Natalie has a lot on her plate. She can't seem to get Second Chance Ranch's newest rescued horse, Tango, to barrel race. She's also missing her best friend Sophia who recently moved away. A new girl in town, Darcy, seems like she could be bestie material, but she doesn't like to do any of the things Natalie and Sophia did together - and she's allergic to animals! Can Natalie help Tango learn a new skill while she learns a few of her own? At Second Chance Ranch, the Ramirez family cares and works to find homes for all kinds of animals on their 200-acre ranch in Texas. Sisters Natalie (12), Abby (10), and twins Emily and Grace (9) all do their part to help out and give each animal the second chance it deserves.
In one of four titles launching the Second Chance Ranch series, Abrams (a pseudonym for writer Whitney Sanderson) introduces 12-year-old Natalie Ramirez, who quickly falls for Tango, a handsome gelding that has recently arrived at her family's ranch/animal rescue. The eldest of four sisters, confident Natalie tries to train Tango to barrel race while also negotiating a tentative friendship with new student Darcy Chang, who happens to be allergic to animals. (The other books focus on Natalie's siblings.) The relatable and tricky friendship struggles, the benevolent mission of the ranch, and Natalie's strong moral compass combine to create an upbeat, feel-good story about persistence, embracing change, and righting wrongs. Final art not seen by PW. Simultaneously available: It's Not Destiny, Taking Chances, and Wild Midnight. Ages 8 14.