Shelby and the Back-to-School Blues by Marty Kay Jones

Shelby back to school Marty Kay Jones by

The school has started again in the quiet rural town of Old Quarry Lake. Newcomer Shelby and her “townie” friends Katherine and Rose have had an amazing summer becoming friends and spending time with horses.

Shelby is afraid that going to school will change the dynamic in her friend group, and she’s right. After meeting a fellow horse-crazy girl named Agate in art class, Shelby introduces her to Rose and Katherine. That’s when things get… well, weird. Rose keeps disappearing, and Katherine doesn’t seem to have much to say to Shelby anymore.

As the school year drags on, Shelby finds herself feeling more distant from her friends than ever. Was introducing Agate to her friends a huge mistake?

Join the riders of Old Quarry Lake Farms as they spend their first year in school together. A new school building, a new group of friends, and new challenges to face at school and the barn—will the girls be able to navigate so many changes at once?

This book is perfect for:

  • Girls ages 9-12
  • Teachers in elementary school through seventh grade
  • Parents and grandparents with girls who love horses
  • Anyone looking to teach children about empathy, friendship, and compassion
  • Any child struggling with learning challenges (ADHD, Autism Spectrum) and mental health (Anxiety)

Readers can relate to issues experienced by the characters in this book, including:

  • Body image concerns
  • Bullying
  • Self-image and self-esteem
  • Starting a new grade at a new school
  • Learning challenges and neurodivergence

“I had the opportunity to beta-read this book. It is a cute story, ideal for girls ages 9-12. It showcases supportive preteen friendships, and it tackles more difficult topics, such as learning challenges and insecurities. I would recommend this book to preteen readers, especially if they are interested in horses.”-Porsche, Fiction Writer

“I loved how this book was easy to read and captured interest. I found that it touched on topics that were serious in a way that conveyed the depths to young readers while still keeping things lighthearted. I really loved reading this!!”- Jada, Creative Writer

For young readers, pre-teens, tweens, and teens, the Old Quarry Lake Farms Tales are not just warm-hearted stories about girls and their horses, but provide information and insight about horses and the world of riding.

This is the third book in the The Old Quarry Lake Farms Tales Series.