Book Review: The A Circuit, by Georgina Bloomberg & Catherine Hapka

a_circuit_coverThis book review is part of series of reviews written by students at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School for their 7th grade English classes.

The book The A Circuit by Georgina Bloomberg and Catherine Hapka is a captivating story filled with friendship, loyalty, and journey to reaching goals. Georgina Bloomberg, daughter of New York City mayor, and Catherine Hapka, are both accomplished riders and lifelong horse lovers. Through teamwork they have created an inside few of the horse show circuit, by letting readers see it from different perspectives.

When it comes to horse shows, the A circuit is the highest and most prestigious of them all. Many travel the circuit all year round. It’s a lifestyle with its own rules, and horses that cost as much as some homes. Tommi, Kate, and Zara are all elite riders competing on the circuit with their trainer Jamie, but they all come from completely different backgrounds.

Tommi is a billionaire heiresss trying to prove that she really does have talent, and that it doesn’t come from her money. Kate comes from a middle class family that doesn’t have the money to support her riding, so instead Kate works constantly at the barn. She earns lessons and the ability to show, through all the stalls she’s mucked out, the tack she’s cleaned, and horses she’s cared for. Kate’s friends have realized that her grueling schedule is not good for her and that she needs time to focus on her own life. And then there’s Zara. She’s the wild child of a famous rock star. The party girl is having trouble changing her ways, but is slowly starting to take riding more seriously.

Competing in the A circuit requires training, experience, and passion. In my view, the phrases ‘riding horses’ and ‘borrowing freedom’ are synonyms. The A Circuit not only is a story on riders lives’, but it also teaches you tips along the way on how to ride, “Always make the horse look good. Always make the ride look easy”(14). The characters in The A Circuit; Tommi, Kate, and Zara have taught me, if my eyes are up and my heels are down I can do anything.

You must hold on to what you love, if it tries to buck you off, hold on even tighter. Throughout this book loyalty, friendship, and journeys to reaching goals are all protrude. The bond between a horse and its rider is like nothing else, they’re inseparable, a team, and forever friends.

Knowing from my own personal experiences, I know that this book really does describe what a young competitive rider’s life would be like. The unique way of telling the story through three perspectives in different situations really intrigued me. This book is really well written with lots of figures of speech, and other ways to describe different aspects of the book. “He was leaning against the rail, his whip-thin body relaxed but buzzing with barely contained energy, like a sports car running in neutral” (17). I recommend this book for teens of all ages, because there is some mature content. Also, the main characters are teenagers, so teens who are reading the book can relate to the characters in various ways. As a horse lover myself, it was extremely easy for me to become engaged in the book, but I do believe that even if you’re not a horse person you will still feel involved in this book, because there is just about anything anyone can relate to.

-Savannah A., 7th grade

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