Normally, I review children’s books and self-help books for adults. However, when the opportunity came along to review books for a different audience, pre-teens, and teens, I thought it was time to widen my reviews to be more inclusive to an audience that falls in the middle. 

Disclaimer: Strength 4 Spouses was given a complimentary copy of the books mentioned in this blog post in exchange for an honest review.

In this review, I will be discussing two wonderful books published by Editor 911 Books; Only My Horses Know by Cinda Jo Bauman, and Read-Aloud Stories with Fred Collection by Fred Olds with a story by Margo L. Dill


Only My Horses Know is a beautiful story set in Montana that captures the life of a young girl, Kylie, who is trying to understand why her mother has been sleeping so much, ignoring household duties, and has lost interest in training the horses with her. This powerful story illustrates how a family can persevere together through another family member’s struggle with mental illness. 

Read-Aloud Stories with Fred Collection offers several short stories for lighter reading. The stories are entertaining yet have strong morals and ethics ingrained within them. 


Only My Horses Know has many strengths, which I outline below.

  • The love of horses. This story gives an inside look at what it is like to grow up around horses and train them. This caters to horse enthusiasts and those who have a love or curiosity for horses.
  • Outdoor adventures. Only My Horses Know takes the reader along many outdoor adventures with Kylie and her friend Joey. It is very relatable to pre-teens and teens.
  • Real life issues. The issues discussed in this book are very relatable. In addition, it brings mental illness to light and how families handle it behind the scenes.

Read-Aloud Stories with Fred Collection has many positive features, which are included below.

  • Light reading. Short stories offer readers a quick and easily digestible way to read impactful and entertaining material. 
  • The concepts are important. Morals, values, and ethics are discussed in each short passage.
  • Variety. Each story is unique and gives the reader different morals, situations, and life lessons to consider.

My Final Thoughts

The two books included in this review are from Editor 911 Books. Only My Horses Know has a storyline and character that many pre-teens and teens could relate with. The tasks of life, school, and friends are all common themes that this age group can understand. It adds in the drama of Kylie’s mom and her mental health, which brings up an important point and showcases how Kylie and her family handle this and the stigma associated with it. 

Read-Aloud Stories with Fred Collection offers readers an entertaining yet impactful way of reading short stories packed with a punch. These stories make you contemplate what you would do in that situation and help you empathize with the characters. 

Both of these books offer pre-teen and teen readers stories that are relatable. One is more intense reading than the other, however, they are both impactful books for pre-teens and teens.

© Strength 4 Spouses LLC, 2021.

About the Authors

headshot of the author Cinda Jo Bauman

Cinda Jo Bauman lives in Central Illinois with her husband and dogs. During her high school years, she took every art class offered along with every child development class. After a class where she spent part of the day at a daycare, child development won out over art. Years of story time led to a love of children’s picture-books, which made her wish she had stuck with art. 

Flash forward to today, and she still loves children’s books! After researching and much study; learning about writing and illustrating children’s books, she joined the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and found her passion. Besides writing children’s picture books and middle-grade novels, Cinda also creates with cut paper sculptures and paints in oil and acrylic. She loves iris flowers and the color purple.

Only My Horses Know is her debut middle-grade novel.

Connect with Cinda:



headshot of the author Fred Olds

Fred Olds has crafted dozens of stories over the years and has been involved with various writing and critique groups. At the age of 92, he is a devoted husband and proud father and grandfather living in Central Illinois. After retirement from the Postal Service as an electronic technician, he finally has time to concentrate on writing. A true storyteller at heart, his first love is writing children’s books with an occasional murder mystery thrown in for a change of pace. Check out his kids’ short story books, Read-Aloud Stories with Fred, Vol. 1 and then Vol. 2, and his first book for adults, The Hobo Who Wasn’t, an exciting detective story. He’s also the author of The Dog and the Flea: A Tale of Two Opposites and The Cat, the Mouse, and the Neighbors’ Dog, two books of the Perky Pet Problems picture book series.

headshot of the publisher Margo L. Dill

Margo L. Dill is the CEO and owner of Editor-911 Books in St. Louis, MO. She is also the author of the American Civil War Adventure Series with two books, Anna and the Baking Championship and Finding My Place: One Girl’s Strength at Vicksburg, for middle-grade readers. Her other books are That’s the Way It Always Happened and Maggie Mae, Detective Extraordinaire: The Case of the Missing Cookies, which are illustrated picture books, and she has a short story about kids learning about Martin Luther King Jr.’s teachings in Fred Olds’s collection of short stories, Read-Aloud Stories with Fred Vols. 1 and 2. Her next book is for teachers and parents and is out in June 2021, It’s Not Just Academics: A Guide To Teach Kids’ Health, Communication, and Social Emotional Skills. She lives in St. Louis with her tween daughter and lively rescue dog, Sudsi. 

Connect with Margo:


Editor-911 Website: