A stand-alone follow-up to award-winning middle grade novel Touch of Gold, set at a horse camp with a mysterious past, featuring themes of allyship, friendship, and activism.
It's finally summer, and for twelve-year-old Aislinn, that means two sweet, uninterrupted weeks at her favourite place in the world -- Summerwood Farm. At Summerwood's all-girl horse camp, Aislinn is surrounded by all the things she loves most: her Arabian, Firefly; her best friend, Jill; and her mentor, Grace.
But this year, things are different from day one.
There's a boy at camp, Grace seems tense, and rumours swirl about the stable's land being sold. Not to mention, Aislinn keeps seeing things no one else can -- a fox, an owl, and even a ghostly boy who seems to need her help -- and her visions are starting to affect her riding and her friendships. So one starry night, Aislinn sneaks out to meet the ghost boy and hear his story. She also learns about the Indigenous history of the land around Summerwood, and what life was like for residents of a former Poor Farm that was in the same area. But, as Aislinn soon finds out, all actions have consequences and she faces serious punishment for breaking Summerwood's rules.
With stumbles and false starts, we follow Aislinn as she strives to become an environmental activist, an Indigenous ally, and a better friend. We see her make mistakes, learn, grow, and change. A true coming-of-age story with elements of magical realism and authentic equestrian themes, Spirit of Summerwood is destined to become a summertime favourite.
About the Author
Vivien Gorham's first novel, Touch of Gold, won the 2017 Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award and was featured in the Canadian Children's Book Centre's Best Books for Kids and Teens 2016. Raised in Minnesota, Vivien has worked in the Northwest Territories, Alaska's Denali National Park, and on a dude ranch in Montana. She now lives in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. In her spare time she loves to swim, hike, and, best of all, ride horses. Visit Vivien online at viviengorham.com.