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Young readers book reviews for ages 8 to 12 years old

Fergus, the Soccer Playing Colt
by Dan A. Peterson
ages 9-12 180 pages Raven June 2005 Paperback    

Fergus is an unusual pony, to say the least. Instead of leaping and kicking like the other colts at Simpson Farms, Fergus loves to dance, whirl and do somersaults. Little Bobby Simpson thinks Fergus is perfect and spends hours every day watching the pony perform amazing feats.

One day, watching Bobby and his friend, Ramon, playing a game of soccer, Fergus is fascinated. When the boys realize that Fergus wants to play and understands the game, they teach him how to guard the goal. The boys can't keep this achievement to themselves and word soon spreads about the soccer-playing colt. Fergus' newfound fame leads to the attention of a world-wide audience. Soon the colt is on tour, his goal-keeping talents drawing thousands of spectators. He even has his own touring bus, the Fergus Special.

With the colt's fame comes danger. After a match, when Fergus isn't returned to the Fergus Special, Bobby and Ramon are sure something terrible has happened. Indeed, Fergus has been kidnapped by nefarious characters with plans to turn a profit from their crime. Through the rest of the story, Fergus goes through many an ordeal before returning to the loving arms of his owner.

With passive entertainment so readily available, it is a challenge to get youngsters interested in reading, which is critical to developing minds. But this chapter book works on many levels, embracing differences and meeting life's challenges, perfect for boys who like adventure and for girls who enjoy stories about animals.

Stories like Fergus, the Soccer Playing Colt are written with careful attention to plot and vocabulary, in areas of interest for boys and girls, where youngsters like them share adventures, stirring imaginations. Boys and girls soon learn that these printed pages contain a wealth of discovery, a story they can relate to and care about. Well-written stories for this age group serve as a bridge to the future, piquing interest that will afford years of reading enjoyment.

Chapter by chapter, the reader is invested in Fergus and his friends, Bobby and Ramon, identifying with their concerns and problem-solving skills, relating to a world that offers a wealth of experience.
Young readers book reviews for ages 8 to 12 years old

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