A Horse Called Elvis, by John Heffernan

When a horse appears on his family’s property, Matt wants desperately to look after her, despite his family’s protests. But when she dies, leaving a foal as a parting gift, the trouble really begins. First it has to be fed every hour, then the vet bills start to mount. Finally, the foal starts causing chaos in the yard.

None of this trouble, however, seems as bad as the bigger crisis brewing among Matt’s family. His Dad is out of work, drinking too much, and turning violent. His Mum seems to want to be somewhere else and his big sister is determined to escape their father’s authority.

None of the family can foresee the part that the foal they call Elvis will play in their future. Only when Elvis is stolen and Matt falls apart does the family rally.

A Horse Called Elvis is a touching story for older children, with a warm mix of humour and serious themes. This is not just a horse story – it is a family story, told with the aplomb that we have come to expect from John Heffernan.

Great reading.

A Horse Called Elvis, by John Heffernan
Scholastic, 2004