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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
In The Unknown Breed by Shelli Misoyianis, we learn that Tina has just about everything a young girl could want: a large home, lots of horses, and a special unidentified breed of horse, an almost magical creature. Except for this special horse called Monte, she feels very much alone in the world. When things become challenging in her new home with her new horses and Monte, it’s a magical aura around this special horse that lures her into believing that perhaps he’s not a horse, but a unicorn. Her brother doesn’t agree, convinced that unicorns must have a horn, which it appears that Monte lacks. Tina believes the horn is hidden and only appears during magical moments. To her, it doesn’t matter what breed of horse he is, Monte is that special connection she’s been searching for, that true friend who cares and understands and, yes, loves.
Shelli Misoyianis’s young people’s novel The Unknown Breed is a sweet, charming story about a young girl and her horse. The plot follows Tina and her family as they purchase and move into a magnificent country estate, complete with a stable full of horses, including the very special Monte. It almost seems too good to be real but is certainly a horse lover's dream come true. The story is told with care and attention to detail. Dialogue is engaging and realistic and helps develop the characters. The instant connection between Tina and Monte is truly magical. There is a lot of adventure and mystery in the plot, as well as some humor and moments that will capture the attention of young readers. The ending is traumatic and heart-wrenching but will ensure that this story is an experience to remember.