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Finding Somewhere


Finding Somewhere

Sixteen-year-old Hattie is in love with a special horse named Speed, an old fellow with a long history of serving people without complaint. For years, Speed walked in circles giving pony rides to excited kids. He gave and he gave, never objecting, but was always trustworthy. Then he was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson, which is how Hattie meets Speed. She works for them, and right away she bonds with this special horse. But then the Fergusons decide it’s time to euthanize Speed.

"Overall, FINDING SOMEWHERE is an amazing journey, a special story that horse lovers will hold close to their hearts for a long time."

If Speed were suffering, Hattie could understand putting him out of his misery. But he’s just old --- old in body and spirit. It just isn’t right to put him down without a good reason. Hattie knows how much Speed has given to people and how little he has received in return. So she’s determined to give something back to Speed --- a chance to live life as a wild and free horse.

Hattie and her friend, Delores, steal Speed in the cover of darkness. Using Delores’s truck and her cousin’s trailer, the two hijack the horse and then hit the highway. Their crazy scheme is to head west, maybe to Wyoming or Montana, and find some open pasture where Speed can enjoy the freedom of being a true horse at last. They have a bit of money saved up, and the future is wide open. Both have family issues and aren’t quite sure what to do after freeing Speed. Hattie will probably return back east, but Delores may just continue west to visit her father, who she hasn’t seen in years. But whatever they decide to do, their first priority is to find freedom for Speed, and in the process, they just may discover a few things about themselves.

FINDING SOMEWHERE is a wonderful tale for those who hold horses dear to their hearts. Joseph Monninger obviously has a connection to and deep love of horses, and understands the bonds people and equines develop. In fact, he dedicates the book “to all girls who love horses.” He is wonderfully gifted when it comes to storytelling and description; in particular, he describes a special moment where Hattie and Delores are surrounded by a wild herd galloping in the night, and the experience really rouses the emotions.

Monninger also creates interesting characters. Hattie has a unique way of looking at the world. She is patiently open and painfully honest, bravely inviting readers to see into her soul. Delores suffers from manic/depressive disorder, with the wildest of highs and the deepest of lows. Other colorful characters appear during the journey, including a handsome cowboy named Punch, who stirs some romance, and a cranky, one-armed old coot with a mean chili recipe. The author even adds a bit of humor, like with the titles of the old coot’s unusual cookbooks and the teens’ visit to the Spam museum.

Overall, FINDING SOMEWHERE is an amazing journey, a special story that horse lovers will hold close to their hearts for a long time.

Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman on January 22, 2012

Finding Somewhere
by Joseph Monninger

  • Publication Date: November 8, 2011
  • Genres: Fiction, Young Adult 12+
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 0385739427
  • ISBN-13: 9780385739429