Mcfly Posted on 12:00 am

Only My Horses Know Review

  • Title: Only My Horses Know:Hope and Horses Book 1
  • Author: Cinda Jo Bauman
  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Editor-911 Books
  • Genres: nonfiction, middle grade novel, early chapter books
  • Page #: 203
  • Release date: 2021
  • My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
*** This post may contain spoilers. ***


Twelve-year-old Kylie Hannigan loves life on her family’s Montana horse ranch. She loves teasing her best friend Joey, barrel racing her favorite horse Kiwi, and helping her mom training horses. But now it’s all disappearing. She doesn’t understand why her mom has been acting so weird. She’s either sleeping for days on end, or she has more energy than a hundred horses. Kylie used to feel loved and safe with her mom.

If her friends could see what goes on at home, Kylie would be totally embarrassed, so her secrets keep piling up, even from Joey.The time she used to enjoy training for barrel races has turned into more and more chores, and she misses spending time with her horses since lately they are the only ones who she feels really hear her. A strange-behaving horse with an even stranger name shows up for training but is only ignored by Kylie’s mom. Training a difficult horse use to be a fun challenge Kylie could share with her mom.

Sometimes when she talks to God, she wonders if He has also disappeared like everything else she loves. What will it take for Kylie’s secrets to be told and her old life to reappear? Kylie wonders if she’ll ever feel safe again.

**** I was given a copy of this book by the author/publisher but all opinions are my own. ****

My Review

Going into this book I was unaware of the fact that it addressed mental illness and it’s effects on the family. Once I realized this was a main topic of the book I became intrigued because mental illness is something my family has dealt with, and I wanted to see how the author portrayed it. Personally, I was pleased with the representation of bipolar disorder and the confusion it can cause but the family eventually bonded together in order to face the condition as if it was any other issue, allowing them to come out the otherside whole.

I was very impressed with Cinda’s ability to show that different people respond differently but that different doesn’t mean wrong.The scene where Kylie and her dad discuss her mom’s behavior and what is happening as a result was definitely well written. I wonder where the insight comes from.

There are multiple positive messages given to the reader through-out the book. I agreed with all the positive ideas offered to young readers through the course of the book. But I was most excited about the message of acceptance of mental illness not only in the family but within the community as a whole. The book showed how acceptance – can have a ripple effect and impact your life in other ways that you never would of imagined. Like the change in relationship between Kylie and Olivia.

So basically I would encourage this book to be added to every young readers TBR list whether your family is faced with mental illness or not. I would even consider reading the book together with your child so they can see your tolerance and ask questions about how to handle being more tolerant themselves. Also even if you don’t have kids but are looking for a quick and easy read consider giving it the day to get through it, it can help refresh the messages you were hopefully taught as a kid.

2 thoughts on “Only My Horses Know Review

  1. Dear Marisa,
    Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a wonderful review of my book and for encouraging others to read it! Once I found my plot, I knew I wanted to write about a young girl dealing with mental illness in her family. But, I hadn’t planned on it addressing the stigma that goes along with it, or the acceptance theme, until I realized that there was not a simple cure for a happy ending in these situations. I couldn’t have it just go away in the end, or that would not be honest. I’m so thankful that God gave me a way to end the story with hope and acceptance. I’m also so thankful that you liked my book. Thank you again, Cinda Bauman 🙂

    1. I’ve already informed my sister that once my nieces are old enough for chapter books I intend to have them both read your book, even if I have to come over every night to read it to them.

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