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Children's Fiction Equestrian


by (author) Nikki Tate

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Apr 2009
Equestrian, Horses, Mysteries & Detective Stories
Recommended Age
9 to 12
Recommended Grade
4 to 7
Recommended Reading age
9 to 12
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2009
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2009
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Download Teacher’s Guide

Where to buy it


Sixteen-year-old Spencer loves his job at the local racing stable, but when he becomes convinced that someone is drugging the racehorse Lord of the Flies, no one believes him. In an effort to find out who is behind a dangerous race-fixing scheme, he takes on some of the most unsavory members of the track community. By refusing to turn a blind eye, Spencer risks losing those he cares most about, including Em, the stableowner's niece.

About the author

Nikki Tate was born in Birmingham, England, but spent her childhood roaming the globe. She is the author of nearly 20 books for young readers, many of which are about horses. Nikki has always enjoyed both writing and telling stories, as well as camping, kayaking and horseback riding. She currently hosts a book club called "Teens, Titles and Tate" on CBC Radio's All Points West. Nikki lives with her family (and her collection of goats, ponies, dogs, cats and assorted feathered friends) on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. Visit Nikki's website for more information.

Nikki Tate's profile page


  • Short-listed, Chocolate Lily Book Awards
  • Commended, Resource Links, The Year's Best Books

Excerpt: Venom (by (author) Nikki Tate)

All I did was ask what he'd given the horse. I didn't say the words illegal doping. I didn't say anything about cheating. I asked a simple question. What did you just give the horse?

Editorial Reviews

"Once again, Nikki Tate has written an excellent horse novel. This, however, is much more that just a horse novel...It will appeal to all young adults who like a good mystery or a good horse story. Highly recommended."

Resource Links

"An intriguing and easily readable story that high school aged students will want to read...A great addition to your library."

Resource Links

"The first words in this young adult novel are, 'You're fired!' Who could resist reading the rest of the novel?...It's a pleasure to read a horse book that is honest about the difficult behavior of horses...Great novel, well written, for kids who can't get enough horse lore. Nikki Tate gives her readers what most people never see: the backside of the track. It's a world of its own."

The Baytown Sun

"A story of intrigue, but it is also a realistic look at teen life including emotions, trials and trouble of the typical youth…Highly recommended."

CM Magazine

"With a good deal of suspense, this novel will capture the attentions of young readers who place following their passions above sitting in school...Readers will get caught up in Spencer's search for the truth and his dilemma over playing it safe by keeping quiet, or following his conscience and risking both his job and passion."


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