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Terri Farley
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Sunday, May 15, 2016

Book Kids are Wild at Heart

Q&A with Terri Farley

Meghan Goel of  BOOK PEOPLE, an independent bookstore in Austin, Texas, interviewed Terri Farley about her new book Wild at Heart and the fired-up kids that inspired her.

Meghan Goel: Why did you write this book for kids now?
Terri Farley: I had to write Wild at Heart before it was too late. I’d been writing The Phantom Stallion fiction series since 2002 and young readers fell in love with the West’s wild horses. In my stories, I could write happy endings for mustangs, but if round-ups continue at the current hectic pace, my readers might never see mustangs running free. And oh, do they want to! Kids from all over the world write to me, vowing to come West just to see them.
Like most adults, kids don’t know that mustangs and the lands they roam actually belong to them — the American public. Wild horses captured by the government are not going from homes on the range to greener pastures. Often, they go to Mexican slaughter houses.

"... the story of our wild horses has a lot of dark shadows but kids aren’t yet afraid of the truth. Faced with facts that hurt, they want to know why...

 and they want to know how they can help. My book got its sub-title – Mustangs and the Young People Fighting to Save Them — because I want to empower kids – not crush their hopes.
Kids are relieved to learn the young people I interviewed for Wild at Heart are not perfect. Some of the featured young people were able to turn their own pain from abuse and bullying to empathy and action for the mustangs. Other kids in the book use their skills – singing, social media skills, and understanding of animals – to make a difference. No matter how much these kids may struggle in other aspects of their lives, when they stand up for wild horses, their courage is contagious.
wild at heart
Young people's courage is contagious

MG: What do you hope kids will take away from Wild at Heart?
TF: I hope I show them they’re worth having the author of a book come to talk with them. That may sound strange, but just today, in Austin, two little girls asked me why I was so dressed up. When I told them it was because I was coming to see them, they were giddy.

"In the best of all possible worlds, my words will help them to be stubbornly devoted to the natural world and each other."

Kids don’t live in the past, so I search for up-to- the-minute facts on everything to do with wild horses. The scientists I interview admit they’re generous with their time because they want to give young readers access to non- politicized facts.
 To read the complete Q&A and more about WILD HORSES  click  here

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