Recently, I had the pleasure of reading a book by Middle Grade author Tiffany Reese. Her work of fiction is entitled Nobody’s Champion and is the first of the Cardinal Farm series. While I hadn’t read any other books by Tiffany Reese prior to picking this up to review, I will admit that the premise of it had me interested. For one thing, this book is one that has been written from the point of view of a horse. I don’t recall ever reading a book from the point of view of a horse so, naturally, I was completely intrigued. I needed to read this story and I was not disappointed at all.
The story follows Barney, a horse that—Reese describes in the synopsis—“was born so that other people can achieve their dreams.” Just this first aspect is relatable to anyone who might read it, no matter the age. Personally, I related to Barney as I read his journey to his own, individual success and goals. Though the main character is an animal, Ms. Reese writes him so human. He has feelings, thoughts, and goals just like anyone else. Like him, we have to adjust, maintain friendships, and more. For just a moment, you forget that he’s a horse.
The story of the underdog or the person trying to achieve their dreams despite all of their obstacles has been done before. As a reader, I have followed many characters on their journeys to their own personal “happily ever after.” However, Tiffany Reese definitely tells this story in a unique and personable way way that I think any reader, juvenile or not, will enjoy. Moreover, the art included in the reading teams up perfectly with the words of Ms. Reese to create a story that is unlike any other. I'd recommend this to anyone interested in a great story.
Jessica (J.L.) is a lifelong lover of books. Currently, she works as an English professor, blogger, literacy program developer, and book podcast host. She hopes to continue to share her favorite reads and spread her love of learning, reading, and diverse characters to the next generation.