Back Cover: When Cassie Lockwood's mother died, Cassie began travelling with her father's Wild West Show. Along the way, she became an amazingly skillful trick rider and sharpshooter, likened by some to the famous Annie Oakley. When her father passed away, she continued to work with the show, having nowhere else to go.
Now Cassie has discovered that "Uncle" Jason, the show's manager, has driven the show into debt, and he's absconded with what little money was left. Devastated, Cassie decides to try and find the hidden valley in the Black Hills of South Dakota where her father had dreamed of setting down roots. She has only one clue. She needs to find three huge stones that look like fingers on a giant hand. With Chief, a Sioux Indian who's been with the act for twenty years, and Micah, the head wrangler, she leaves the show and a bundle of heartache behind and begins a wild and daring adventure.
Review: Lauraine Snelling was one of my favourite authors as a child. Her adventures chronicling two young riders, an equestrian show-jumper and a jockey, entertained me for hours on end. Those books are now tucked away somewhere, but if you stumbled across them, you could tell that they were read many, many times.
Quite a few years have gone by since I have read any of Lauraine Snelling's work. I found that her newest book, "Valley of Dreams", was very similar to the teen novels I used to read. Her main characters all share a love for horses, have incredible talent in one area or another, and are always the brave heroines. This book is entirely about a young girl, Cassie, finding herself through a difficult journey through America's untamed west and finding her father's dream farm.
I think this book would be a wonderful read for a girl between the ages of 13-16 who has an infatuation with horses. You can tell as you read Lauraine's books that she is enamoured with horses and her knowledge and love for the animals comes across vividly. Lastly, I'd like to mention that Valley of Dreams is completely clean of any inappropriate scenes and is a good, wholesome story.
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group"