Raven Publishing
Giving wings to great books since 2002

Hattie's Horse by Janet Muirhead Hill

In the early spring of the pandemic year, 2020, thirteen-year-old Hattie is sent to Montana to live with her grandmother on a cattle ranch. Her school has shut down, and her parents, both doctors, believe Hattie will be better off away from the city to do her remote learning. With a well-trained cow-horse that is also a trained barrel racer, Hattie feels like she's in heaven. All that can change rather quickly with the discovery of a runaway boy, the abduction of her aunt, and constraints and threat of the virus.


2021 Ebook ISBN: 9781937849894

2021 Paperback 224 pages ISBN: 978-1-937849-90-0

"I recently read Janet Hill's new book, 'Hattie's Horse' and I instantly fell in love with it. 'Hattie's Horse' gives a good look at how a teenage girl reacts to a sudden outbreak of a pandemic. It shows how Hattie reacts when she watches all of her plans go down the drain because of Covid. It shows how bad Hattie feels about the secret she's been keeping from her grandma, but she fitghts the urge to tell. When Hattie goes for a ride, it helps her forget her problems. 'Hattie's Horse' is an exciting book with ups and downs, twists and turns, and good lessons, too! I really recommend this book, and if you like horses or books about horses, then it is a MUST read! The 'Miranda and Starlight' series is my favorite series. Janet is an amazing author and I highly recommend her books."
- —Olivia Waddington, a young reader
Hattie’s Horse is a young adult novel that subtly yet vividly portrays a thirteen-year-old girl’s experience of living through the COVID-19 pandemic on her grandmother’s remote ranch in Montana. Hattie’s love of horses and her curiosity about the mysterious boy hiding in the barn are intertwined with school closings and canceled events, disappearances of teachers and classmates, run-ins with anti-maskers and hoaxers, and her worry for her parents who are doctors back in Boston. Hill has achieved a difficult feat: writing an honest and compelling story about a devastating historical moment while living in the midst of the monster’s grip. Bravo!
- Elise Atchison, author of Crazy Mountain, winner of the 2019 Eludia Award
Hattie’s Horse is a sensitive portrayal of a 13-year-old girl navigating the shoals of adolescence made even more treacherous by the pandemic that has upended her world – along with a whole new dilemma that arises with the discovery of a runaway boy hiding in her grandmother’s barn. Hattie Thompson is an appealing character, and Janet Muirhead Hill deftly balances the heartache and frustration of the pandemic with Hattie’s enjoyment of her horse, Dusty, and her newfound secret friend. Gwen Florio, Screenwriter, journalist, and author of Best Laid Plans and other novels.
- Gwen Florio, Screenwriter, journalist, and author of Best Laid Plans and other novels.
"A young teen must find courage and resilience in the face of isolation from her family during the Covid pandemic. Hattie finds solace on her grandmother’s ranch with “her” horse until Dusty is stolen by a fugitive visitor she keeps secret. Her mistake haunts her, but she learns many life lessons during this process. A great girl-and-horse story.
- Heidi Thomas, author of Cowgirl Dreams, Rescuing Samantha, and other Montana stories.
Hattie’s Horse is a story of discovery, adventure and coming of age for Hattie Thompson. During pandemic times, Hattie comes to stay at her grandmother’s ranch, where she is reunited with Dusty, the horse she has bonded with over summer visits. When she encounters the mysterious Calvin Hobbes, she has no idea what lies in store and finds that her trust in him may not be so well placed. When Dusty vanishes, Hattie is plunged into a world of emotion and realization she could not foresee.
This story has elements that will engage readers of all ages and lessons for rural and city dwellers alike. Hattie has to make choices that cause her to examine her own values and fears, and the result is a heartwarming tale. Author Janet Hill has another great tale on her hands.
- Lorretta Lynde, author of the Magpie Odyssey series
This is such a timely story; a nice presentation for a YA audience. Hattie is splendidly crafted and consistently believable: her joys, her angst, her love of family. You’ve done a wonderful job with this character.
- Kae Cheatham, Author of many YA and adult novels
Harriet ‘Hattie’ Thompson, thirteen, is living with her grandmother on Gram’s small Montana Ranch while the pandemic rages. Hattie is Gram’s namesake and Gram, an expert horse trainer and rider, is Hattie’s hero. They share Dusty, a well-trained horse.
Hattie’s parents, both Boston doctors, treat and care for Covid patients. Hattie misses them, but she knows they want here to be safe. She has always felt at home at her grandmother’s.
This is a compelling story for teen and preteen readers stepping into the realities and responsibilities of growing toward adulthood during a world-wide pandemic.
Author Janet Hill knows girls and their horses, families and their issues, and the beauty of Montana.
- Jan Walker, author of Romar Jones Takes a Hike and An Inmate’s Daughter
Hattie’s peaceful life, on her grandmother’s farm, turns upside-down when a teenage trespasser’s appearance leads to unexpected challenges. In the midst of a pandemic, the thirteen-year-old must deal with more hardship than she ever imagined. Author Janet Muirhead Hill skillfully guides the reader through the difficulties of the year, 2020, with compassion, empathy and spirit.
- Mary Cunningham, author of the Cynthia’s Attic series
Hatties Horse is a unique and modern take on a girls’ love for horses. Muirhead-Hill combines current events that are relatable and endearing, while also offering an escape into Hattie’s world. Juli Hutchings-Sebring, author of A Horse to Remember and owner and riding director at Appleton Equestrian
- Juli Hutchings-Sebring, author of A Horse to Remember and owner and riding director at Appleton Equestrian
When the Covid pandemic upends her life in Boston, thirteen-year-old Hattie and her parents who are both doctors decide that she should go stay at her grandmother’s ranch in Montana. Being best friends with her beloved Gram and being able to ride her trusty horse make Hattie’s days a happy shelter. Family situations, Covid impacts, the confusing feelings of unlikely attraction, and dealing with one of the hardest disappointments to learn in life — being disappointed in oneself — give depth to this fast-paced YA gem of a read. A timely story as well as an affecting character study make this latest in Janet Muirhead Hill’s repertoire a thoughtful and interesting book for both young adults and adults. Books about pandemic impacts will hold a place for discussion in classrooms and families. This one will be one of the best!
Marcia Melton, author of The Boarding House and Joe Henry’s Journey
- Marcia Melton, author of The Boarding House and Joe Henry’s Journey
A captivating story about a horse and a young girl: Imagine being a 13-year-old girl in 2020, the year of the Coronavirus, and being sent to live with your grandmother in Montana because your parents in Boston are both doctors. Oh, but Gram has a horse and how Hattie loves horses. Even as a guy well along in years, I could easily visualize the excitement of this adventure as well as the worry over her parents, her fear that they’ll contract the virus themselves and—being a teenager over-dramatizing everything—die.
This is a great story for not only tweens and young teens, but also their adult parents. Another Montana winner by Janet Muirhead Hill. It deserves every star available.
James Paddock, author of Saving EbonyAuthor and Webbed Secrets
- James Paddock, author of Saving EbonyAuthor and Webbed Secrets