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A blind girl and a Haida boy struggle to survive after being shipwrecked on opposites sides of a desolate island on the West coast of British Columbia in the middle of winter.

While blind young girl Maddie must rely on Providence, her guide dog, and an abandoned horse to help her survive, August has a wealth of cultural heritage and survival skills from which to draw. While Maddie’s faith in herself appears endless, August’s personal demons continue to haunt him.

All too soon, Maddie’s luck runs out, leaving her to wonder if she can carry on. Her prayers are answered when the horse she has named Valentino leads her to the meadow where August is setting snares.

August is enchanted by the pretty teen, quickly embracing the role of sole provider, until a tragic accident leaves August in dire need of medical attention.

Determination, perseverance, hope, and friendship are the cornerstones of this story. This story was inspired by true events including the dramatic rescue of a woman who was shipwrecked on the West coast of Haida Gwaii for 10 days, the amazing spirit of a blind girl named Maddie M. whose sense of humor in the face of adversity is legendary to all who know her, coupled with the true story of Will, the horse that got left behind on Jedidiah Island when the island was donated to BC Parks.

1 review for Valentino

  1. Suzanne Nelson

    I loved this audiobook! The story was so good! I rate it five stars!

    Two teen strangers are shipwrecked on opposite sides of an island during a storm. This is a tale of their fight for survival. The lone horse on the island befriends them. An amazing bond forges between the horse and the teens. This is a feel good story, which brings tears to the eyes. Listeners will not be disappointed with the ending. The book isn’t a cliffhanger.

    I loved the description from the horse’s point of view of living on the island and his longing for human companionship again! It moved me deeply and reminded me of why I love horses so much. I could hardly wait to hear what would happen next.

    Author Laura Hesse has written a very good story.
    Narrator Shelley Reece has a nice voice and did a fantastic job with the performance.

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