Las Musas is thrilled to reveal the cover to Yamile Saied Méndez's newest book, Friends Like These... and give readers a sneak peek with a short excerpt! But first, let's get into what this exciting book is all about:
Trouble in Paradise? In this second installment of Horse Country, critically acclaimed author Yamile Saied Méndez welcomes readers back to the ranch.
Carolina's hope of opening up Paradise Ranch to everyone is coming true: the Unbridled Dreams program is ready to welcome its first sponsored student!
Gisella Bassi seems like the perfect fit -- on paper, that is. When she arrives at Paradise Ranch, she's not as excited as everyone expects. She might even be... scared of the horses? But if their first student isn't a success, there's no way the program will continue. Can Caro and her new friend, Chelsie, agree on how to rope Gisella in?
Friends Like These (Horse Country 2) -- Coming from Scholastic on June 28th, 2022
By: Yamile Saied Méndez, Pura Belpré winner author
Illustrator: Winona Nelson
Designer: Stephanie Yang
And now for the cover! Drum roll.....
Friends Like These Exerpt
“While they talk here, do you want to come see the little barn with us? You can meet the lesson horses and get some hands-on experience,” Chelsie said.
Gisella looked panicked, clutching her welcome gift bag, which she hadn’t opened yet. She hadn’t even peeked inside.
“I’m okay staying here, actually.” Gisella stepped closer to her dad.
Her jaw was set in a stubborn gesture that reminded Carolina of Twinkletoes when he refused to eat his special feed. But every time Gisella made eye contact with her parents or Kimber, she smiled, as if she were the happiest girl in the world.
What kind of sorrow did this girl hide behind her pretty smile?
Once they had gone over the paperwork, Mr. Bassi said to Gisella in Spanish, “I’ll come get you in an hour’s time.” This time, he spoke slowly enough for Caro to understand.
Gisella turned toward him with urgency. This time there was no smile on her face. “Can you just wait for me here?” she asked in Spanish.
Kimber nodded, and looking at Gisella’s parents said, “Of course, you’re welcome to wait for her.”
Gisella clasped her hands under her chin and gazed at them with puppy eyes.
But Mrs. Bassi shook her head. “I’m sorry, mi amor. We promised Mr. Sullivan we’d stop by the town hall to talk about the upcoming baseball season.”
“During the first lesson, Carolina and Chelsie will introduce you to the lesson horses and show you how to take care of them,” Kimber said. “Then we can go on a little turn around the arena.”
Gisella grabbed her mom’s hand. “I don’t want to ride a horse yet. I’m scared.”
Carolina had not expected this.
The first student they were sponsoring was terrified of horses?
Had there been a misunderstanding somewhere?
Kimber and Chelsie didn’t seem to appreciate the seriousness of this fact. If Gisella didn’t even want to be here, then what kind of feedback letter would she write to the donor? What if she wrote a bad review and then they had to close Unbridled Dreams?
Add Friends Like These to your Goodreads today!
Yamile Saied Méndez is the author of many books for young readers, including Furia, a Reese's YA Book Club selection and the 2021 Inaugural Pura Belpré Young Adult Gold Medalist. She was born and raised in Rosario, Argentina, but has lived most of her life in a lovely valley surrounded by mountains with her family. An Inaugural Walter Dean Myers Grant recipient, she is also a graduate of the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She’s a founding member of Las Musas, a marketing collective of Latine authors. Connect with her at yamilesmendez.com.
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