Faith Erin Hicks proves once again why she is on my Top 5 Comic Authors list with this sweet coming-of-age story.

Blue-haired Victoria has recently switched horse stables, from the top-regarded stable in the area to a smaller one where she hopes for a less stressful riding experience. There she meets three other horse lovers, who extend a hand of friendship that she initially rejects. But they wear her down with their authenticity and mutual love for the tv show Beyond the Galaxy, which is an IRL homage to Star Trek: TNG. As a Trekkie, I loved how these young teens band together over their shared hobbies, with a funny scene of them dressing up in futuristic costumes at a local Renaissance Fair.

The spunky characters have Hick’s trademark look, with additional loving depictions of horses. This is a perfect book for middle school or very early high school students, for many of them are going through that bittersweet ritual of adolescence, outgrowing childhood friends and (hopefully) finding a new set of friends with similar interests. In this semi-autobiographical tale, Hicks shares her own love of horses and crafts a happy ending for Victoria. While not all friendship woes will wrap up as neatly as they did in this one, I believe teens can gain some positive insight into real friendship in this lovely tail (tale)!

Star Trek tribute!