Saddles For Breakfast
Janet Randall, il.
1961, David McKay Company, Inc.
Curled dejectedly on her bed in one corner, Robin could barely hear her small radio above the noise of the ten-year-old twins, Drucy and Donna, playing across the room. She found herself envying girls who had rooms of their own. Once again the longing to escape swept over her.
16-year-old Robin Marshall is restless and dissatisfied with life in a small
Engaging, with a nice mix of teenaged angst and horsey interest. Robin struggles with homesickness, a hostile cousin, a snobby girl and her own insecurities, including an attraction to a college boy. Her first hurdle is handling the less-than-glamorous truth that Sycamore is a shabby hack stable, not the gleaming lesson barn of her imagination.
Her eyes swept the other horses. Even her untrained eye told her that they were a far cry
from the saddle animals at Greenbriar farm. A few, like one dainty black mare, appeared handsome and high-spirited, but others were well past their prime, with poor conformation or splints from long years of hard riding.
After that first shock, Robin learns to roll with the punches. She learns more about horses and riding at Sycamore than she had at her fancy barn back home, and discovers that her reactions to people - like the unflappable Val - can be colored by her own worries.
Leave it to Val to never lose that saucy self-assurance. For a moment she wondered if that was one of the reasons she found it so hard to like the other girl. There were so many times in her own life when she wasn't sure of herself at all.
A fun, quick read overall, though cousin Butch wears out his surly, bad-tempered welcome early. Robin's friends are acquired a bit too easily, and the pity Robin feels for her beleaguered cousins seems a bit overdone at times. Her next horse book, Pony Girl, was a smoother, more polished work although written for younger children.
Sycamore Stable horses
Pepper - mare
Peppito - foal
Ballerina - black mare
Rex- bay gelding
Dolly - black pony
Leo - bay gelding
Volcano - piebald gelding
Vixen - palomino mare
Sweetheart - gray mare
Major - chestnut gelding
Redbird - sorrel
Fritz - bay gelding
Sorcerer - palomino gelding
Peanut - pinto pony
Saddles For Breakfast (1961)
Pony Girl (1963)
Tumbleweed Heart (1959)
Desert Venture (1963)
The Seeing Heart (1965)
Brave Young Warriors (1969)
Topi Forever (1969)
Island Ghost (1970)
The Girl From Boothill
with husband (as Jan Young)- Nonfiction
54-40 Or Fight: The Story of the
To Save A Tree: The Story of the Coast Redwoods
Forged In Silver: The Story of the
Frontier Scientist: Clarence King
Simon Bolivar: The George Washington of
The Last Emperor: The Story of
Reluctant Warrior: Ulysses S. Grant
The 49'ers: The Story of the California Gold Rush
Plant Detective: David Douglas
Empire Builder: Sam Brannan
Old Rough And Ready, Zachary Taylor
Seven Faces West
Gusher: The Search for Oil In
Mr. Polk's War
Anza, Hard-riding Captain
The Story of the
with husband (as Jan Young)- Fiction
Across The Tracks
Run, Sheep, Run (1959)
One Small Voice (1961)
Sunday Dreamer (1962)
Good-bye, Amigos (1963)
The Undecided Heart (1970)
I unfortunately have no access to the cover; an image is available at eBay
Jane Badger Books has a nice bit on Janet Randall's biographical information
About the publishing house
About the publishing house
David McKay Company, Inc.was founded in Philadelphia in 1882 by a 22-year-old Scottish immigrant who'd begun working for J.B. Lippincott & Co. at the tender age of 13. During the 1930s, the company published some of the first comic books, including Popeye, The Phantom and Blondie and Dagwood. The publisher was located on Washington Square, heart of Philadelphia's venerable and now mostly departed publishing industry and to my mind the single most pleasant, most Philadelphian spot in the city after Independence Square, directly catty-corner to the north-east.