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Young Adult Fiction Review    

The Learnin' Post
(Evans Smith - Horseman series)
by Robert L. Hall
Trade Paper, $11.95 (251 pages)

The Learnin’ Post is the first book in a series aimed for young adults, but as an inspirational novel on adoption, it is enjoyable for all ages. 

Fay and Lloyd Smith are a childless middle-aged Arkansas couple who own a horse farm.  Their church is connected to an orphanage, so with a recommendation letter from their minister, they go to the orphanage with hopes of adopting a child.  They have raised their adoption fee by selling their competition horse and another perfect for children to ride.  In the deal for the second horse, Lloyd gets a colt.   

With adoption fee in hand, they return to the orphanage and while going through pictures of available children, stop at the picture of a boy with big eyes.  His name is “Evan” just like Fay’s father.  After meeting the twelve year-old boy, the adoption is signed, and the new family heads home. 

The Smiths have been warned that older children in the orphanage may have picked up bad habits.  On the way home, Evan steals a candy bar at a convenience store.  He doesn’t lie to Lloyd about taking it and returns it to the hot-headed store owner.  Evan wants badly to be in a family and will do anything to make the Smiths happy. 

There are two interesting sub-plots about the church.  One story deals with a spoiled boy who is saved by Evan, then lies to make it look as if Evan had tried to harm him.  Another story deals with a widow who lost her faith after the death of her husband, but is drawn back into church by the boys.  The faith of the Smiths is strong as they defend Evan till the truth is known. 

Lloyd Smith has Evan help him train the colt, and Evan ends up riding in the two-year old horse competition against adults.  He goes to the Arkansas State Horse Show. 

The Learnin’ Post will have the reader on an emotional roller coaster as the Smiths become a family. 


Joyce Dixon
Southern Scribe Reviews


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