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When fourteen-year-old Jodie buys a wild horse at auction, she has no idea what she is taking on. Something has drawn her to Samphire--there's an instant bond between them. She recognizes he's a damaged horse who needs time to mend. Jodie understands all about pain, having lost her dad two years before. Slowly, she gains Samphire's trust, and Jodie begins to blossom with a When fourteen-year-old Jodie buys a wild horse at auction, she has no idea what she is taking on. Something has drawn her to Samphire--there's an instant bond between them. She recognizes he's a damaged horse who needs time to mend. Jodie understands all about pain, having lost her dad two years before. Slowly, she gains Samphire's trust, and Jodie begins to blossom with a new confidence. But when her younger brother Ed becomes very ill and needs an operation, Jodie is faced with the biggest decision of her life. In order to help her mother and brother, she must let Samphire go. She makes him a promise--as soon as she can, she will find him and bring him home. It's a promise that leads her into danger. But somewhere, Samphire is calling to her. She senses his life is at risk and there's not much time. She must rescue him, whatever the cost.


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When fourteen-year-old Jodie buys a wild horse at auction, she has no idea what she is taking on. Something has drawn her to Samphire--there's an instant bond between them. She recognizes he's a damaged horse who needs time to mend. Jodie understands all about pain, having lost her dad two years before. Slowly, she gains Samphire's trust, and Jodie begins to blossom with a When fourteen-year-old Jodie buys a wild horse at auction, she has no idea what she is taking on. Something has drawn her to Samphire--there's an instant bond between them. She recognizes he's a damaged horse who needs time to mend. Jodie understands all about pain, having lost her dad two years before. Slowly, she gains Samphire's trust, and Jodie begins to blossom with a new confidence. But when her younger brother Ed becomes very ill and needs an operation, Jodie is faced with the biggest decision of her life. In order to help her mother and brother, she must let Samphire go. She makes him a promise--as soon as she can, she will find him and bring him home. It's a promise that leads her into danger. But somewhere, Samphire is calling to her. She senses his life is at risk and there's not much time. She must rescue him, whatever the cost.

30 review for Samphire Song

  1. 4 out of 5

    Amena

    Rating this book wasn't easy. I've read it in almost one setting: It's gripping, heartwarming and sweet. The relationships, especially that between Jodie and her brother, absolutely shine. I've got a little brother myself, and I could very easily relate (even though my brother is, luckily, in good health). What's more, Mrs Hucklesby brings the essentials of the relationship across almost without effort. However, there are two problems, each of which took off one star. My main issue is that, even Rating this book wasn't easy. I've read it in almost one setting: It's gripping, heartwarming and sweet. The relationships, especially that between Jodie and her brother, absolutely shine. I've got a little brother myself, and I could very easily relate (even though my brother is, luckily, in good health). What's more, Mrs Hucklesby brings the essentials of the relationship across almost without effort. However, there are two problems, each of which took off one star. My main issue is that, even though this book is a pleasant enough YA / teenage read, it's not a very good horse book, even though you'd expect that from the title and flap description. It's obvious that Mrs Hucklesby doesn't know much about horses, apart from the fact that they're lovely and have a nice soft spot on their muzzle ;), and that is just not enough to take on a book about a horse that has obviously been mistreated and has lost his trust in humans. We hardly know more than that about him, and the reason is that all the little ways in which horses make their mistrust known, all the signs of body posture, the way they move and react, and the time and patience they need to heal seem to be unknown to the author. Samphire is always just "that wild horse", at least before he suddenly is a tame horse, and that's about it. The lack of equine knowledge becomes clear in the end, when Samphire wins a cross-country event, only six month after he's been on the brink of starvation. Obviously, they managed to get him back in training condition after something like 3 months, so they could train him up for the event. And obviously, the horse still trusts his old owner after having been mistreated just again by some bad guys, so that they could probably just throw the saddle on him and start where they'd left off. Well, it's probably not totally impossible... I just sometimes wish that only people who know about horses wrote about them. To all those who are looking for a more realistic and "horsy" teenage book about a traumatized horse, I recommend the old "Jinny at Finmory" series. The second issue is that the big hunt for the animal traffickers in the end is just lame. I've read this in roughly... I dunno, 200 versions since I was a kid? Actually, it feels more like 500 times, and this one doesn't add anything new. I give 3 stars to this book, basically because I liked the way the relationships were portrayed and the way the sense of loss pervades the book through Jodie's voice, which is tinged with it throughout the book. I feel that Mrs Hucklesby should have collaborated with someone who knows about horses for "Samphire Song". That way, it could have been an extraordinary read and not the average little YA book that I perceive it to be now.

  2. 5 out of 5

    StrawberrySniper

    I echo the same sentiments as another reviewer here - a pretty story but not a good horse book! Starting off with things I like, the prose is beautiful, the characters are memorable, and the imagery is strong - I remember reading this for the first time as a 13-year-old and the story reeling effortlessly through my head like a film. The scenes of Samphire galloping are particularly breath-taking. However, it does have its flaws, the major one being the lack of research. First off, Samphire is appar I echo the same sentiments as another reviewer here - a pretty story but not a good horse book! Starting off with things I like, the prose is beautiful, the characters are memorable, and the imagery is strong - I remember reading this for the first time as a 13-year-old and the story reeling effortlessly through my head like a film. The scenes of Samphire galloping are particularly breath-taking. However, it does have its flaws, the major one being the lack of research. First off, Samphire is apparently a 3-year-old stallion. That would make him a colt, not a stallion - he's an adolescent horse and isn't fully grown. Secondly, Jodie says that he should be broken in by that age. No! 3 years old is young and most horses are at least 4 years old before breaking in even begins. You need to wait for their bodies to develop before undertaking strenuous work, and they should be at least 5 or 6 years old before they're even jumping with a rider because their spines aren't fully developed yet. (view spoiler)[Samphire is only 4 years old at the end of the book, yet he is already being galloped over a cross-country race with over 20 jumps. (hide spoiler)] In the same vein, there's an eventing horse who appears later in the book that is described as both a 'filly' and an 'experienced eventer'. Fillies are young female horses who are 3 years old and below. I highly doubt that that horse is an experienced eventer and if she is, she's much too young for such heavy work and will be in for a lifetime of joint stress and injury. Jodie also goes on to refer to the filly as 'it', despite knowing the filly is female. That distracted me. Thirdly, Jodie repeatedly refers to Samphire as a part-Arab stallion, as if being part Arab and a stallion makes him something special. On the contrary, most horse breeds have Arab in them and there are plenty of Arab mixes floating around - this alone doesn't make him worth anything more than the average horse. The quality of a horse is carried in bloodline, temperament, and conformation (anatomical structure - how their body is put together, affecting what they can and can't do). We hear nothing of Samphire's conformation so for all we know, he could be a weedy, sway-backed, sickle-hocked animal prone to injury and not worth breeding from. Because of how easily they can produce and pollute an entire generation of horses with their own poor genetics and hereditary health issues, stallions should only be kept entire if they are nothing short of exceptional. And realistically, Jodie would struggle finding a yard to keep a stallion on, simply because there would be a chance of him impregnating mares. It would be much more logical to geld Samphire for safety and convenience. Because of how they've been depicted in fiction, people associate the word 'stallion' with spirit and fire, but mares and geldings have just as much heart! Stallions - and in the bigger picture, any animal that has a reputation of aggression - have been overly romanticised as a whole, and we need to stop swooning over animals that inconvenience others and pose a danger to them. Thankfully, Samphire is totally amenable - but he's also totally fictional! Where are the broken fences, the pregnant mares, the frustration of teaching a stallion driven dumb with distraction in the ring? Where's the sheath cleaning? The training chapter is also unrealistic. Jodie puts some of Samphire's misbehaviour down to a mischievous nature, but horses rarely 'misbehave' out of mischief (we don't even know if they're capable of a sense of humour like people) and they don't get jealous in the way her yard staff seem to believe. For the most part, unwanted behaviour from the horse is down to the horse's lack of training (naturally, they're going to give the wrong responses until they get it right, which is when you reinforce that behaviour by rewarding them); unclear aids from the rider; physical pain; or the horse feeling anxious and spooky and therefore too agitated to give you their full attention. They are neither malicious nor scheming; they simply live in the moment, driven by the base instincts of survival and reproduction. Samphire had been mistreated in the past and his unwanted, spooky, bolshy behaviour would have been caused by him tensing up and remembering/anticipating rough handling, not him misbehaving intentionally because he thought it was funny. You also can't show a horse what to do by mounting a schooled horse and riding it. That would make training so much easier, but sadly it doesn't work that way! Additionally, the body language used in the training makes no sense. You don't look a horse in the eye to show them that you're not a threat. If anything, that will have the opposite effect - horses associate unbreaking eye contact with predators and aggressive behaviour from other horses. And a horse won't realise that you're ignoring him because he's in your bad books. A horse higher up in the herd hierarchy gives physical signals as to how they're feeling through flattened ears, rolling eyes, 'big' intimidating body language, angry squeals, and kicks. This is the only language a horse is fluent in and 'silent treatment' isn't used, so if it occurred to Samphire that Jodie ignoring him was meant to convey a message, he wouldn't know what message was being communicated. She would have been confusing him further rather than solving his problematic behaviour. There are more obviously unrealistic things, like Samphire's 'song' and the heart-tugging connection Jodie feels towards him, but I quite like that romanticism, especially in literature. As pernickety as I've been in this review, I do love this book and I've read it countless times - it's just that the lack of research hovers over me like an irksome fly every time! It is a children's book, in fairness, but perpetuating misconceptions about animals and anthropomorphising their behaviour ultimately does no one any favours. Personal pet peeves aside, this book is full of heart and soul and I guarantee that you'll remember it for the characters' struggles and hopes more than anything else. It's about family, integrity, loyalty, loss, and both mental and physical illness. I love the family dynamics and the extent to which they care and support one another, already having learned to appreciate the blessing of simply having a family after losing their father. The wholesome, self-sacrificing sibling relationship between Jodie and Ed may seem unrealistic to some, but my own with my sister has always been similar - we even have the same age gap - so they do exist! It's hard to describe, but this book leaves my heart feeling how the title font looks - hopeful and appreciative and extra conscious of how delicate and fleeting life really is. A handwritten yellow font against a black background was an excellent choice. It's like candle light flickering in shadows and that's the perfect metaphor for Samphire Song.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Clare O'Beara

    Samphire is a part-Arabian grey stallion in the New Forest, England and teenager Jodie falls in love as soon as she sees him. Buying him in an auction seems like her dreams coming true, but then her priorities have to change. Jodie's father, a pilot in the RAF, was killed in an accident, and her younger brother Ed has a kidney disease requiring dialysis. Their mother writes a gardening column to support the close-knit little family. Ed is promised a large radio-controlled plane and Jodie gets her Samphire is a part-Arabian grey stallion in the New Forest, England and teenager Jodie falls in love as soon as she sees him. Buying him in an auction seems like her dreams coming true, but then her priorities have to change. Jodie's father, a pilot in the RAF, was killed in an accident, and her younger brother Ed has a kidney disease requiring dialysis. Their mother writes a gardening column to support the close-knit little family. Ed is promised a large radio-controlled plane and Jodie gets her own horse. She has volunteered in a riding stable in exchange for rides, so she is well aware of the work associated with keeping horses. Samphire needs much more careful handling however and has to be broken to ride. Ed becomes seriously ill and is rushed to hospital in London, and now he requires a transplant. His family are not suitable as donors. His mother loses her gardening column, and suddenly Jodie sees that changes will have to be made. But how can she bear to sell Samphire, and lose her dreams of becoming a top sportswoman? This is a well-written coming of age story. As a horsewoman I can say that SAMPHIRE SONG is attentive to detail and thrillingly described. Jill Hucklesby is English and the book is set in England, so I am puzzled as to why in the American version the currency has been changed from pounds to dollars. This also creates the nonsensical sentence "currency is in dollars today, one guinea being worth one pound and five pence" at the auction. Otherwise I recommend this book as a great read for older children, young adults or adults interested in horses or the issues raised.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Gianna Piazza

    Imagine growing up with the most important person to you, and then after several years not having them? This is what happened to 14 year old Jodie Palmer in the Non-Fiction book Samphire Song. Samphire Song is a novel written by Jill Hucklesby. Jill has also written several others novels including, Deeper than Blue, If I could Fly, Last Kiss of Butterfly, and Little Lost Hedgehog. Jodie is the main character, along with her Mom and little brother. If I were to rate this book, I would give it a 4 Imagine growing up with the most important person to you, and then after several years not having them? This is what happened to 14 year old Jodie Palmer in the Non-Fiction book Samphire Song. Samphire Song is a novel written by Jill Hucklesby. Jill has also written several others novels including, Deeper than Blue, If I could Fly, Last Kiss of Butterfly, and Little Lost Hedgehog. Jodie is the main character, along with her Mom and little brother. If I were to rate this book, I would give it a 4.5 out of 5 rating. I loved this book so much, because I could relate to Jodie several different times, and the text was understandable. Jodie lives with her mom and little brother. Her little brother has kidney problems, and misses more than half of the school day each day. It's all started when they were at the auction. A beautiful Spirited, Arabian Stallion lit up her beautiful blue eyes. She ended up taking the mysterious Horse home, and created a bond with him. Although her dad was not there like he used to be, all the time, Jodie loved Sam so much, because he made her very happy! Samphire was her new best friend. She'd go to the barn right when she woke up just to go ride him. Until one day, in order to help her Mother and brother, she must let Samphire go. She makes him a deal with him; as soon as she can, she will find him and bring him back home. But, unfortunately that deal turns into danger. Samphire needs her. He is calling for her. His life is on the line. No matter the price, or the time she will find him.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Gracie Skultety

    I really likes this book because I had a connection to the main character Jodie because she loves horses and I love horses. I also really likes this book because I can relate to it because Jodie just got a new horse and I just got a new horse. I like how the author kept using flashbacks to tell the readers what Jodie's dad was like before he passed. I also liked how the author talked about the characters backgrounds to make things more clear. I really likes this book because I had a connection to the main character Jodie because she loves horses and I love horses. I also really likes this book because I can relate to it because Jodie just got a new horse and I just got a new horse. I like how the author kept using flashbacks to tell the readers what Jodie's dad was like before he passed. I also liked how the author talked about the characters backgrounds to make things more clear.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Beautifully written and believable story from the average teen’s point of view. Heart warming and tear worthy, this is probably one of the best books I’ve ever read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Deb Jacobs

    I forced myself to finish the book: it’s an easy read (definitely written for young teens), but I just didn’t care about any of the characters. There are themes which could have been explored further, but weren’t, the younger brother seemed wholly unrealistic in his personality and illness. It was convenient how Mum lost her job to force the sale of the horse, then miraculously got it back when things turned around. Read it if you must, but I’d recommend My Friend Flicka or Black Beauty instead I forced myself to finish the book: it’s an easy read (definitely written for young teens), but I just didn’t care about any of the characters. There are themes which could have been explored further, but weren’t, the younger brother seemed wholly unrealistic in his personality and illness. It was convenient how Mum lost her job to force the sale of the horse, then miraculously got it back when things turned around. Read it if you must, but I’d recommend My Friend Flicka or Black Beauty instead if you want a well-written horsey story.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    An emotional heartbreaking story of the love between a mistreated horse and a young girl.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Chloe

    it was awesome! such a heart-filled and content filled book..... always had something interesting going on

  10. 5 out of 5

    Bailee

    This is the story of a family, stricken by lost and struggling with the unknown future of one member's illness. They fight to not only stay close but also not lose touch of who they are or what they used to be. It is about the acceptance of the present and the undeniable love of the past. Together they can survive everything. And a love of a horse could change everything. I love the story and how focused it is on family. It's hard to find a story that not only accepts that family has a huge role This is the story of a family, stricken by lost and struggling with the unknown future of one member's illness. They fight to not only stay close but also not lose touch of who they are or what they used to be. It is about the acceptance of the present and the undeniable love of the past. Together they can survive everything. And a love of a horse could change everything. I love the story and how focused it is on family. It's hard to find a story that not only accepts that family has a huge role but that the family can be a good influence on the main character. The writing was beautiful and the opening certainly created a hook that captured my attention and my love from the start. Jill Hucklesby managed to bring to life everything I think is real life. Jodie is the type of girl that I see a lot of myself in. Her family truly comes first in her mind and yet they encourage her to continue her passion. They never want her to lose herself to all of the sadness that rules their lives now. She is a huge support for her brother as he struggles with health issues. She is the type of sister that lets him clamor into her bed after a sleepless night and she never questions the fact that he needs her. Her connection to her family is what I see a lot of myself in. Her younger brother, Ed, is so cute. I can't even tell you how much I loved his little personality and all of his little moments throughout the story. He is the type of boy that would rather make jokes than dwell on the seriousness of the situation and I admire that a lot. Whenever I have had to face the idea of health issues for myself and my family, I can't not think about it constantly. I wish I could be Ed during those moments because he not only keeps his spirits up but also manages to help his family look at things with more hope and happiness. I cannot imagine being their mom as they go through the course of the story. She has faced the loss of her husband, the sickness of her son, and the idea of somehow moving beyond that. I admire how much her kids accept the idea that she might move on from their dad and that they don't expect her to live alone for the rest of her life. She brings to life the type of mom that should be more common in this genre because more often than not, the evil mom is too common. I was going to talk about the horses because I love horses but there are so many different ways to tackle this particular topic. Just know that these horses come to life with their own personalities and brings to life the happiness that everyone in this family needs. I love this story, it is beautiful in its own way and I haven't experienced one quite like this before. Have you ever read a book that brings to life everything you love? **This book was received from the publisher via NetGalley. None of the review was influenced by the author or the publisher. This is a completely original review. The thoughts and feelings of the reviewer are entirely her own and have no ties to the publisher.**

  11. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    Samphire Song is a book aimed at 9-13 year olds. An age group a few years too young for me in theory actually. However it sounded interesting and the equine literature for the older young adults range is fairly limited. It starts with a quick briefing of the characters life involving horses up to the point the story truly starts, when she receives money from her Mother ‘to spend on what she likes’ that is of course a pony. She originally goes to a auction after a well broke, sane pony but, unsurpr Samphire Song is a book aimed at 9-13 year olds. An age group a few years too young for me in theory actually. However it sounded interesting and the equine literature for the older young adults range is fairly limited. It starts with a quick briefing of the characters life involving horses up to the point the story truly starts, when she receives money from her Mother ‘to spend on what she likes’ that is of course a pony. She originally goes to a auction after a well broke, sane pony but, unsurprisingly, is attracted to the wild, un-broken part-bred arab thrashing in his stall. Despite reservations from her Mother, she buys the horse and breaks him in. His name is Samphire. Surprisingly it went into more depth than I thought it would about breaking in a horse, showing the struggles it takes. Of course things work out fine, she even plans to enter him in the big cross country race. Here I thought, oh, its going to have an all too predictable end where she wins the race. But the book had a surprising twist that was rather heart wrenching, her younger brother has kidney failure (it is already mentioned he has kidney disease in the book) and is rushed to hospital. Samphire needs to be sold as his expenses become too much. It later comes to a midnight rescue to buy him back after the deal made with the new owner falls through. A book that exceeded my expectations and was beautifully written, the plot twist was particularly unseeable. Easy to read but not so simple that I felt like it had been dumbed down too much or that I was actually too old to be reading. Maybe even the age group could be extended.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    Samphire Song is a book aimed at 9-13 year olds. An age group a few years too young for me in theory actually. However it sounded interesting and the equine literature for the older young adults range is fairly limited. It starts with a quick briefing of the characters life involving horses up to the point the story truly starts, when she receives money from her Mother ‘to spend on what she likes’ that is of course a pony. She originally goes to a auction after a well broke, sane pony but, unsurpr Samphire Song is a book aimed at 9-13 year olds. An age group a few years too young for me in theory actually. However it sounded interesting and the equine literature for the older young adults range is fairly limited. It starts with a quick briefing of the characters life involving horses up to the point the story truly starts, when she receives money from her Mother ‘to spend on what she likes’ that is of course a pony. She originally goes to a auction after a well broke, sane pony but, unsurprisingly, is attracted to the wild, un-broken part-bred arab thrashing in his stall. Despite reservations from her Mother, she buys the horse and breaks him in. His name is Samphire. Surprisingly it went into more depth than I thought it would about breaking in a horse, showing the struggles it takes. Of course things work out fine, she even plans to enter him in the big cross country race. Here I thought, oh, its going to have an all too predictable end where she wins the race. But the book had a surprising twist that was rather heart wrenching, her younger brother has kidney failure (it is already mentioned he has kidney disease in the book) and is rushed to hospital. Samphire needs to be sold as his expenses become too much. It later comes to a midnight rescue to buy him back after the deal made with the new owner falls through. A book that exceeded my expectations and was beautifully written, the plot twist was particularly unseeable. Easy to read but not so simple that I felt like it had been dumbed down too much or that I was actually too old to be reading. Maybe even the age group could be extended.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    Samphire Song is a book aimed at 9-13 year olds. An age group a few years too young for me in theory actually. However it sounded interesting and the equine literature for the older young adults range is fairly limited. It starts with a quick briefing of the characters life involving horses up to the point the story truly starts, when she receives money from her Mother ‘to spend on what she likes’ that is of course a pony. She originally goes to a auction after a well broke, sane pony but, unsurpr Samphire Song is a book aimed at 9-13 year olds. An age group a few years too young for me in theory actually. However it sounded interesting and the equine literature for the older young adults range is fairly limited. It starts with a quick briefing of the characters life involving horses up to the point the story truly starts, when she receives money from her Mother ‘to spend on what she likes’ that is of course a pony. She originally goes to a auction after a well broke, sane pony but, unsurprisingly, is attracted to the wild, un-broken part-bred arab thrashing in his stall. Despite reservations from her Mother, she buys the horse and breaks him in. His name is Samphire. Surprisingly it went into more depth than I thought it would about breaking in a horse, showing the struggles it takes. Of course things work out fine, she even plans to enter him in the big cross country race. Here I thought, oh, its going to have an all too predictable end where she wins the race. But the book had a surprising twist that was rather heart wrenching, her younger brother has kidney failure (it is already mentioned he has kidney disease in the book) and is rushed to hospital. Samphire needs to be sold as his expenses become too much. It later comes to a midnight rescue to buy him back after the deal made with the new owner falls through. A book that exceeded my expectations and was beautifully written, the plot twist was particularly unseeable. Easy to read but not so simple that I felt like it had been dumbed down too much or that I was actually too old to be reading. Maybe even the age group could be extended.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    Jodie has a lot going on in her life, but being with horses makes her feel better. Her father, with whom she shared her passion for riding, was killed in the war. Her young brother, Ed, is very ill and needs a kidney transplant to survive. Her mother, a freelance writer, struggles to make ends meet, but when she gets a good job writing a regular column, she lets the children have a treat, and Jodie gets to buy a horse. She choses Samphire, a stallion who is skittish and needs training, because s Jodie has a lot going on in her life, but being with horses makes her feel better. Her father, with whom she shared her passion for riding, was killed in the war. Her young brother, Ed, is very ill and needs a kidney transplant to survive. Her mother, a freelance writer, struggles to make ends meet, but when she gets a good job writing a regular column, she lets the children have a treat, and Jodie gets to buy a horse. She choses Samphire, a stallion who is skittish and needs training, because she feels a connection with him. She makes good progress on his training until Ed becomes even sicker and her mother loses the column. When she has to sell Samphire, she asks the girl who buys him to let her know if she ever sells him on to someone else, but the girl does not. When circumstances improve, Jodie tries to find Samphire to buy him again, but nothing in Jodie's life is easy. Strengths: Very readable, and lots of good details about horsey things-- mucking stalls, training, riding, etc. There are always a few girls who are interested in horses, and very few new books about them. (Rorby's Outside of a Horse and the Smiley Georges and the Jewels series being notable exceptions.) Weaknesses: Why are the new horse books so sad? And why do the girls always want the most damaged horse for sale? And why do their parents allow them to get the damaged horse? Ah, didn't make sense to me, but the girls won't care.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mwahaha

    Samphire Song is a touching story about a fourteen-year-old girl and her spirited Arabian stallion. Samphire is everything Jodie has ever dreamed of - a beautiful, almost pure white horse with bucketfuls of personality - and when she discovers him at an auction she can't quite believe her luck. The moment he catches her eye, something about him also captures her heart. It's a deep, unbreakable connection tugging her towards him, and the beginning of a bond so powerful even separation and depress Samphire Song is a touching story about a fourteen-year-old girl and her spirited Arabian stallion. Samphire is everything Jodie has ever dreamed of - a beautiful, almost pure white horse with bucketfuls of personality - and when she discovers him at an auction she can't quite believe her luck. The moment he catches her eye, something about him also captures her heart. It's a deep, unbreakable connection tugging her towards him, and the beginning of a bond so powerful even separation and depression can't tear them apart. For those who liked Chosen by a Horse, Samphire Song is another story about how horses can inspire people and bring peace and happiness into their lives (but more of a book for pre-teens and young teenagers). It rises up hills of happy moments and swoops down to sadness and depression, a gripping tale that will keep you reading until you finish. I found it predictable yet heart-tugging, and it stole my attention for the few hours it took me to read it in. It's sad in some parts but not downright depressing - unlike Chosen by a Horse, it didn't make me cry - and I'd recommend it to animal-loving 8-14 year olds. And although it can be mildly cheesy in some parts, it's definitely worth giving a go.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Merrilyn Tucker

    Jodie is recovering from the death of her dearly loved father. She's in a loving family of a mother and brother, but the brother has kidney disease, so is fragile. Jodie eases her raw emotions when she is working at a local stable and she wishes that some day she could have a horse of her own. When she meets Samphire, a mean and volatile horse, she sees in his eyes that he is as broken as she. Jodie is able to buy Samphire from owners who don't love him but, soon after, her brother has to have a Jodie is recovering from the death of her dearly loved father. She's in a loving family of a mother and brother, but the brother has kidney disease, so is fragile. Jodie eases her raw emotions when she is working at a local stable and she wishes that some day she could have a horse of her own. When she meets Samphire, a mean and volatile horse, she sees in his eyes that he is as broken as she. Jodie is able to buy Samphire from owners who don't love him but, soon after, her brother has to have a kidney transplant, so Jodie has to sell the horse. Her heart breaks, both for herself and for Samphire, to do this, but Jodie knows that in order for her brother to recover, the family needs money. As her brother gets better, Jodie is able to buy the horse back again. However, when she approaches the owner, it seems that he has already sold Samphire. Jodie tracks down the horse to a farm where animals are being abused and she rescues him from what would have been a wicked death. I enjoyed this story and know that girls who love horses will, too. Loads of horse grooming and riding vocabulary is employed. Even though the loose ends of the tale all are tied up neatly in the end, it is a satisfying tale.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Jodi has a tough life in England, with her father dead, her mother's financial situation unsteady, and her brother suffering kidney disease. Jodi finds her solace in working with horses at a local barn, which is her only outlet. When her mother gets a sudden windfall, Jodi is finally able to buy her first horse--Samphire, a high-spirited but difficult stallion. Jodi spends all her time on him and turns him into a horse she can ride and hopefully show, but then a series of family disasters forces Jodi has a tough life in England, with her father dead, her mother's financial situation unsteady, and her brother suffering kidney disease. Jodi finds her solace in working with horses at a local barn, which is her only outlet. When her mother gets a sudden windfall, Jodi is finally able to buy her first horse--Samphire, a high-spirited but difficult stallion. Jodi spends all her time on him and turns him into a horse she can ride and hopefully show, but then a series of family disasters forces her to sell. When she later decides she must get him back at any cost, she discovers that he has not been well treated, and puts herself and others in danger to rescue him. I read this a while back and can't find my original review, but I like horse books and enjoyed all the horse details in this one. I found the characters realistic and sympathetic, and thought horse-loving girls would love this, despite the sadness. The change in plot, however, threw me for a loop. I started out reading a teen problem novel with horses, then it turned into a sort of Famous-Five action adventure--that seemed a bit over-the-top for me. Still, enjoyable.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Krystle

    I love how this story was very... lighthearted, if you will. Although slightly predictable, the story is very pleasant. There are no complicated words or sentences. Even my 20-year-old sister, who wouldn't read any book that has no pictures/illustrations, managed to finish the book in quite a short time, all things considered. I admit I cried as Jodie helplessly lost Samphire, as I, like Jodie, have helplessly watched something/someone we love slip away. Jill expressed Jodie's loss so tragically I love how this story was very... lighthearted, if you will. Although slightly predictable, the story is very pleasant. There are no complicated words or sentences. Even my 20-year-old sister, who wouldn't read any book that has no pictures/illustrations, managed to finish the book in quite a short time, all things considered. I admit I cried as Jodie helplessly lost Samphire, as I, like Jodie, have helplessly watched something/someone we love slip away. Jill expressed Jodie's loss so tragically that you can't help but feel pain for her. And to top it off with Ed's illness, it was a very noble sacrifice that I think would tug at anyone's heartstrings. And then when those guys in the forests were hurting Samphire, I actually felt Jodie's rage, and then her desperation as Samphire clung on for life. It was heartbreaking, but without it sounding too depressing. On a different note, this book was the first book that drew my eyes in a book fair, and I immediately grabbed it when I saw it. And I have to say, there are no regrets.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    A book about one girl’s unflinching love for a horse. Jodie has always loved horses, but when she meets Samphire, she feels a connection unlike she ever has before. Ever since her dad died, Jodie, her mom and her sick brother have struggled to make ends meet. But when her mother comes into an inheritance left by Jodie’s dad, Jodie is able to purchase Samphire and give him the love he deserves. Everything about this book was too neat for me. Jodie and her brother behave much younger than their ag A book about one girl’s unflinching love for a horse. Jodie has always loved horses, but when she meets Samphire, she feels a connection unlike she ever has before. Ever since her dad died, Jodie, her mom and her sick brother have struggled to make ends meet. But when her mother comes into an inheritance left by Jodie’s dad, Jodie is able to purchase Samphire and give him the love he deserves. Everything about this book was too neat for me. Jodie and her brother behave much younger than their ages - there is no true rebellion or questioning in their adolescence. They are overly thoughtful and always mindful of their mom. There’s no hint that they’re struggling with the loss of their dad. And everything that happens doesn’t feel natural - it feels like plot points strung together in order to make a happy ending (Jodie gets horse, loses horse, finds horse again and wins the big tournament). I did enjoy Jodie and her brother’s relationship and thought it was quite tender. But I do wish they had some serious arguments, like siblings do.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    Fourteen-year-old Jodie Palmer is still reeling from the loss of her father. A bit awkward around others her age, she feels more comfortable with horses than humans. When she has the chance to buy the horse of her dreams, she is drawn instead to Samphire, a powerful, beautiful creature who has obviously been mistreated during this time with others. Slowly, patiently, lovingly, Jodie works with Samphire, gaining his trust and helping him reach his potential. Middle grade and teen readers will qui Fourteen-year-old Jodie Palmer is still reeling from the loss of her father. A bit awkward around others her age, she feels more comfortable with horses than humans. When she has the chance to buy the horse of her dreams, she is drawn instead to Samphire, a powerful, beautiful creature who has obviously been mistreated during this time with others. Slowly, patiently, lovingly, Jodie works with Samphire, gaining his trust and helping him reach his potential. Middle grade and teen readers will quickly realize that Jodie sees something of herself in Samphire, and when her younger brother's illness forces her to sell her beloved horse, their hearts will break. This is a triumphant story about trust and loyalty. I'd have given it another star, but some of the events near the end of the story just seemed too improbable. I don't know how likely Jodie would have been to be able to find that horse again.

  21. 4 out of 5

    My Book Addiction and More MBA

    SAMPHIRE SONG by Jill Hucklesby is a beautiful written Children's book. Age Range:9 and up. A tale of Samphire, and Jodie. Jodie loves horses, has lost her beloved father and volunteers at a horse stable. Samphire is a troubled horse, and he is damaged. When Jodie's younger brother becomes ill she must let her beloved horse go, with a promise to find him. But not only is Samphire in danger,but Jodie also, when she feels him calling to her she know he is in danger too. Together, they find healing SAMPHIRE SONG by Jill Hucklesby is a beautiful written Children's book. Age Range:9 and up. A tale of Samphire, and Jodie. Jodie loves horses, has lost her beloved father and volunteers at a horse stable. Samphire is a troubled horse, and he is damaged. When Jodie's younger brother becomes ill she must let her beloved horse go, with a promise to find him. But not only is Samphire in danger,but Jodie also, when she feels him calling to her she know he is in danger too. Together, they find healing,love and learn to trust each other. A powerful tale for humans and animals, and the bond they share. A must for any young reader,animal lovers,and horse lovers. "Samphire Song" is not just a story for young readers,but a story for young and old alike. I enjoyed this title,and plan on my grandchildren reading it also. A powerful and compelling story! Received for an honest review from the publisher. RATING: 4.5 HEAT RATING: NONE(CHILDREN) REVIEWED BY: AprilR, My Book Addiction Reviews

  22. 5 out of 5

    Athena Nagel

    Samphire song is a book with so many great messages. First of all - this book epitomizes why horses prove to be such great therapeutic animals. I do not own a horse - I used to ride them when I was a kid but at some point developed truly deadly allergies to them. Breaks my heart. But I lived the love for horses, however brief, and this book portrays that love. The emotion in this book is handled marvelously and involves the reader at every turn. It was a difficult book to put down. I give this b Samphire song is a book with so many great messages. First of all - this book epitomizes why horses prove to be such great therapeutic animals. I do not own a horse - I used to ride them when I was a kid but at some point developed truly deadly allergies to them. Breaks my heart. But I lived the love for horses, however brief, and this book portrays that love. The emotion in this book is handled marvelously and involves the reader at every turn. It was a difficult book to put down. I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars - gladly. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nelda Brangwin

    Although I enjoyed this horse story, I can't give it a good rating. It is a British story yet, they spend dollars not pounds. Pajamas is spelled the American way and the British way, pyjamas. There's a glaring mistake on page 45 when mom says the kids have "fifteen two thousand dollars" to spend, but later in the story when Jodie's brother goes into kidney failure she has to sell the horse she bought for $2000. It was confusing....earlier it sounded like they had a LOT of money. The story will b Although I enjoyed this horse story, I can't give it a good rating. It is a British story yet, they spend dollars not pounds. Pajamas is spelled the American way and the British way, pyjamas. There's a glaring mistake on page 45 when mom says the kids have "fifteen two thousand dollars" to spend, but later in the story when Jodie's brother goes into kidney failure she has to sell the horse she bought for $2000. It was confusing....earlier it sounded like they had a LOT of money. The story will be enjoyed by horse loving girls. Although having been around stallions, I am concerned that girls are going to see stallions gentler than they really are.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kasey Cocoa

    Well written heart-warming tale even those who've never felt the bond between human and animal. Having grown up around horses I could easily relate to certain elements of the story. I didn't want to put it down once I started, even though it was clearly written for a much younger age group. This is one that should be put in every school library encouraging kids both male and female to read it through. The characters felt well fleshed out. The plot was easy to follow and flowed smoothly from star Well written heart-warming tale even those who've never felt the bond between human and animal. Having grown up around horses I could easily relate to certain elements of the story. I didn't want to put it down once I started, even though it was clearly written for a much younger age group. This is one that should be put in every school library encouraging kids both male and female to read it through. The characters felt well fleshed out. The plot was easy to follow and flowed smoothly from start to finish. This one will end up on my shelves, right next to Marguerite Henry and Walter Farley.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Arlene

    Fourteen year-old Jodie has recently lost her father and has a younger brother struggling with serious illness. She describes herself as having "a rock where my heart should be." A lover of horses, she is drawn to a recalcitrant stallion that she names Samphire, "like the wild plant, on account of his raggedy mane." This beautiful story captures a young girl's love for a troubled horse and how their relationship heals them both. Though the story is set in the English countryside and written by a Fourteen year-old Jodie has recently lost her father and has a younger brother struggling with serious illness. She describes herself as having "a rock where my heart should be." A lover of horses, she is drawn to a recalcitrant stallion that she names Samphire, "like the wild plant, on account of his raggedy mane." This beautiful story captures a young girl's love for a troubled horse and how their relationship heals them both. Though the story is set in the English countryside and written by an English author, the book presents few cultural or linguistic challenges for American readers.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Laura Phelps

    Jodie’s dad has recently died, her brother is suffering from kidney disease and her only solace is riding horses at the stable. When given an opportunity to purchase a horse, she chooses Samphire, a wild stallion seemingly unsuited to a young rider. The bond between horse and girl is strong, but at times the plot follows a predictable pattern. For readers who love horses, though, this will be a hit.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Katarina

    This is a very sweet story, and if you like horses you will love reading this The book is aimed at a younger crowd, but reading it took me back to being young, loving horses, riding and spending every free minute at the stable. The book is beautifully written and tugs at your heart as Jodie deals with several huge things in her life. I really liked reading this.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Gianna Nickoloff

    I really liked this book because I love animals, horses especially so if you do too you should like it. This book shows determination in the character Jodie. She's also very adventurous and a risk-taker. Jodie has a little brother she calls Teddy, who has a medical problem. Together they make a good team and look out for each other. Jodie will not give up to get her horse. I really liked this book because I love animals, horses especially so if you do too you should like it. This book shows determination in the character Jodie. She's also very adventurous and a risk-taker. Jodie has a little brother she calls Teddy, who has a medical problem. Together they make a good team and look out for each other. Jodie will not give up to get her horse.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

    I thought this was a truly brilliant book - maybe the truly action-filled parts were over slightly quickly, but the emotion of the many things that happened in the book were all protrayed in such a way that made you feel like you knew the situation so well yourself.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    Loved the characters but a little unbelievable at times. Still, it is a wonderful horse book for girls who want to get their hands on anything to do with equines. They will not only love Samphire, but his owner, too.

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