Review: Dirt

Posted on June 1, 2017

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Dirt
By Denise Orenstein
Scholastic Press
July 2017
224 pages

Pippi Longstocking meets Black Beauty in this satisfying summer read. Eleven-year old Yonder lives with her dad in a little crooked house in Shelter, Vermont. When her mom died four years earlier her dad said, “We can choose to stop moving up that rocky path or we can decide something else.” Yonder chose to stop talking and her dad chose to withdraw from life in an alcoholic haze. Yonder and her dad are dirt poor and for that, as well as her name, she is bullied endlessly at school. When an unsympathetic principal suspends her for two days, Yonder decides she won’t go back. In the midst of her stay-cation, Yonder finds a wayward pumpkin which attracts the neighbor’s Shetland pony to her yard and they bond as he devours it. Even though the one-eyed pony is fat, rude, and caked with dirt, Yonder falls in love with him and aptly names him Dirt. But mean old Miss Enid plans to sell Dirt for horsemeat. So Yonder steals Dirt and hides him in her bedroom. Life is good for Yonder and Dirt until the authorities find out. Yonder shoos Dirt back to Miss Enid’s and the authorities take her to a foster home. But that doesn’t last very long. At first chance Yonder escapes and embarks on a rescue mission to save Dirt — and herself — before it’s too late. Dirt is an emotional adventure that will tug at your heart strings and make you smile.

Copyright (c) 2017 by Peggy Tibbetts

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