This interesting book is two stories in one. One story is about the girl, Maya, and the other story is about Artemesia the horse.
Maya comes to live in Wyoming after her grandmother dies of a massive stroke. Maya had lived the past six years in the closely guarded confines of grandmother's house. She must adjust to her new life in Wyoming which includes camping, eating outside, doing chores, and riding horses. Maya ultimately exceeds expectations as this book turns to a survivial story.
Artemesia is a wild paint mare that had a relationship with Maya's mother before she became a free horse. Artemesia makes a relationship with Maya due to the traumatic events, but will she stay or yearn to be free? In this book, the issue of what to do with wild horses is laid out for the reader. Should there be roundups of wild horses? Why? Do they really encroach on the ranch lands? Should horses be sold for meat? Do we as Americans owe horses any debt of gratitude for all of our history? What is in the best interest of the horses?
This is another good book by Pam Munoz Ryan (author of Esperanza Rising) She not only tells a good story, but delves into what motivates people to do what they do. Children are easily introduced to full characters and there actions are complex. Actions have consequences such as when Maya leaves the corral gate ajar. This is not a surface story. It's great.