Lola never would have guessed that getting suspended from school would be her ticket to go on a trip to Italy with her grandmother. Once she gets there, she learns all about the Palio, a horse race that’s been run through the streets of Siena for countless generations. She also learns about the rivalries between different groups who run the race, and how her own grandma was involved in a long-ago intrigue. When Lola befriends a local boy and a special horse, she gets an unexpected invitation…and discovers a family secret.
The Girl Who Rode the Wind by Stacy Gregg combines historical and contemporary fiction to create a satisfying story that should appeal to adventurers and horse lovers aged 9 and up.
Lola is independent, a girl who doesn’t mind working hard for the things she wants to achieve. She has learned about horses at her family’s stables in New York, where her dad and brothers train racehorses. But her grandma has taught her how to look into a horse’s eyes and see if he has the heart of a champion. She see’s that in Nico, the horse she helps care for in Siena.
The Girl Who Rode the Wind should provide interesting discussion for mother-daughter book clubs. Topics include Lola’s independence and how it affects her life, World War II Italy, running away from troubles instead of facing them, the Palio horse race, and more. I highly recommend it.
The publisher provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.