I received this book, Backyard Horses by Dandi Daley Mackall, free from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for a book review. I loved this book!! If you have ever prayed for something to happen, this is the book for you. Mackall does a great job showing the power of prayer, trusting, and believing in God for miracles in the life of almost-10 year old Ellie.
All Ellie wants is a beautiful stallion to ride in the Hamilton Royal Horse Show. She daydreams about this horse. She has prayed for years for God to send her a horse. She is doing a science project on how to get a horse. Begging and crying have already been tried and failed—all that is left is praying. Then, one day she is daydreaming out the window, and there is a pinto horse running around lost; but nobody believes she saw a horse. Ellie thinks, “It’s a horrible feeling when the only one who believes you is you.”
But God has control of this situation. Ellie is dreaming of a champion stallion; God shows her a pinto. Ellie’s brother, Ethan, is deaf. Ellie’s mother and father, and her friends help round out the story. The characters are very believable. Ethan signs to Ellie that there’s no such thing as a coincidence—only God things—which are events only God could bring together. Ellie finally realizes what she has been wanting is right in front of her. Will she realize it in time? Will she get to keep “her” horse? Ellie tells us that she guesses a lot of her prayers are selfish. But she doesn’t think God gets mad for it. She can see Jesus smiling at her when she prays. He’s just glad she can be hones with Him. That is how we need to be. Tell God what you want; the answer may still be no, but at least you’re being honest.
This story is an honest look at a 10 year old’s view of wanting something. It will touch your heart, make you laugh, make you cry—but leave you with a very good feeling at the end. I am looking forward to reading more books by Dandi Daley Mackall. Thank you for an amazing book!