Lizzie Flying Solo

Lizzie Flying Solo is the story of a recently homeless girl who loves a pony she cannot have. A lyrical, poignant middle grade novel about embracing change, accepting help from others, and finding a place to call home. Perfect for fans of Raymie Nightingale.

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Cover art by Benjamin Plouffe

ISBN-10 : 0062673181
ISBN-13 : 978-0062673183
Imprint: HarperCollins

  • A Kirkus Best Book of 2019!
  • A Mighty Girl Best Book of 2019

“When her dad is arrested for embezzlement, life changes abruptly for 12-year-old Lizzie and her mother. Their home repossessed, they are forced into a shelter for homeless families. Lizzie’s mother quickly finds work, while Lizzie spends most of the summer silently watching, sketching, and writing poems about the ponies at a teaching stable near the shelter. When a frightened, unbroken young pony arrives, Lizzie feels an instant connection and vows to do whatever it takes to make him hers. At this point, readers might think they know where the story’s going, but they don’t. Lizzie begins working at the barn in exchange for lessons and gradually comes out of her self-imposed isolation, emerging as strong, determined, and empathetic, but the horses are not the solution: Lizzie is. She relates the story of her rough transition from innocence to experience in an emotional yet measured first-person. Steveson’s nuanced portrayals of the many ways families can be in crisis and her unflinching honesty toward her characters elevate this book into something unexpectedly full of grace. They are always people who exist independently of their problems, and that’s a rare and beautiful thing. Lizzie and her family are white, while some important secondary characters are black and Latinx. Well done.” —Kirkus Starred Review

“Lizzie and her mother are forced to move from their home after her father is arrested for embezzling. They end up living in a transitory home while trying to rebuild their lives. But Lizzie shuts herself off from those around her, afraid to trust anyone after her father’s betrayal. But meeting a new boy at school and discovering a riding stable nearby catches her attention. When a new pony arrives at the stable and proves difficult for anyone to get near, Lizzie manages to befriend him. An opportunity to work at the stable gives her the chance to know the pony better as well as opening up doors to some human relationships. Lizzie pours her whole heart and soul into trying to earn the money to buy the pony she dubs Fire. The details related to horses and life in a stable are spot on. Lizzie’s struggle to trust and forgive after her father’s betrayal add depth and poignancy to the story. VERDICT A valuable addition where horse and family-driven stories are needed.” —School Library Journal, Heidi Grange, Summit Elementary School, Smithfield, UT