Allison's Book Bag

A Horse for All Seasons, Stories Collected by Sheila Kelly Welch

Posted on: September 21, 2012

A Horse for All Seasons is a collection of stories mostly for horse lovers, but I’m covering it in my adoption round-up because it contains a story about adoption. The collection was compiled by Sheila Kelly Welch. Her short story contribution to it is The Strays.

Length of stay in U.S. foster care

Length of stay in U.S. foster care (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In that story, Brent is a teenager living in foster care with the McCormicks. His birth mom has just signed all the necessary plans for the adoption agency to make an adoption plan. If Brent decides not to let the McCormicks adopt him, he’ll need to move into another foster home.

Ember is a horse that had been stabled with Sky, who recently slipped on a patch of ice in the pasture. Brent thought that “stuff about killings horses with broken legs was all ancient history”. It isn’t. Since Sky’s death, Ember has spent a lot of time screaming and acting unhappy.

When Mrs. McCormick shares the adoption news with Brent, she puts her arm around Brent. He isn’t prepared for that gesture. His inside reaction to her news is to think, “Another home? Fine with me. That’s what I’m used to—moving around like a stray dog.”

Next thing Brent knows, Ember has wandered off. Ember is discovered standing in muck at a nearby farmhouse. Clearly, Brent and Ember have some decisions to make about their lives.

Sheila Kelly Welch sent me A Horse for All Seasons, because it contained a story she had written about adoption. In The Strays, one realizes how confusing it is to be a teenager in foster care. Because Brent’s birth mom didn’t want him, he struggles to believe that anyone else will want him. Ultimately, Ember and him must both figure out how to move past their grief.

As for the rest of the eleven horse stories, most of them were well-written ones which took me back to my childhood days when I enjoyed reading books entitled: Best Horse Stories, Best Dog Stories, Best…. For anyone who likes animal stories, A Horse for All Seasons is a pleasurable read. You might also learn about some unexpected topics, such as adoption.

My rating? Read it: Borrow from your library or a friend. It’s worth your time.

How would you rate this book?


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Summer Reviews

Books can take connect us with strangers, take us to unique places, and introduce us to new ideas. They can also offer hope in a chaotic world. And so I must share what I read!

Each week, I’ll introduce you to religious books, Advanced Reader Copies, animal books, or diversity books. Some I’ll review as singles and others as part of round-ups. Just ahead, there will be reviews of:

  • Joni: The unforgettable story of a young woman’s struggle against quadriplegia & depression by Joni Eareckson
  • The True Story of the World’s Most Beloved Animal Sanctuary by Samantha Glen
  • Brothers in hope : the story of the Lost Boys of Sudan–refugees by Mary Williams
  • The Inner Life of Cats by Thomas McNamee



Cat Writers’ Association
Artists Helping Animals


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