Secret of the Night Ponies by Joan Hiatt Harlow

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Thirteen-year-old Jessie Wheller is a girl who knows her heart and will do everything that she can to follow it. With her Newfoundland pony, Raven, and Newfoundland dog, Blizzard, Jessie is never at a loss for faithful companions. Jessie's grandmother is always pushing her to be a "lady," but if being a lady means leading a life without adventure, Jessie will have none of it.

When Jessie realizes that a little girl named Clara is being neglected, Jessie knows that she has to help. And when Jessie discovers a herd of wild ponies captured in the woods, she knows that she and her friends must come to the rescue. But going head-to-head against the town's bully to save Clara and the ponies is no small feat, and Jessie will need more than just a little bit of luck.

The rugged shores of Newfoundland in 1965 set the scene for award-winning author Joan Hiatt Harlow's tale of a girl and her boundless affection for ponies.

About Joan Hiatt Harlow

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Joan Hiatt Harlow is the author of several popular historical novels on the McElderry list, including Secret of the Night Ponies, Shadows on the Sea, Midnight Rider, Star in the Storm, Joshua's Song, and Thunder from the Sea. Ms. Harlow lives in Venice, Florida. For more information, visit her website at
Published October 3, 2009 by Margaret K. McElderry Books. 352 pages
Genres: History, Nature & Wildlife, Action & Adventure, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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It’s not clear who really owns the ponies, or why selling them for meat is worse than letting them starve, but that doesn’t matter—after stealing the ponies, Jessie gets her American cousin to launch a big media blitz about them, which makes everything OK.

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Historical Novel Society

The pony rescue is based on the true story of the Newfoundland ponies, which were saved from slaughter in the ’60s.

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