Joni . . . loves the quiet and calm of her family's sheep farm; she loves riding her pony, Archie, after school. But her best school friends don't live nearby, so when a new girl, Chess . . . moves (in) . . . she's intrigued by the possibility of a new friend. Chess loves Joni's horse, kittens, and sheep, but she asks uncomfortable questions: don't the sheep mind being shorn? Milked? Eaten? Joni doesn't know how to answer, but she does challenge Chess's interpretation of her neighbor's treatment of her miniature horses--Chess is certain their muzzles, which restrict them from overgrazing, are cruel, while Joni knows they keep the animals safe on lush pasture. When Chess steals the minis and sets them free to eat, the near disaster challenges their budding friendship . . .
Jessie Haas has written more than thirty-five books, most of them about horses. Her novels include Sharper, which won a Golden Kite Honor Award, and Unbroken, which was a Publishers Weekly Best Book, a School Library Journal Best Book, and a CCBC Choice, among other honors. She lives in Vermont with her husband, a horse, two cats, a dog, and a hen. Visit jessiehaas.com.