Ponies, ponies, ponies


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Lynn Hall

Lynn Hall has written 81 books to date, for adults as well as children. Most of her stories contain animals in one form or another; particularly horses and dogs. I really like her work. I haven’t read many of her books yet, but I can highly recommend Ride a Dark Horse, which is aimed at teenagers, and The Something-Special Horse, which was my first introduction to the idea of a kill buyer. The hero of the story is the son of a kill buyer, and it’s an excellent, if sometimes traumatic, read.

Joanne Brown, in her article on Lynn Hall’s use of animals in her work, writes: “they [the animals] fill two major functions: they initiate an adventure, either for themselves or an adolescent who befriends them, and/or they succour the emotional needs of a troubled young person.” As in many British pony books, Lynn Hall shows the horse being the start of a child’s moving out beyond her family. Her own childhood perhaps shows why she understands this feeling for animals so well. As a child, she was a loner, and wrote books about horses and dogs; wish fulfilment, while she tried to get an animal of her own. After earning money babysitting, she managed to buy a horse of her own when she was fourteen, but had to leave him when her family moved again. After she graduated from high school, she tried many different career paths, and was married for a short time, always feeling there was something more out there for her. She was inspired to begin her first horse book after she read a newly released title by a local author and thought she could do better.

Finding the books: a few of her books turn up in the UK, but as far as I know, none were published over here, so you will need to try America. The books are generally widely available there, and usually cheap.

Links and sources

I’ve drawn on Sharon’s excellent site here for information on the contents of the books. She also has bibliographical detail on all Lynn Hall’s titles, as well as other information. Many thanks to Sharon for sending me the link to her site, and for all her help.

An article by Joanne Brown on the role of animals in Lynn Hall’s fiction

Biographical information on Lynn Hall
Pictures of Lynn Hall, her horses and dogs

Susan Stan: Presenting Lynn Hall, Twayne, 1996

Something about the Author Autobiography Series

Thank you to Konstanze Allsopp for her help with the pictures.

The Dragon Series

A Horse Called Dragon
New Day for Dragon

Dragon Defiant

Dragon’s Delight

Pony Hollow
The Mystery of Pony Hollow /The Ghost Pony

Mystery of Pony Hollow Panda

Bibliography - Horse Books Only

The Secret of Stone House
Follett, Chicago, 1968, hb
Tempo, New York, 1973, pb, illus Joseph Cellini

Heather has to leave her Scottish home, and is alienated from her foster father. She finds a
grey mare called Cloudy, and undergoes some tense adventures before she finds out who she is.

Ride A Wild Dream
Follett, Chicago, 1969, illus George Roth, hb
Avon Camelot, New York, 1973, pb

Jon finds his dream horse, a Palomino, but the horse refuses to respond to
him despite the time and effort he puts in.

A Horse Called Dragon
Follett, Chicago, 1971, hb, illus Joseph Cellini
Modern Curiculum Press, Ohio, 1984, pb
Republished as: Wild Mustang
Scholastic, pb, 1971

Dragon is a wild horse taken from the Sierra Madre mountains. He becomes the foundation of

the American breed the Pony of the Americas.

New Day For Dragon
Follett, Chicago, 1975, illus Joseph Cellini
Avon Camelot, New York, 1976, pb
Modern Curriculum Press, Ohio, 1984, pb

Dragon is unhappy in captivity until he is befriended by a 14 year old boy.

Flowers Of Anger
Follett, Chicago, 1976, illus Joseph Cellini
Avon, New York, 1978, pb (right)

A neighbour kills Annie’s pony the day before her first show. Annie is desperate for revenge, but
in seeking it nearly ruins her friendship with Carey.

Captain: Canada's Flying Pony
Grossett & Dunlap Inc, New York, 1976, illus Tran Mawicke
Garrard Publishing Company, Champaign, IL, 1976

Mr Cusack, owner of a riding stable and the pony Captain, is disappointed with him and takes little
notice of him. Tracy falls for the colt, and persuades Mr Cusack Captain can jump. Together they
school him to become a champion.

Dragon Defiant
Follett, Chicago, 1977, illus Joseph Cellini, hb
Modern Curriculum Press, Ohio, 1984, pb

Dragon is sold as a stud to a small breeding farm in Michigan.

The Mystery Of Pony Hollow
Garrard Publishing Company, Champaign, IL, 1978, illus Ruth Sanderson
Touchwood Press, Elkader, IA, 1978
Random House, New York, 1992
Republished as The Ghost Pony

Garrard Weekly Reader, Middletown, 1978 pb

Sarah hears a frantic whinnying from an old building on her family’s new farm, but when she
opens the door all she finds is an old pony skeleton....

The Whispered Horse
Follett Publishing Company, Chicago, 1979, hb

A young Scottish girl is sure her father has unusual powers over her horse. After her mother dies,
she is convinced he will use the horse to avenge the death, and she tries to find a way round the

The Mystery Of Plum Park Pony
Garrard Publishing Company, Champaign, IL, 1980, hb
As The Mystery Of The Phantom Pony
, illus Marie DeJohn

Random House, New York, 1988
Random House 1993

Susan exercises the Shetland ponies at the amusement park, but then she sees
an elegant pony who is worlds away from the Shetlands. At last she and her
friend Kent track the pony down, but then he is threatened by the amusement
park train.

Dragon's Delight
Modern Curriculum Press, Ohio, 1980, illus Joe Van Severen
Reprinted 1981, 1984

Before he dies, Dragon has mated with the yearling filly Delight, but is she too young to have
a foal?

The Mysterious Moortown Bridge
Follett Publishing Co, Chicago, 1980, illus Ruth Sanderson
Weekly Reader Book Club

Pat and Curtis holiday in Iowa every year, but this year when they go riding, they find what appears
to be an old haunted bridge.

The Horse Trader
Charles Scribner’s Sons, NY, 1981
Temp Books, NY, 1983

A fatherless teenage girl finds her relationship with Harley Williams, local horse dealer and con man,
begins to change after she buys one of his horses.

Charles Scribner, NY, 1981, 186 pp.  Cover Sandy Rabinowitz
Tempo, 1983

A review of the book on the Pony Book Chronicles site

A Puerto Rican teenager finds his true feelings about horses.

Half The Battle
Charles Scribner, NY, 1982
Tempo Books, NY, 1983

Loren is jealous of the attention his blind brother has always received, and when they both enter an
endurance ride, takes drastic action.

Tin Can Tucker
Charles Scribner, NY, 1982
Tempo Books, NY, 1984

A 16 year old girl runs away, hoping to make a name for herself on the rodeo circuit.

The Mystery Of Pony Hollow Panda
Garrard, 1983, illus William M Hutchinson

Sarah tries to solve the mystery after her pony disappears from the pet parade.

Megan's Mare
Charles Scribner, NY, 1983
As The Problem Pony
Weekly Reader, 1983

Set in Yorkshire, UK (but be prepared for some Americanisms), Megan’s parents
run a dealing stable. Her father buys horses who have gone wrong, re-schools,
and sells them. Berry is a New Forest/Thoroughbred cross, and Megan finds she
has an unusual telepathic bond with the mare. Berry is clever and strong-willed,
and they have some battles before they reach an understanding.

The Boy In The Off-White Hat
Charles Scribner, NY, 1984

Skeeter has a summer job as a mother’s help at a ranch, which is great until Burge Franklin, an
over friendly businessman, turns up. Skeeter isn’t sure she can handle the crisis alone.

The Something-Special Horse
Charles Scribner, NY, 1985, illus Sandy Rabinowitz
Weekly Reader, 1985, pb

Chris’ father is a kill buyer, who buys horses for meat. Chris hates it, but doesn’t do anything until
one day he father buys a beautiful mare whom Chris is convinced needs saving, not killing.

Mrs. Portree's Pony
Charles Scribner, NY, 1986

Addie, lost and lonely, makes friends with Mrs Portree’s pony, and manages to make friends
with Mrs Portree, who has lost and alienated her own daughter, too.

Flying Changes
Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, NY, 1991
Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, NY, 1993

Denny and her family face hard times after her father is injured on the rodeo circuit.


Tazo And Me
Charles Scribner, NY, 1985, photographs by Jan Hall

Tazo is Lynn Hall’s beloved Paso Fino horse. The book describes how she found and trained him,
and how she discovered that she preferred pleasure riding to the show and competition world.

Ride A Dark Horse
William Morrow & Company, NY, 1987
Avon Flare, NY, 1988

Gusty used to work at a horse farm, but then she finds out they are dishonest,
and she finds herself in increasing danger as she tries to prove her suspicions.

Rodeo Wife