By: Jennifer Walker
Publisher: Windswept Destiny
Publication Date: January 2010
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: March 10, 2010
Thirteen-year-old Leslie Clark likes horses. No, actually, she LOVES horses and she’ll do just about anything to be around them. Since her dad can’t afford to buy a horse for his daughter, Leslie works at the nearby Green Meadow Training Stables so she can have weekly lessons.
Green Meadow is run by Helen, a kind and patient trainer, who works primarily with Arabians, Leslie’s favorite breed. Everybody at the barn is friendly and devoted to their equine friends with the exception of Kate, a spoiled, obnoxious teen who seems to delight in picking on Leslie. When Leslie is given the opportunity to show Charlie, a ribbon-winning horse, Kate laughs until Leslie starts to win. Then Kate gets her parents to buy Charlie, thus depriving Leslie of the opportunity to show.
While heartbroken, Leslie does her best to ignore Kate and concentrate on the other horses at the farm. One day, while at a flea market, Leslie spots a pretty little Arabian gelding at the neighboring horse auction. With Helen’s blessing, and her dad’s support, Leslie buys the gelding at a bargain price. Will the sweet horse, named Lucky by his new owner and dubbed “Bubba” by her father, be a contender in the show ring?
In her debut novel, author Jennifer Walker has crafted a wonderful horse tale that will have young horse lovers yearning for more Bubba and Leslie adventures. A frequent writer for numerous horse magazines, Walker’s equine knowledge shines through on the pages as she gentle educates readers about life around horses. Learning about the many duties required in the daily care of horses, as well as showing on the Arabian show circuit will have many youngsters spouting off horse facts to their friends all day long.
Above all, Bubba Goes National is a fun adventure story. Kate, the trouble maker, keeps rearing her ugly head. Will Leslie ever be rid of her? And what about Alex, the young man Leslie has her eye on? Could there be a budding romance between the two? Finally, will Bubba and Leslie make it to the Arabian Youth Nationals? Will they qualify? And if they do, could they possibly win a national ‘top ten’?
Quill says: Bubba Goes National is a wonderful ride into the world of Arabian show horses.