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Janet Randall

Janet Randall (1919 - ) wrote books both under her own name, and co-authored with her husband, credited as by “Bob and Jan Young”. Janet Randall was the daughter of a newspaper editor,and was born in the Mojave desert town of Lancaster, California. The family moved to suburban Los Angeles, but Janet was able to learn to ride during weekends and holidays spent on a ranch in the Big Tujunga Canyon of the Sierra Madres. She rode with a drill team performing at local parades and horse shows in San Diego.


She studied at the University of California, and there met her husband, Robert W Young. She married him in 1940, and while he published or edited weekly newspapers, she wrote occasional columns until having children put a stop to her newspaper career. Both husband and wife then worked as freelance writers, publishing work on “any subject they found saleable.” Their children did not share their parents’ interest in newspapers, their chief interest being mathematics. History does not relate whether the horse gene skipped them too.


Finding the books: none of the books were published in the UK, and are difficult to find here. They are however pretty easy to find in the USA. Miracle of Sage Valley, was not, at the time of writing, easy to find.


Links and sources

Dustjacket of Saddles for Breakfast

Many thanks to Susan Bourgeau for all her help with this page.


Saddles for Breakfast

David McKay, New York, 1961, 186 pp, illus Paul Laune

Book Club edition

A review of Saddles for Breakfast on Pony Book Chronicles 


Robin Marshall was delighted for a respite from her large, befuddling family through her
summer job at her cousin’s riding academy in California. But it has lost its former prestige, and
its clientele need winning back from a rival stable. However Robin’s cousin, Butch, and his
mother don’t trust Robin’s ability to do anything, whether it’s ride or help them.


Bibliography - horse books only

Jellyfoot

David McKay, New York, 1964, 184 pp, illus Emil Weiss


Lori lives with her parents in a remote Californian canyon. She is not
allowed to have a horse as the family have no corral, so she makes do with
the Ranger’s horses. One day a horse turns up which has been abandoned
by its owners, and which is free to anyone who can catch it. Lori does. To
her surprise, it is Kit, the foster sister with whom she does not get on, who
helps her build a corral, and the two girls learn to pull together.



Pony Girl

David McKay, New York, 1963, 151 pp, illus Dorothy Bayley Morse


Eleven-year-old Peg Warmack lives on a ranch in Nevada; her widower father is an ex-rodeo
champion, who is away trying to earn money following the circuit. When he returns he has a
new wife. Maida, the new wife, and the children want Mr Warmack to give up the rodeo, so
persuade him to take on a pony ride concession. The ponies however are sick and starving.
The new school is a problem too.


Burro Canyon

David McKay, New York, 1964, 183 pp, illus Richard W Lewis (frontis)


Cara comes to live on a sheep ranch located in Burro Canyon. Once there was a herd of burros,
but now there are just nine left. No one save for Cara seems to be worried about the fate of the
burros. They are elusive. Cara becomes their defender, but is up against wild dogs, careless
hunters, and a cruel cowboy.

Buffalo Box

David McKay, New York, 120 pp, 1969, illus Ursula Koering


A story of the Nez Pearcé, who in 1877 were ordered to leave their lands for a smaller
reservation. Opposed to the move, the tribe packed up their possessions and underwent
a 2,000 mile journey, trying to reach the safety of Canada. The story is told from the point of
view of a fictional girl from the tribe, 12 year old Willow Girl, who is asked to carry the
“Buffalo Box“ and its contents.

Miracle of Sage Valley

Longmans, Green, New York, 1958, 185 pp, illus Brinton Turkle



Pat didn’t want to be sent to a dude ranch for the summer; she wanted to visit her father.
However, once there, she settled down, refound her love of riding and enjoyed her summer.