If you know Jennifer Walker at all, it will come as no surprise that her first novel is about a girl and her horse, or at least the quest for a horse.
Jennifer is an establish equestrian, working to help train dressage horses and riders and showing horses, when she is not busy writing and editing. Bubba Goes Nationalis her first published book, but she has several more in process including sequels to Bubba.
Bubba Goes National is in part every young horse lovers’ fantasy and part parable, offering a few lessons that many pre-teens and teens would do well to remember, including the value of hard work and good sportsmanship.
Leslie Clark hasn’t had it easy in her young life. She lost her mother to a drunk-driving accident and her father works long hours. To be able to keep up with her riding lessons, Leslie works out a deal with the owner of Green Meadow Stables, trading mucking stalls and more for riding lessons and some spending money. But all Leslie’s spending money goes into her horse fund so that she can one day own a show horse of her own. A cruel competitor and Leslie’s own willingness to take a chance on a horse that isn’t beautiful at first glance bring her and the horse her father laughingly calls “Bubba” together.
Jennifer spices the story up with a little healthy and unhealthy competition, some age-appropriate romance and, of course, horse shows.
One of the nicest things about Jennifer’s book is that it reminds readers that horses can be an accessible hobby to almost anyone who is willing to put in the hard work to enjoy them. Almost every stable I know offers riders the option to “work off” the cost of their lessons with sweat equity in the barn After all, maintaining horses requires a lot of labor.
And, even if you know nothing about the type of riding that Leslie participates in, Jennifer provides simple and accurate descriptions of the competition process, weaving the lessons for the reader in with the lessons for the riding students. Bubba Goes National also takes pains to provide a realistic look at the potential hazards of competition riding and the injuries that occasionally accompany it.
As an adult reader, I found that Bubba Goes National made for a nice afternoon of light reading, tempting me with the thought of fresh spring grass and a ride in the summer sunshine. My copies of the book are spoken for; I know two teenage girls that I am sure will love receiving the autographed copies of Bubba Goes National.
You can purchase Bubba Goes National directly from Jennifer and receive an autographed first edition, or you can order the book via Amazon.com or publisher Twin Trinity Media. Twin Trinity Media is headed by Michelle L. Devon and has published several anthologies including its debut publication Elements of the Soul, which features another of Jennifer’s stories about horses. Bubba Goes National is the first novel published by Twin Trinity.
Jennifer’s work is also available regularly in several national horse magazines and here on Associated Content as well.