her peers, she can't stay in line because the world around her is so interesting. Why walk in line when you can leap onto big rocks? Of course, that will get you into trouble sometimes. Sasha also looks different from her sisters. They are sleek and smooth while she is a plain gray with a white patch on the back. And that patch itches at the strangest times. Why is she so different from the other horses? The patch is part of two big secrets that are going to rock Sasha's world in the near future.

Look at the cover of this early reader chapter book. How fast will this fly out of your hands in a second grade classroom? Lights don't go out that fast. There's even glitter in the title! Guess what? It's good on the inside too. Why? First, you have a main character who feels like she doesn't fit in with her family but can't quite figure out why. That's a theme that connects with young readers. Remember that kid with the squiggly line on his forehead from a few years back? Second, it's a book with horses. Primary age readers and horses go together like teachers and snow days. Third, how great is it to have a main character who can't stay still and has a lot of energy? Kids are really going to connect with Sasha. Finally, mysteries abound. What's up with the patch on Sasha's back? Why can't you go beyond the trees? Why is Sasha so different? These questions will keep readers' eyes glued to the page. Plus, there's a cliffhanger at the end of each book!

Sasha is no ordinary horse and her new series is not a vanilla serving of an early reader chapter book. But like ice cream, young readers will eat this up.

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