By: Penny Tangey
Published: September 2013
ISBN: 9780702249945


From CBCA shortlisted author, Penny Tangey, comes a moving, funny and heartfelt coming-of-age story.

Stevie wants a pony or a horse more than anything. She dreams horses, draws horses and follows the girls at school who have horses hoping that one day she will have her own horse too.

But money doesn’t grow on trees and Stevie’s mother is a single mum looking after two kids and holding down a job. Some dreams seem far away when you are vacuuming, hanging out washing and going to school. Stevie has to learn to straighten out the hard things herself. Her mother is worried about her sick brother and her Dad Ben is working up north leaving Stevie rudderless in this family going round in circles.

Reading between the lines, Stevie suddenly has to learn a lot about growing up.

A beautiful novel about the fine line between life and death.



Horse mad eleven year old Stevie lives with her Mum and Year 7 brother Rhys. She misses Dad Ben (Mum’s last boyfriend) who is working in Toowoomba, but Mum thinks this is for the best.

Her friendship group is being challenged as a new girl, April, who has her own horse, and her long term best friend Charlotte, who is just getting a horse, have teamed up and are leaving her out. Stevie thinks this to be temporary, as this will surely change when she saves up enough money to buy her own horse.

But then Rhys gets sick and is diagnosed with leukaemia, and much time is spent to and from and inside the hospital in Melbourne. It is here that she bonds with fourteen year old Lara, whose illness worsens as the story unfolds.

Without giving away the ending, I will say that it is a tremendous rite of passage novel, where a contemporary girl in an equally contemporary family situation, handles life and its challenges particularly well.

I found the storyline wonderful and the characters and their relationships insightful and inspiring.

A great read for upper primary - lower secondary.

Reviewed by Rob