Racing Manhattan by Terence Blacker

Racing Manhattan

Written by Terence Blacker

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

June 2016 Book of the Month - In a Nutshell: Awe-inspiring • Odds-defying • Dream-chasing • Horse-racing

Exhilarating equine epic about following your dreams and overcoming obstacles, set in the ruthless world of horse racing.

Jay is an outsider. Since her mum died (her dad vanished before she was born), she’s lived with her dodgy Uncle Bill, aloof step-aunt and cousin Michaela. Life may not have dealt Jay the best cards – the odds are stacked against her - but she has a “dangerous, unstoppable” fire in her belly. When in the saddle, she's no longer “the kid in the shadows that nobody notices”, and she’s determined to fulfill her mum’s dying wish that she stays true to her dreams.

Jay’s pluck and potential become clear when she wins the first “unofficial” horse race Uncle Bill enters her in. More illegal races follow until Jay runs away to Newmarket, the home of racing, after being insulted by the cousin she was once close to. Here she wheedles her way into working as a stable lad and bonds with a mare called Manhattan. Dismissed as a “jinx” and a “freak”, the mare is due to be put down, and so Jay determines to save the horse, and to make it a winner.

Throughout, Jay experiences firsthand how tough it still is to be female in the male-dominated domain of racing, but she won’t give up. With its inspirational message, and a plot that unfurls at a galloping pace, you'll be rooting for Jay the whole way though, with your heart pounding as you will her to triumph over every setback. ~ Joanne Owen


Racing Manhattan by Terence Blacker

Jay Barton has spent her life on the outside, being overlooked and mocked for her tomboy ways. All she wants to do is ride her favourite pony, which belongs to her much wealthier cousin. But then Jay shows a talent for winning the illegal pony races her uncle takes her to, and he starts to push her to take more and more risks. At 15, Jay decides to run away, to live the life of a stable hand. Her fortunes are changed when she meets Manhattan: a pedigree grey racehorse who has used up all her chances and is now neglected and despised. Jay recognises a fellow misfit. She fights to give Manhattan one last opportunity to show she is the champion she was born to be. Together, they face a world of prejudice and cruelty and fight back the only way they know - by becoming the best.


'A contemporary National Velvet, for fans of Lauren St John.' -- Fiona Noble The Bookseller

About the Author

Terence Blacker

Terence Blacker grew up around horses and was a jockey in his youth. He then worked in publishing before becoming a full-time writer. He has written numerous books for adults, teens and young readers. He also writes for national newspapers, and is a regular broadcaster and performing musician. He lives in Norfolk.

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Book Info


352 pages
Interest Age: From 12


Terence Blacker
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Author's Website


Andersen Press Ltd

Publication date

2nd June 2016




Publisher Profile

Andersen Press Ltd is an imprint of Andersen Press

logo Andersen Press is one of the leading independent children’s publishers, publishing some of the biggest names in the world of children's books including the much-loved picture book characters the Little Princess and Elmer the patchwork elephant. Andersen Press is the home of many award-winning authors and illustrators including Melvin Burgess, Rebecca Stead, Satoshi Kitamura, Tony Ross, David McKee, Chris Judge and Jeanne Willis. Founded in 1976 by Klaus Flugge it won the Bologna Best Children’s Publisher prize in the European Category in 2016, the company’s 40th anniversary year.

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