Jane Lind presents ...
Theme: Social Relationships, Young Adult
Corrie Wager is a sensitive, caring, seventeen-year-old who works for Mary
Thompson looking after horses. Crystal Thompson, Mary's daughter, has a
heavy hand with horses and consequently does not have the same rapport with
them that Corrie does.
Crystal is given an expensive horse for her birthday. She also has
beautiful, expensive riding outfits, while Corrie has to work on weekends
looking after the horses and mucking out the stables to pay for riding
One day Meg comes with her parents to the equestrian centre to arrange for
riding lessons, and Mary Thompson puts the new student into Crystal's class.
Meg has a disability and has difficulties with learning to ride. Corrie sees
how insensitive Crystal is with Meg, and when the opportunity arises, Corrie
offers Meg a private lesson to help her along. Crystal is enraged with
Corrie's interference, and snubs her at every opportunity, especially in
front of Mark Renzies, the son of the Baron von Renzies who owns the estate.
Things become tough when Crystal's carelessness with the horses nearly
results in the death of Con, which happens to be Corrie's favourite pony,
and the animosity between the two girls increases. Then, at the equestrian
show, Crystal decides to ride Con instead of her own horse, and tells Corrie
she can ride Angel, a horse that no one rides for jumping because he is not
dependable. Corrie is thrown off Angel and she is badly injured and ends up
in the hospital.
Mark Renzies comes to visit her. On the visit he offers her a summer job
teaching at his father's equestrian centre because of the rapport she has
with horses and her sensitivity to the students. Not only that, she
discovers he is in love with her and she had been ignoring him because she
thought he was Crystal's boyfriend. She apologizes for the snubs she gave
him, and the story ends with her dreaming about the coming summer.
These questions apply to four books:
Jeremy Gates and the Magic Key
You Don't Mess with Mozart
Patrick and the Actors
1. In these four books, which two characters, or groupings of characters,
have the most genuine friendship? Explain your choice.
2. Write a paragraph or two to describe the relationship between Corrie and
Crystal in Riding High.
3. In what way was Corrie important to Meg's accomplishments?
4. What technique did the author use in Patrick and the Actors to create
5. In Mozart, Bronwyn and Megan had very different families. How did that
affect their friendship? Do you think it is easier to be friends with
someone who is similar or different from you?
6. Explain how conflict in the relationships of the characters affects the
development of the story plots in each of these books.
7. Choose one of these four books and write a different ending.
Theme Catalogue and Teaching Guide for Children's Books
written for Penumbra Press by Jane Lind
© Jane Lind