Author(s): Stacy Gregg
War destroyed their worlds, now two young girls and their remarkable horses are fighting once more - this time to win.
When twelve-year-old Mira stumbles across a white stallion in a forest in Berlin, she doesn't realise that this horse will take her on an incredible journey. Together, they're going to ascend the starry heights of Grand Prix show jumping, and sweep back in time to Poland in 1939 where another young girl is risking everything to save the horse that she loves...
Prince of Ponies is a story of courage and the will to win against all odds.
Poland 1945: Orphan Zofia, 14, looks after the horses on a stud farm controlled by the Nazis. She has a special affinity with Prince of Poland, a purebred Polish Arabian, but when Hitler’s Master of Horses, Dr Rau, announces Prince will be transported to Berlin as a gift for the Führer, Zofia plans their escape. Berlin 2019: Syrian refugee Mira, 12, finds a beautiful stray horse while walking a rich lady’s dog and forges an unlikely friendship with his owner, an elderly woman called Zofia, whose stables are in the Grunewald forest. The pair come to an arrangement. Zofia is dyslexic and needs Mira to write down her story. In exchange, she will teach Mira how to become an expert horsewoman. Gregg’s stirring new novel for ages 9 to 14 years focuses on two girls whose lives have been blighted by war but whose bond with two remarkable horses changes their fortunes. Zofia’s extraordinary story of survival during the chaotic last few months of World War 2 is not so different from Mira’s frightening experiences at the hands of people smugglers 70 years later. Themes of suppression, racism and bullying are explored, but both heroines have grit and an inner strength to persevere against the odds. And there’s a delightful cameo appearance from a fictionalised character from Gregg’s first novel, The Princess and the Foal.
Finalist in the 2020 NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults for the Wright Family Foundation Esther Glen Award for Junior Fiction