Friday, February 19, 2016

Review: Blue Ribbon Trail Ride

Blue Ribbon Trail Ride
By Miralee Ferrell
Horses and Friends, #4
David C. Cook, 2016


Thirteen-year old Kate and her friends came up with the perfect way to raise money for her autistic younger brother and others to attend summer camp—a horse scavenger hunt! As local businesses donate money and prizes, Kate keeps the entry fees in her mom’s antique jewelry box.

But when the box and the money disappear, Kate and her friends must unravel the clues, hold on to hope, and solve the mystery along the Blue Ribbon Trail Ride.

My thoughts

I thoroughly enjoyed Blue Ribbon Trail Ride, fourth and final book in Miralee Ferrell’s Horses and Friends series. Children, preteen, and middle school young people will find much to enjoy in these engaging and often humorous stories, especially those who love horses.  Miralee is an excellent writer who also happens to have a love for horses, and she has given us a quality series that entertains and explores important life lessons at the same time. Although Blue Ribbon Trail Ride can stand alone, the qualities that make it a wonderful YA book apply to the whole series.

Just like the series title indicates, this is a story about horses and a group of friends living in the Upper Hood River Valley community of Odell, Oregon. Although I’ve never ridden a horse, I love to watch and read about these beautiful animals, and Miralee brings in some interesting details – such as one of the girls’ training sessions. And what could be more fun than planning a scavenger hunt on horseback to raise money for sending kids like Kate’s brother, Pete, to a summer camp for children with autism!


“You couldn’t possibly know what made a person act
the way she did if you didn’t know anything about
her past or what her life was like at home.”
- Kate

I think the strength of this story revolves around true friendship and all that it means. Throughout the series, spiritual values and character traits that we hope to instill in our children are woven in. As reflected in the quote above, Kate learned how easy (and human) it is to form an opinion about someone before learning more about them – and how mistaken those preconceived opinions can often be. Another important takeaway is that different doesn’t necessarily mean bad. After all, aren’t we all different in some way?

I hope Miralee continues this series because Kate is only thirteen and I’d love to see this group of friends grow into their teen years, especially with Kate and Melissa getting proficient in jumping. Jake, with all his movie references and eagerness, is quite a character; his addition to this fun group of friends makes things even more interesting.

Highly recommended for young readers.


Miralee Ferrell is the award-winning author of more than a dozen novels.

She and her husband live along the Columbia River Gorge in southern Washington State, where she enjoys riding the wooded trails and spending time with her grown children. In addition to horses and dogs, Miralee once owned two cougars.

Connect with Miralee online . . .

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity and David C. Cook for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Litfuse landing page:


  1. I've thought of getting this series for my granddaughter, who is 12. It sounds like a good one.

  2. i love your review of this series, Carole!

  3. Thank you for your thoughtful review, Carole, and for your ongoing support of my books. I appreciate you so much! And you'll be pleased to know I have decided to write two more. Book five, Rebel Horse Rescue, will release in time to buy it for Christmas this year, and book six sometime next year. Blessings!!