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Horse Dreams: 1 (Backyard Horses) by [Mackall, Dandi Daley]
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Horse Dreams: 1 (Backyard Horses) Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Length: 160 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Product Description

Fourth-grader Ellie James has a great imagination. She spends a lot of time daydreaming of owning a black stallion show horse and winning trophies in the horse show. But when the answer to all her dreams and prayers gallops into her life, will Ellie be able to recognize it? Join Ellie and her quirky family in their exciting, horse-loving adventures.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 420 KB
  • Print Length: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (Aug. 17 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005EZ0BMI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #427,820 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I had the pleasure of reviewing Horse Dreams, Backyard Horses by Dandi Daley Mackall with my daughter Taliah. Together we read this delightful tale about a girl who is crazy about horses. Ellie James is a 9 year old girl who has prayed for a horse for years. She has also tried crying and begging but quickly realizes that will get her nowhere. Through an odd turn of events a horse seems to find her.

As a Mom I liked Ellie's take on prayer she has faith that God hears her yet she knows that sometimes her prayers are not necessarily without selfish motives and while she struggles with the right way to pray she knows that God is interested in hearing from her. She admits that she doesn't always remember to include God in her day but always tries to talk to him before bed. It is an honest look at a growing relationship. Ellie's walk isn't perfect but who's is, it makes for a great conversation with your young reader.

We thoroughly enjoyed this read!


Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book, the opinions expressed in this review are mine and I was under no obligation to write a positive review.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa3d4cb58) out of 5 stars 117 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3b566f0) out of 5 stars Great Christian Fiction for Elementary Horse Lovers! Aug. 1 2012
By CelenaMarie - Published on
Format: Paperback
Backyard Horses was exactly the series I was looking for for my daughters, who love Jesus, love horses, and are in 2nd grade. Miss Mackall also wrote a series for older readers called "Winnie the Horse Gentler" and I tried that first but I'd recommend it for middle school students and up. Besides being harder to read, those books sometimes deal with harder issues that wouldn't be understandable by anyone younger than pre-teen. Backyard Horses, however, is a fairly new series and is written at around a 2nd/3rd grade reading level. Love, love, love this series!

My daughters love Ellie, the heroine of the story! There are so far 4 books in the series and we started with book 1 in order to read them, well, in order. The heroine of the story, Ellie, is a sweet, oftentimes feisty, day-dreaming 4th grader. In the first book, she often day-dreamed about her own horse. She decides to do a "science" experiment... she'll "beg, cry, and pray" for a horse of her own and find out what way works best for getting horses. I don't think it's spoiling anything to say that God will answer her prayer... but in a different way than she imagined.

I highly recommend this book to elementary school children. It's filled with a good story, important lessons, and a little girl who puts her hope in God. I also highly recommend Cowboy Colt, Chasing Dream, and Nightmare, the others in the series. By the way, you can earn this book for free by participating in Tyndale's Summer Reading Program through the end of August!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3b56744) out of 5 stars Good Title to Have on the Shelf! Sept. 8 2011
By Ann B. Hibbard - Published on
Format: Paperback
Horse Dreams by Dandi Daley Mackall is the first book in her new "Backyard Horses" series. Ellie James passionately loves horses and dreams constantly of the horse she would love to own. In her mind's eye, she can see herself astride a black stallion of eye-catching beauty as she wins one competition after another. Unfortunately, her daydreaming also tends to get her in trouble at times when her mind should be focused in other places. And, when she catches sight of an ugly, dirty pinto in the schoolyard, no one believes that she's not still just dreaming about horses again.

Horse Dreams is an easy book as far as reading skill is concerned, hitting somewhere along a second or third grade reading level. But, the content captured the attention of both of my girls, third and fifth graders typically reading well above their grade level.

The thing that stood out the most to me in the book, however, was the spiritual dimension. A simple but growing relationship with God is seen in both fourth grade Ellie and her second grade brother. When I asked my fifth grader what she thought about the book, I was delighted to hear that the spiritual components stood out prominently to her as well.

If the "Backyard Horses" series was simply another set of fiction books about horses, I might not bother with the rest of the series simply because my girls truly are beyond the reading level. But, because the storyline so beautifully shows how a simple and growing faith in God affects the day to day life of a young girl, I would love to have the entire series on my shelf as it comes available. I look forward to handing the book to my son and loaning out or suggesting it to other parents who are looking for a good book for their children.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3b56b7c) out of 5 stars Great Read for Horse Lovers! May 27 2012
By Coffee Addicted Writer (Billy) - Published on
Format: Paperback
Ellie James is a fourth grade student with a wild imagination. She loves to daydream during class about owning a horse. Whenever she is assigned a writing assignment, she wants to write about one thing - horses. One afternoon she glances outside and sees a beautiful horse galloping across the schoolyard. By the time she gets the teachers attention, along with her classmates, the horse had disappeared. The teacher has had enough of Ellie's fibs and sends a note home for her parents to read. Ellie soon realizes that the horse was real?

A few weeks ago, I was pleasantly surprised to find complimentary copy of Horse Dreams in the mailbox from Tyndale. I don't know much about horses, but I enjoyed reading about Ellie and her love for horses. Ellie may be a daydreamer during school, but her dreams do come true. The book was a delight light to read and I'm sure kids, especially horse lovers, will love reading it to.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3b56f3c) out of 5 stars Horse Dreams June 24 2014
By Bluerose's Heart - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is about Ellie and her dream of owning a horse. A beautiful, black stallion, to be exact. She's begged and cried and prayed for one for years. Ellie gets a lesson that prayers aren't always answered in the way we imagined them.

I don't know where this book falls in the series, but I feel like so many more details are probably filled in through the rest of the books, though it does read fine as a standalone. As you would expect from the title and cover, this book really is a great deal about horses. If your child doesn't care for them, this probably isn't the best choice. I imagine Christian fans of horses will love it, though!

I enjoyed the sign language addition to the story. Ellie's brother is deaf, and sign language is used. The chapter titles are even in sign language(along with words). There's a sign language alphabet chart in the back, along with a dictionary of the "horse" words used throughout the story.

I do have a few complaints. It's mentioned different times that the mom is WAY taller than the dad. I love this part! I think it's awesome to see that parents/couples don't always have to fit a mold. ((two thumbs up for that part)) BUT, I feel like the dad should have been given a backbone. At one point, the mom has to step up and "save" him when he's scared of a certain man. I was disappointed he wasn't created to be stronger, considering this is a Christian series. Also, I didn't care for the gossiping that went on within the story. There is one point that Ellie leaves where she's supposed to be, asking her friend to lie for her. She walks alone in the dark during this "adventure". There are no consequences, whatsoever, and that's just not okay!

If you can overlook those parts, this is a sweet and funny little story, and I really enjoyed it!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3b56ee8) out of 5 stars Great series for elementary and middle school readers Aug. 21 2014
By Gidget Girl Reading - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
by Dandi Daley Mackall


Fourth-grader Ellie James has a great imagination. She spends a lot of time daydreaming of owning a black stallion show horse and winning trophies in the horse show. But when the answer to all her dreams and prayers gallops into her life, will Ellie be able to recognize it? Join Ellie and her quirky family in their exciting, horse-loving adventures.

What makes this book so great is that Horse Dreams is written from the Child's point of view. 4th grader Ellie James is a likable character and sure to get your girls wanting to read the whole series.

What little girl (me included) hasn't dreamed of having a horse all her own. My girls dreams are constant since their cousin has 2 horses of her own. So my girls could very well have been the character Ellie. Ellie begs, cries and prays for a horse all her own. She also understands that sometimes prayers can go unanswered till God feels the time is right and we are ready for the prayers to be answered.

Overall this is a fun series for girls who love horses and I plan to be on the look out for more Horse Dreams books.