The Secret Horse
Marion Holland, Taylor Oughton, il.
1959, Little, Brown & Company
The summer stretches out long and boring for
Nickie's single-minded efforts to get what she wants are awe-inspiring, and her gamble is so high that every scene has the potential for disaster, from the creep with a stolen horse to the breathless moments waiting for the annual influx of handymen and lawnmowers to leave. There are sufficient obstacles, convenient happenstances (like the gorgeous stableblock just out the back door and through the fence), appealing heroines and a very pleasant horse named Highboy, who is just skinny and neglected enough to provide a bit of rescue story as well. With all that said, it is mostly an adventure story revolving around a horse. The girls scarcely ride Highboy, and it can't be said to be a pony book in that sense. It is satisfying and well written. A few bits of dialogue seem impossible for a pair of 10-year-olds, though.
The book's set in
Also, in the annals of children's books, has there ever been a financial crisis as bizarre and dull as termites eating the front porch?
I love the cover on the Scholastic edition. Taylor Oughton's drawings throughout are good, rather basic and better with people than horses, but satisfying.
1) Dark cover, horse with house in background
2) Horse in woods, paler frame (pictured below)
APPLE Paperback - Scholastic - interior same, different cover
Not a lot. That you can make hay by spreading cut grass on a flat surface to dry in the sun, mostly.
Butterscotch - owned by Gail's family previously
Tennessee Girl - owned by Gail's family previously
Chocolate Chip - owned by Gail's family previously
No Children, No Pets
Casey Jones Rides Vanity
Everygirl's Horse Stories (anthology)
No Room For A Dog
Holland also wrote several books for beginner readers
Where's that footman?
Bulldozers on the Prowl
Apple Paperback (show below)