Ciaran Richards’ father was a soldier. A hero.
But now he’s dead. Or is he?
Theo Hawkshaw, a sensible boy growing up in urban Chicago, is lucky; he has a grandfather who loves to travel with him and a best friend named Winston who loves adventure. When Theo meets a horse named Rocket that lives on a ranch in the Illinois countryside, he knows he’s found a true friend in this amazing horse.
As Theo approaches his teenage years, however, his life takes an unpredictable turn; before he knows it, bad luck follows him wherever he goes, and tragedy strikes. The life he knew and loved has changed forever, leaving Gramps, Rocket, and Winston in the past. In this new unrecognizable life, Theo must find the courage to move beyond the shroud of darkness and depression. With the help of a kind teacher, an unsuspecting friend, and loving parents, Theo discovers his own hidden talents and his true passion in life. Will he throw his life away or follow his passion? Only time will tell.
A tender story filled with whimsical reflections and wholly endearing characters, Theo and a Horse Named Rocket reminds us of all the things in life to be grateful for. Tackling the complex, confusing, and often isolating feelings associated with the loss of a loved one, it’s not just a book for children, adults will find joy in reading it too as Raymond takes us on a journey where happiness is lost but then found again, and where true and lasting friends can be made. Fiction can create a safe space for conversation, often creating a gateway to open up difficult topics and here Raymond has fashioned an emotionally poignant narrative through Theo’s backstory with his Grandpa and his later years as he learns to make sense of life after his loss. With an idealised plot, Theo’s story would have lost its emotional impact, but Raymond always keeps it real with Rocket adding an engaging dynamic that makes it a genuine joy to read.
An enjoyable and thoughtful reflection on growing up, Theo and a Horse Named Rocket is definitely recommended.
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W. H. Raymond has been writing for fun for over a decade, inspired by both her childhood growing up on a farm and experience teaching middle school science. This is her first published book. She currently lives in suburban Chicago with her husband, 3 children, and dog, Champ.
After moving to Chicago, earning a MS in Clinical Nutrition, and becoming a Registered Dietitian Ms. Raymond worked in the nutrition industry including a handful of area hospitals. Shortly after beginning a family with her husband, she took a break to raise her children. For a more manageable schedule Ms. Raymond decided to go back to school to become a middle school science teacher. This occupation opened her eyes to the struggles of individual students. And so, the seed was planted for the creation of this book!