Liberty Biscuit

Does a Family Mystery Stand in the Way of Saving Kip's Best Friend?

Melanie Sue Bowles



Katherine Pearl Baker—“Kip” for short—is the only child on her family's rural peach farm. She longs for a pet to ease the loneliness. Unfortunately, her father has an angry opposition to all animals—horses in particular. Why he dislikes them is a confounding mystery.

Hiding in the woods on the Fourth of July, Kip encounters a bedraggled donkey with one eye and a floppy ear. Immediately smitten and compelled to protect him, she feeds him biscuits and takes him home. When it is discovered the donkey fled an abusive owner, Kip's father finally relents, reluctantly allowing him to stay.

Kip is elated when her grandfather agrees to help her foster the donkey, who she names “Liberty Biscuit,” along with two emaciated horses removed by the local sheriff from the same home, as the cruelty case goes to court. While caring for the animals, Kip's happiness is overshadowed by a shocking discovery in a trunk in the family farm's hayloft—a faded photograph of her father as a boy that reveals secrets long kept.

A court order to return the horses, and even worse, Kip's beloved Liberty Biscuit, to the owner who had starved and beaten them, throws Kip's world into turmoil. She knows she must find a way to keep them, or she will have betrayed the best friend she has ever had. But saving the animals means risking the complete unraveling of her family as she exposes the long-buried truth about a tragic accident and a hurt like she's never known before.

Ages 9-13 

Additional Information

Author: Melanie Sue Bowles

Format: Paperback

Page Count: 224


ISBN: 9781646011254

By Melanie Sue Bowles

When Melanie Sue Bowles stumbled across the quote, “The purpose of life is to live a life of purpose,” she loved it so much that it became the steadfast philosophy by which she has lived her entire adult life. Unwanted, elderly, and abused horses became her purpose, and she and her husband Jim began Proud Spirit Horse Sanctuary with one horse in need on five acres of land in rural Florida. Their facility grew to hundreds of acres in first Arkansas, and then North Carolina, where rescued animals were allowed to roam as natural herds. Over the years, Melanie and Jim have intervened on behalf of over 300 downtrodden horses, many of them coming to the sanctuary to live out their lives in peace and dignity. Their story has been featured on PBS and in three books Bowles has written about the Sanctuary’s animal residents. Bowles comes from a large family, many of whom own horses and love all animals as much as she does, including nieces, nephews, and grandchildren who helped inspire the characters in Liberty Biscuit.

Catskill Horse Magazine Says:

“Wonderful ethics, wonderful story.”

Kirkus Reviews Says: