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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec. 15, 2011
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    Vermont
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    Default New kids book about a racehorse?

    Has anyone read Raja, Story of a Racehorse? It was recently released and I am thinking about getting it for my 12 year old daughter for Chirstmas. Would love any feedback.



  2. #2
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    Nov. 30, 2000
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    Kentucky
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    I hadn't heard of the book, so I looked it up on amazon. According to the description there, only a very small part of the book deals with horse racing; the rest concerns the ups and downs of the horse's life after he leaves the track. I gather he has quite a bit of bad luck.

    Just as a matter of interest (it would make a difference to me, it may not to you) the book appears to be self-published as the only title available from "Old Bow Publishing" is this one.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 5, 2006
    Posts
    934

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    Anne Hambleton (grad A, former jump jock, eventer and all around good person) wrote it- sort of a modern day Black Beauty- it is fast moving and fun to read and she is donating part of the proceeds to TB rescue and retirement groups- if you go to our site, you can get a sneak peek-
    Be a part of the solution~ Adopt a thoroughbred!
    MidAtlanticHorseRescue.org



  4. #4
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    Sep. 16, 2003
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    Flint Hill, Virginia
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    I did an exhaustive interview with Anne and a big book review/feature article for a chain of newspapers and a few magazines. Excellent horsewoman, super creds, well written, impeccably researched/known, etc.
    Only quibble is ... how language/plot/characters/dialogue is sooooo different in a book aimed at tweens/kids compared to adult lit. I don't have kids so I don't read kiddie books (and havent' re-read Black Stallion etc. in decades) so I was sort of annoyed at those things but I believe it is an age thing. : )
    Also age-related - the action is super-fantastic (the horse wins everything, all works out in the end, etc.) so it comes across (to a jaded professional, anyway) as fantasy-land. But I remember my favorite books as a kid and a teen were just the same.
    Delightful book, lovely illustrations, great gift!
    She self-published b/c she wanted to retain control of the plot and characters, something you lose if you sign on with a big pub. house.
    * www.huntersrest.net -- Virginia hunt country's best Bed-and-Breakfast-and-Barn.



  5. #5
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    Nov. 30, 2000
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    Kentucky
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hunter's Rest View Post
    I did an exhaustive interview with Anne and a big book review/feature article for a chain of newspapers and a few magazines. Excellent horsewoman, super creds, well written, impeccably researched/known, etc.
    Only quibble is ... how language/plot/characters/dialogue is sooooo different in a book aimed at tweens/kids compared to adult lit. I don't have kids so I don't read kiddie books (and havent' re-read Black Stallion etc. in decades) so I was sort of annoyed at those things but I believe it is an age thing. : )
    Also age-related - the action is super-fantastic (the horse wins everything, all works out in the end, etc.) so it comes across (to a jaded professional, anyway) as fantasy-land. But I remember my favorite books as a kid and a teen were just the same.
    Delightful book, lovely illustrations, great gift!
    She self-published b/c she wanted to retain control of the plot and characters, something you lose if you sign on with a big pub. house.
    Actually, no. Big publishing houses have plenty of work to do without also plotting books and selecting characters for authors.

    Perhaps with an editor's input, the book might not have come across quite so much like "fantasy-land".



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 15, 2011
    Location
    Vermont
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    3

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    Thanks, it looks great! will get it for my daughter and her friends at the barn. is so hard to find a good tween horse book these days!



  7. #7

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    Hi Laurie B. ,
    Just jumped into the shark waters of the Chronicle Forum and came across your post. I would love to send you a copy of my book - maybe I can persuade you that "self-published" does not necessarily equal unreadable. You are correct - I did publish it myself. Really this had more to do with me being a control freak and wanting to assemble a team of like-minded horse people around the book than anything else. My designer, cover photographer and illustrator are all super accomplished horsewomen who all "got" what I was trying to do (re-create an authentic classic-style HORSE book that has NOTHING to do with the long flowing manes and cliques at the barn featured in most current young reader horse books.) They share my love of ex-racehorses, grew up on the same classic horse books and have competed at fairly high levels with TBs themselves. I couldn't stand the thought of some designer in mid-town Manhattan putting a stupid picture of an Arabian in a western bit with a tarted-up preteen girl on the cover of my opus. Instead, I got to have an awesome picture by award winning equine photographer, Cappy Jackson and wonderful illustrations by award-winning equine sculptor, Peggy Kauffman (who shares my love of Paul Brown.) My book was, in part, a reaction to the many inaccurate young reader horse books out there. Only horse people would care about this and not edit out the seemingly trivial but very important nuances. I DID have three editors, including one that had worked with a NYT best-seller. Loved the comment from my copy editor when she looked up youtubes of the Md Hunt Cup ("you're right, they DO go slowly") yes, I know! As a former steeplechase jockey who has ridden a number of class horses in a number of disciplines, I can tell you that ABSOLUTELY the horse (sort of a Barbaro type) would win the ladies races at the Blue Ridge and Cheshire point to points (come on, they're point to points, for god's sake - and this horse was bred to win the Kentucky Derby! Would Sapphire win a local schooling jumper show??) AND win most of the junior and green jumper classes he wins...For a class horse, this stuff is easy. Really, trust me on this. Also, don't forget that in addition to being incredibly well-bred, Raja has a very correct and solid base of training from 2 proteges of a thinly disguised Jack LeGoff - in my case a fictional old school master Russian USET coach Nicoli Belanov - sort of a combination of the many post WWII riding masters that influenced our country's equestrian sport development. I thought long and hard over whether he should be Hungarian (my Grand Prix dressage teacher thought so) but in the end, I needed a Cossack (you will see why if you read the book.) If all this doesn't persuade you, RAJA, Story of a Racehorse has won 3 mainstream young reader book awards, including a Mom's Choice Gold medal and earned a starred Kirkus review (which I'm told is a good thing.) Kirkus also put an author interview on their website and chose the book in their Best of 2012 Indie list which will be released on Dec 15. If you send me your address via my email on the book website, www.rajaracehorse.com, I will happily send you a FREE copy! If you still think it is sub-par after you read it, that is fair. All the best, Anne Hambleton


    3 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep. 8, 2006
    Location
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Posts
    2,026

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    Quote Originally Posted by RAJARACEHORSE View Post
    Hi Laurie B. ,
    Just jumped into the shark waters of the Chronicle Forum and came across your post. I would love to send you a copy of my book - maybe I can persuade you that "self-published" does not necessarily equal unreadable. You are correct - I did publish it myself. Really this had more to do with me being a control freak and wanting to assemble a team of like-minded horse people around the book than anything else. My designer, cover photographer and illustrator are all super accomplished horsewomen who all "got" what I was trying to do (re-create an authentic classic-style HORSE book that has NOTHING to do with the long flowing manes and cliques at the barn featured in most current young reader horse books.) They share my love of ex-racehorses, grew up on the same classic horse books and have competed at fairly high levels with TBs themselves. I couldn't stand the thought of some designer in mid-town Manhattan putting a stupid picture of an Arabian in a western bit with a tarted-up preteen girl on the cover of my opus. Instead, I got to have an awesome picture by award winning equine photographer, Cappy Jackson and wonderful illustrations by award-winning equine sculptor, Peggy Kauffman (who shares my love of Paul Brown.) My book was, in part, a reaction to the many inaccurate young reader horse books out there. Only horse people would care about this and not edit out the seemingly trivial but very important nuances. I DID have three editors, including one that had worked with a NYT best-seller. Loved the comment from my copy editor when she looked up youtubes of the Md Hunt Cup ("you're right, they DO go slowly") yes, I know! As a former steeplechase jockey who has ridden a number of class horses in a number of disciplines, I can tell you that ABSOLUTELY the horse (sort of a Barbaro type) would win the ladies races at the Blue Ridge and Cheshire point to points (come on, they're point to points, for god's sake - and this horse was bred to win the Kentucky Derby! Would Sapphire win a local schooling jumper show??) AND win most of the junior and green jumper classes he wins...For a class horse, this stuff is easy. Really, trust me on this. Also, don't forget that in addition to being incredibly well-bred, Raja has a very correct and solid base of training from 2 proteges of a thinly disguised Jack LeGoff - in my case a fictional old school master Russian USET coach Nicoli Belanov - sort of a combination of the many post WWII riding masters that influenced our country's equestrian sport development. I thought long and hard over whether he should be Hungarian (my Grand Prix dressage teacher thought so) but in the end, I needed a Cossack (you will see why if you read the book.) If all this doesn't persuade you, RAJA, Story of a Racehorse has won 3 mainstream young reader book awards, including a Mom's Choice Gold medal and earned a starred Kirkus review (which I'm told is a good thing.) Kirkus also put an author interview on their website and chose the book in their Best of 2012 Indie list which will be released on Dec 15. If you send me your address via my email on the book website, www.rajaracehorse.com, I will happily send you a FREE copy! If you still think it is sub-par after you read it, that is fair. All the best, Anne Hambleton
    Damn. I wasn't on the market for a young adult horse book, but now I want to read it!

    (I'm 42.)
    Everyone is entitled to my opinion.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov. 30, 2000
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    7,466

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    Hi Anne,
    I have not read your book--which I believe I made clear in my initial post of a year ago. The description I gave was gleaned from information available on amazon. It wasn't intended to be a criticism, but rather an explanation of what a 12 year old reader might encounter plot-wise in the book. If my statements were incorrect, I apologize--and you might want to take that up with amazon.

    My second post addressed a comment made by another poster and I attempted to correct a misconception--actually a statement that is patently untrue. I don't see where I called any book, self-published or not, unreadable. I certainly didn't refer to your book that way.

    I'm sure your book was a labor of love and much hard work and I wish you every success with it.

    LaurieB



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