In the Heart of a Mustang Book Review & Book Tour Giveaway

As I mentioned yesterday, I have had the opportunity to read and review a couple of middle grade books from author M.J. Evans.  Yesterday, I shared my review of Pinto! and, today I am featuring In the Heart of a Mustang.  Check out my thoughts on In the Heart of a Mustang, learn about the author and the books--and enter the book tour giveaway at the end of this post!

Book Title:  In the Heart of a Mustang by M.J. Evans
Category:  YA Fiction (Ages 13-17),  359 pages
Genre: Contemporary Coming of Age
Publisher:  Dancing Horse Press
Release date:   October, 2017
Content Rating:  PG. Some suggested violence but not explicit

Many of our posts contain affiliate links.
Should you purchase an item via our links--we may receive slight compensation from an
affiliate partner. 

About the Book

A boy is told that his father was a brave and virtuous man, a soldier who traded his life to save the lives of countless others. He was the man that Hunter needed to emulate. The only problem is the whole story is a lie, all of it. The truth, which Hunter discovers as he begins his sophomore year of high school, is that his father has actually spent the boy’s entire life in jail, paying his debt to society, but not mending his ways. A wild mustang mare, is rounded up by the BLM. The spring rains had been sparse, the forage on the plains even more so. The mare and her herd are rescued from certain starvation and placed for adoption. In a sandy corral at Promise Ranch, a home for troubled teenage boys, the boy and the mare meet. A weathered, old cowboy brings them together – a mentor for one, a trainer for the other. The bond that forms between boy and horse becomes one that saves the lives of both.

My Review

In the Heart of a Mustang Offers a Realistic, Emotional Coming of Age Story to Readers. The author does a beautiful job telling Hunter's story and following his emotional journey through pain, self-discovery, and challenges. The author presents her story in a very realistic, emotional manner that serves to illustrate further the bond that forms between the teen boy and the horse. As readers, we watch the boy adapt and change--and learn to trust, forgive, and grow through the events and decisions of his life and the relationships he develops. 

Horse Lovers Will Love this Book.  The author shares a lot of knowledge about horses throughout this book--but, most importantly, she illustrates the beauty and value of the horse/human bond that forms between her main characters. Trust and integrity are built very thoroughly through this bond and the events surrounding the characters. 

Would I Recommend In the Heart of a Mustang by MJ Evans? I always love coming of age stories--and life stories that focus on redemption and change.  The author's writing style catches readers' interest--and emotions--from early on and keeps it to the end (and beyond). With realistic, relatable characters and horses--and a lot of real-world, real-life lessons presented--the author creates a wonderful, teen-friendly novel that grown-ups will want to read too. I recommend it for teens and families who enjoy stories of hope and growth, especially horse and animal lovers!

Book Title:  PINTO! Based Upon the True Story of the Longest Horseback Ride in History by M.J. Evans
Category:  Middle-Grade Fiction (Ages 8-12),  243 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher:  Dancing Horse Press
Release date:   October, 2019
Content Rating:  G. This book is taken from the actual journals that were kept by the men on the journey. There is no bad language or explicit scenes.

About the Book

In 1912, four men, calling themselves the “Overland Westerners,” decided fame and fortune awaited if they embarked on the longest horseback ride in history. Their goal was to visit all forty-eight state capitals over the course of three years and complete their journey at the San Francisco World’s Fair on June 1, 1915. Facing rugged roads, raging rivers, thieves and near starvation, the men went through seventeen horses. Only one horse completed the entire journey…Pinto, a little horse with a heart as big as the whole country! This is Pinto’s account of his arduous adventure.

Meet the Author

Award-winning author M.J. Evans grew up in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Upon graduation from Oregon State University, she spent five years teaching high school and middle school students. She retired from teaching to raise her five children. Mrs. Evans is a life-long equestrian and enjoys competing in Dressage and riding in the beautiful Colorado mountains. She has published fourteen books, most of which are fiction.

Connect with the Author

Follow the Book Tour

Visit the iRead Book Tour Page

Enter the Giveaway


Post a Comment



The ZOO banner 3