Guide/Reviews Database
INTERMEDIATE FICTION
Faber, Polly

Pony on the Twelfth Floor

(2) 4-6 Illustrated by Sarah Jennings. Horse-obsessed British city-dweller Kizzy seizes her chance to make her dream come true the day an unaccompanied pony shows up in the grocery store, chowing down on glazed donuts. Her friend Pawel urges her to contact the police, but Kizzy can't bear to hand over the pony, now named Donut, before spending a little more time with him: "He smelled of dreams come true." So Donut takes the elevator up to Kizzy's twelfth-floor apartment and spends the night in her bedroom, pooping and stepping on things and eating, and Kizzy couldn't be happier. The next day Kizzy tries to report the lost pony, but the worker at city hall assumes the creature is a large dog, tells her to come back Monday, and closes the office for the weekend. That suits Kizzy just fine, but where is she going to keep Donut? Faber's determined protagonist, depicted in Jennings's insouciant grayscale cartoons as a brown-skinned preteen with curly hair, is full of visions of her future equestrian successes with the rotund Donut--an endearing window into this age-level's active fantasy life. Genuine relationships Kizzy forms with previously distant or neutral grown-ups (including an elderly hoarder neighbor who supplies Kizzy with tack and Donut with cookies) are one of the story's strengths. Adult readers will appreciate the way all riders model helmet use, while young readers will be on seat's edge wondering how Kizzy's madcap adventure can end in anything but tears. That Faber manages to pull out a happy yet believable ending is testament to this chapter book's abiding respect for its audience's impossible dreams.

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