Shelley Peterson is the bestselling author of seven published novels for young readers: Dancer, Abby Malone, Stagestruck, Sundancer, Mystery at Saddle Creek, Dark Days at Saddle Creek, and Jockey Girl. She divides her time between Toronto and Fox Ridge, where she operates a stable.
CCBC’s Best Books for Kids & Teens (Fall 2016) — Commended
2016 VOYA Top Shelf Fiction Selection
A teen girl’s quest to find her mother leads her to the big city, and gives her the courage to fulfill her dream of becoming a jockey.
Evangeline “Evie” Gibb lives a seemingly charmed life on a thoroughbred racehorse farm. But in reality, Evie feels alone in the world, cheered only by the affection of a racehorse named No Justice.
She’s always been told that her mother, Angela Parson, is dead. Then, on her sixteenth birthday, a card arrives from her great aunt Mary with the suggestion that Angela might still be alive — and Evie’s life is turned upside down. In hopes of winning enough money to leave her hateful father and find her mother, Evie enters the Caledon Horse Race. But something she overhears her father say changes everything, and Evie steals the racehorse in the night and runs away. With a stray dog named Magpie at her side and help from Aunt Mary, Evie unearths long-hidden family secrets, finds unexpected love, and takes the racing world by storm.
This outing will thrill Peterson’s fans — she has many in Canada — and should win her some new ones.
Peterson’s depiction of the racing world is intriguing and comprehensive, and stories about girls and their horses will never go out of style.
Peterson packs this story with several lessons — about making choices, facing addiction, self-actualization, and peer-pressure.
Jockey Girl is a detailed and action-filled story that makes the reader want to race to the finish
Peterson tackles the tough societal issues of addiction, abuse, and homelessness with compassion and the understanding that people are not always who we want them to be.