The Wild Path audiobook
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The Wild Path audiobook free
I loved this story. Really showed how all people are affected by addiction….that the one who is addicted isn’t the only one who goes through the problem. Although this story is fictional, it sheds light on how younger siblings may feel with a crushing situation.
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Claire is a 12 year old girl who lives in Vermont with her parents and two horses. Her brother is a recovering addict and the familys only choice seems to be to sell the horses, as they are not cheap and the center has drained their finances. Claires own anxiety is put to the test as her future with the animals is threatened.
The book feels like a bit of a love letter to the north country as well. The crisp air, changing leaves, footing on the ground, and setting in general are so well described. I really loved Baughmans prose and descriptions throughout the book.
The sensitive topics in the book are handled so, so, so age appropriately for middle grade. I honestly think lots of kids (and adults) will read these passages and be able to relate. Claire is actually a great friend and conversationalist too once she starts trusting someone. The equine therapy helped her own confidence in leaps and bounds as soon as she started with a new friend.
How does she feel about her brothers actions? Claire is part of a support group for young people affected by addiction, and forming her world view and thoughts and acceptance of her brothers problems is a huge part of the book. I felt like it was an age appropriate learning process. I also appreciated the need for parents to explain things to kids even if they are tough topics, protecting them isn’t always the best idea and I know a lot of kids would rather hear it from the parents than elsewhere. Claire has to realize that people and life in general arent so black and white, and i think she has a great character arc with her new friends.
The descriptions of horses, tack, and riding are truly ones that riders will feel through their bones. Non riders should be able to follow along too just fine! The bit of magic with the horses in the woods gave the story a perfect twist of mysticism and magic.
This is overally a really great, quick read, and I think young readers everywhere should give it a go. Claires struggles are so tastefully done and heart felt and I really think that young readers will be able to take a lot of good messages from it, such as not blaming themselves for other people’s actions, taking time for themselves, and self care.
Audiobook The Wild Path by Sarah R. Baughman
This memorable book is the perfect choice for horse lovers, but its also so much more. Its a book about family, drug addiction, support groups, friendship, hope, and a little bit of magic.
Claires adored older brother is at rehab for a month after becoming addicted to painkillers. She misses him terribly and writes to him almost everyday. Shes also devastated her parents may need to sell her beloved horses, because its just simply become too expensive to keep them. Luckily she has Maya, a loyal friend who shares her love of horses and offers her lots of support. When they are assigned a local history project with a $500 prize, Claire is positive she has found a way to save her own horses. Especially after she spots some mysterious wild horses in her woods; horses she is certain are descendents of horses thought to have drowned in a horrible accident years ago. If she can just catch those mystical stallions and train them, the prize will be hers and her precious horses will be able to remain right where they belong.
Along with the horses, this story gently introduces the subject of addiction, how addiction affects the entire family. Andys letters help us develop a better understanding of the rehab experience and how it can lead to a better understanding of oneself and help in setting future goals. The descriptions of Claires support group give us insight into what a sibling might experience at such a meeting and encourage a middle grader in the same situation to feel comfortable about attending and sharing. Her gradual realization and acceptance that Andy made mistakes arose out of the support and friendship she found at these meetings.
Were also allowed to see Claires struggle with anxiety. Whenever she begins to feel anxious, she feels a flock of sparrows sweep in from a place beyond me and get under my skin, shaky as wings.” Mayas understanding and support, along with her own strength and growth throughout the story help her to begin to handle her fears.
This is a book that needs to be in all elementary and middle school libraries.
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