Mrs Whitlam by Bruce Pascoe

Bruce Pascoe’s latest book has plenty to satisfy any lover of horse stories, but it also deftly handles issues of race and privilege and has a thrilling storyline to boot. Marnie is crazy about horses and helps out at the local riding stables as much as she can, but her family is poor and her dad is out of work. Marnie’s luck changes when she is summoned to a fancy house and asked to take away the horse, called Mrs Whitlam, of a girl who recently died. Marnie must endure racist taunts, but her mindset changes when she and the horse become involved in the dramatic rescue of a small child. I highly recommend this engaging story for middle fiction readers between 9–12 and especially, but not only, those who love horses.

Angela Crocombe is the Children’s Book Buyer at Readings Carlton.