Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Name That Genre! #23

TITLE: Middle Grade
GENRE: Secret

Just as the excitement of riding a new horse bubbles up in my chest, Grandpa’s comment slaps the fun right out of me.

I shut the truck door and pat my sister’s arm when she slides over to take my spot by the window, “Good luck finding a dance studio, Jen.”

With a nod and a smile, I say, “Thanks for the ride, Grandpa. I’ll just walk back to the farm when I’m done.”

That’s when he zings me with his warning, “Have a good time, Emily, but don’t get attached to this horse. He’s got four white hooves.”

I want to ask him what he means, but he’s already put his truck in gear. Way to dash my hopes, Grandpa.

He smiles at the frown on my face. “Don’t fret, we’ll find you the right horse.”

Goodbye Clyde mean old lesson horse. I’ll learn on my own horse.


  1. I'm uncertain, to tell you the truth. I believe it is a coming of age novel but uncertain of the specific genre. :(

  2. Contemporary

    I was going to say romance, but then I noticed it's middle grade

  3. Contemporary.

    Sounds like a horse book?

  4. Contemporary

    One sister for dance class, the other for horse riding

  5. Contemporary

    I was a little confused by the first line because the actual comment doesn't come until a few lines later, but this sounds like a horse lovers book, the kind my sister would read at that age.

  6. Contemporary.

    But I considered historical too.

  7. Contemporary because nothing in particular dated it as historical.

  8. Contemporary--

    ...For the lack of clues as to another decade, though it's generic enough in setting that it could be.

  9. Contemporary.

    Everything sounds modern and real, except Grandpa's superstition. That's not enough to move me to magical realism.

  10. I can't tell.

    I thought contemporary, but the grandfather's comment and the last line threw me off. So I'm not really sure.

  11. I can't tell.

    Torn between contemporary and magical realism.

  12. Contemporary

    Other than 4 white hooves giving it a slight "other" vibe, it feels like regular "girl and her horse" story.

  13. Contemporary.

    Is Horse Story a genre?

    I was confused at the beginning by "Grandpa's comment" Which comment is this referring to? One we never hear or one that comes later. Also, last line was confusing.

  14. Contemporary

    Setting seems for the most part current, but rural. I got a little confused about the dance studio at first. The last line is also throwing me.

  15. Contemporary coming of age with animal bonding like Black Beauty. Love some of the phrasing, like "slaps the fun right out of me," but it does jump around quite a bit, so it's hard to figure out what goes where. Has a lot of potential for Middle Grade, but needs some proofreading.

  16. Can't Tell

    The "four white hooves" remark might suggest magic or merely superstition. The truck might make it contemporary, but it could also be set in the fifties.

  17. Contemporary.
    This was very disorienting for me. At first I though the main character was on a horse, then it turned out to be a truck. It's still not clear who is saying the first line. The second to last sentence needs more punctuation or something.
    Try taking a little more time to develop each concept.

  18. Contemporary. I was also confused by what line Grandpa said to upset her. Was it something before the story started? If so, include it. If not, have him say the line before she reacts to it. If it's the dance class line, I'm not sure what was supposed to be upsetting about it.


    I feel ping-ponged a bit, trying to figure out what's going on. First it's about the horse, then there's a dance studio, then it's the horse again, then it's an odd statement that upsets the MC even though the MC doesn't understand what it means.

    By that point, I didn't understand the last two paragraphs at all. Which horses are they referring to?

  20. Contemporary.

    The details are few and very general.

  21. Magical Realism

    I wasn't sure whether the rural setting pointed to an historical, but the truck and her sister looking for a dance studio pushed it into a contemporary setting for me. But Grandpa's warning about the horse having four white hooves makes it seem like something magically unusual is going to happen, and yet, it's all grounded in reality on this first page.


    I'm not sure what the right genre name is for animal stories, but this definitely seems like a classic girl-and-her-horse story, set in the present day.

  23. Contemporary Adventure

    A girl and her horse. And I just saw something recently about horses with white hooves having bad foot problems, so that eliminated the fantasy aspect for me.

  24. Contemporary.

    The four white hooves could be magical realism or they could just have hoof rot. It's not enough to sway this toward fantasy. Horseback riding, dance class, and trucks all point to modern.


    Seems like a contemporary tale of a kid who likes horses. The end makes no sense to me

  26. Contemporary. Looks like a conventional horse story (and I've probably read more of those in my life than any other genre of fiction!), but I agree that the order of this opening is a little awkward, and the missing punctuation in the last sentence makes it confusing.

  27. Contemporary and, yes, horses are involved. The story came to me after my husband and I had to put down a 9-year-old horse with 4 white hooves. Although I've owned other white hoofed horses who lived long and healthy lives, there is a horsey adage that white hoofed horses tend to have foot problems.

    But the other part of the story has to do with Emily dealing with her mother's disappearance while she's serving in Afghanistan.

    Thanks for all your comments, they all gave me food for thought for continuing state of revision this novel seems to be in.