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Morning Star Horse / El Caballo Lucero
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Engle weaves together a "crooked girl," a magical horse, and journey of self-acceptance to create an incredible story of friendship set just after the Spanish-American War. When Estrellita returns to the city with her mother, she is "stunted by rickets." In the city she meets a man called the Sugar King, who gives her a horse she names Lucero. Through Lucero, Estrellita finds escape and becomes "tall. Strong. Four-legged. Brave." However, when she is sent to school in San Diego, her experiences create feelings of doubt and anger. Only through Lucero's magic and a newfound friendship, does she learn to let go of her caustic feelings and accepts herself as she is. The engaging, bilingual Spanish and English narrative is written in verse, giving it a lyrical quality that compliments the somber tone of the protagonist. This fantastical historical fiction book is sure to delight those looking for a magical escape from the mundane - The Crimson Review

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