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A whisper of horses
2017
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Summary

Will she find the last horses on earth?

Serendipity lives inside a walled city. Before her mother died, she gave Seren an old figurine of a horse. Horses no longer exist in Serendipity's world, but when she discovers a map that may lead her to real horses, she starts on a journey that will take her far from everything she knows. Traveling with an orphan boy, Tab, and his beloved dog, she's soon on the run from a powerful and dangerous man who will do anything to make sure Serendipity never leaves the walled city again.

Zillah Bethell's middle-grade fiction debut A Whisper of Horses is original, breathtaking, adventurous, and moving. It is a story of friendship, perseverance, and resilience that readers won't soon forget.

Trade Reviews
School Library Journal Review
Gr 4-8-Serendipity lives in a dystopian walled city, Lahn Dan (formerly London), where only three classes exist: the Pbs (lead), Cus (silver), and Aus (gold). Having just lost her mother, Serendipity jumps at the chance to work with Professor Nimbus as a Cus storyteller. But things take a strange turn when she meets Miss Caritas, who helps Serendipity open the locket from her mother. Inside the locket she discovers a map that leads outside the wall around the city and purports to show where horses can be found. Serendipity is skeptical, as she has been told her entire life that horses, as well as the whole world outside the wall, were destroyed by deadly gases. But she does not want to spend her life as a Pbs, or even a Cus. She soon meets Tab and his dog, Mouse. Everything changes once Serendipity and Tab get outside the city, and she struggles to make sense of it all while searching for the horses and trying to avoid the Minister's men who seek to return her to Lahn Dan. The awkward dialect and wording that Serendipity uses to tell her story take some getting used to (words such as amazering, for example), but this makes for a slightly dark tale that's appropriate for middle grade readers. VERDICT A general purchase where middle grade dystopias are in demand.-Heidi Grange, Summit Elementary School, Smithfield, UT © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
Inside the walled city of Lahn Dan, Serendipity and her mother live as Pbs, the lowest of the city's three castes. When Serendipity's mother dies, she leaves Serendipity a figurine of a horse, an animal that has long been extinct in the world. Soon, she learns more about her mother's history and discovers a map that might lead to horses. When unnerving members of the upper caste start showing an interest in Serendipity, she joins forces with Tab, a scrappy orphan boy, and his dog, Mouse, fleeing out into the world in search of horses if only the world they're running from doesn't catch up to them first. Savvy readers will quickly catch on that Serendipity's Lahn Dan is a futuristic, dystopian London (Lahn Dan is located in Gray Britain; the police are headquartered in Bucknam Place). This narrative style takes some getting used to, and Serendipity's journey can feel a bit disjointed, but for larger collections, this debut offers up a solid dose of middle-grade adventure.--Reagan, Maggie Copyright 2017 Booklist
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