The Truth about Horses, Friends, and My Life as a Coward by Sarah P. Gibson is about Sophie, a girl who has had some interesting experiences with horses -- to say the least. The book is in first person with Sophie as the Narrator. She has been forced into a life with horses because of her mom's love for the animals. Each chapter describes a mishap Sophie has had with one of the horses her family owns. For instance, when she is little her mom buys her and her sister a pony named Really. Sophie never asked for a horse, but her mom is convinced this will make her happy. One of her mishaps occurs when Sophie has a friend over and her mom decides they should go on a cart ride with Really. During the cart ride, Really decides to take over and soon he is running full speed, pulling the cart behind him, with Sophie and her friend hanging on for dear life. This is one of many cases that has caused Sophie's aversion to horses. However, throughout the book Sophie grows fonder of them and learns they are not as frightening or as demonic as she initially thinks. Along the way she makes friends who love her horses, but best of all, love her for who she is.
I read this book in one sitting, cover to cover, because I could not put it down. It is the perfect blend of comedy and drama, chronicling Sophie's life with horses. Sophie is a likeable character that the readers will fall in love with as soon as they read page one. The author does a good job with imagery and all the passages were funny because they seemed like they could happen in real life. I found this book appealing because it takes a different view on life with horses. It is not the typical "girl loves horse" story. I did, however, like that the author ended the book with Sophie's obvious growing compassion for the horses she cares for. This book is good for children of any age who already love horses, or those who are curious about what occurs behind the scenes while taking care of them.