Author: Kallie George
Illustrator: Lucy Eldridge
A fast-paced adventure story that will hook any children who love horses, racing, Ancient Greek mythology or a gripping battle of an underdog vs a likely victor. Published by Pan MacMillan, (7th March 2019) this story is ideal for children in Years 3 and 4 (aged 7 – 9) and would be great to read as a class novel whilst studying the Ancient Greeks.
Pippa is a determined and likeable heroine who is tested throughout the story in a number of ways. Abandoned by her parents, as a baby, we get a brief insight into her life before she is plucked from the streets and thrust into the limelight of a ‘once in a century’ race before the gods on Mount Olympus – the winged horse race.
Alongside her fellow competitors (only some of whom can be trusted!) Pippa must battle with bravery and wit to try and become the victor – earning herself immortality. She shows courage, a fierce love of horses and quiet hope but will she have what it takes to win? Particularly when some of the other riders (and their gods) begin using underhand tactics.
If I’m honest, this isn’t the sort of story I would usually be drawn to or choose for myself but I really enjoyed it. I found myself rooting for Pippa, desperately wanting her to win, and particularly liked all the terminology and references related to Ancient Greek mythology.
Lucy Eldridge’s illustrations work well, throughout the story, and help bring the characters and action to life. Their whimsical style fit well with the magical setting and events unfolding on Mount Olympus.
Ultimately, this is a magical adventure with a strong message about love, trust, friendship and the power of what can happen when we believe in ourselves and those closest to us.
Thank you to Pan MacMillan for a copy of this book in return for an honest review.