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Kids' Activities

Jane Lind presents ...

Riding High

Written by Colleen Rutherford Archer
Drawings by Judi Pennanen

Theme: Social Relationships, Young Adult

Riding High

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 lessons.

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
Riding High
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 suspense?

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.

from the
Theme Catalogue and Teaching Guide for Children's Books
written for Penumbra Press by Jane Lind
© Jane Lind

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