Maryland Senator Ed Reilly celebrated the National Education Association's Read Across America Day this year by donating copies of Valerie Ormond's latest book, "Believing In Horses, Too," to schools in his district.
Ormond is an award-winning author, and her young adult fiction book is set in Maryland. Reilly recognized Ormond in the Senate Chamber on Tuesday, March 3rd, and urged others to support local authors.
âBelieving In Horses, Tooâ tells the story of a young girl, Sadie Navarro, a member of a military family. Sadie worries about her Navy father serving in Afghanistan and turns to her love of horses to distract her from her problems. But Sadie learns that both competition and equine-assisted therapy work also present challenges, and she must find courage to achieve her goals.
Father Ron Carmada said, âOrmond allows her 13-year-old heroine to realistically grow up with the help of honest parents, teachers, mentors, and bullies. Yes, bullies and antagonists can offer great opportunities for growth.â
Ormondâs book includes numerous local horse organizations including Loftmar Stables, Maryland Therapeutic Riding, Inc., the Caisson Platoon Equine Assisted Programs, Freedom Hill Horse Rescue, Days End Farm Horse Rescue, the Prince Georgeâs Equestrian Center, and more.
Ormond is a horsewoman, Secretary of the Maryland Horse Council, a Certified Horsemanship Association certified instructor, and horse owner and rider. She manages her own small business, Veteran Writing Services, LLC.
Reilly donated copies of Ormondâs first book, âBelieving In Horsesâ to the elementary schools in his district in 2011. Ormond visited a number of those schools and participated in a year-long book club focused on her book, horses, and writing, at Nantucket Elementary School in Crofton.
Nantucketâs Library Media Specialist said, âI knew the book would be an excellent selection for a brand new book club, and I invited Ms. Ormond to come to the school to sign books and speak to the students. This began a year-long partnership that I know our students will never forget. Ms. Ormond instilled in our students the value of volunteerism and importance of animal welfare. Because of the book, our book club even held a small fundraiser to help rescue horses.â
Both of Ormondâs books won the Gold Medal in Young Adult books from the Military Writers Society of America (MWSA), among other awards. The MWSA lead reviewer, Jim Greenwald said, âInspiration and Motivational! These two words and more best describe Ormondâs sequel to âBelieving in Horsesâ titled âBelieving in Horses, Too.â A country whose children are engaged has a future. Sadie, the main character is the poster child for engagedâ¦ In a time where children are dismissed as unimportant, lazy or simply overly attached to their electronic world, Sadie demonstrates page after page what hard work and relentless effort can attain.
Ormond said, âI am so honored to be part of the Read Across America program. Of all the books Senator Reilly could have chosen, it is very special that he chose âBelieving In Horses, Too,â which will now be available to thousands of children in public school libraries.â
About Valerie Ormond:
Valerie Ormond retired as a naval intelligence officer and now writes and speaks to audiences sharing lessons learned. Besides her award-winning Believing In Horses books, Valerieâs non-fiction stories have appeared in numerous books and magazines. She is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Veteran Writing Services, LLC, is a member of the first National Women Veterans Speakers Bureau, and a strong supporter of the military and Veterans.