Thursday, 16 January 2014

PBOTD: January 16th, Bonnie Bryant - Horse Crazy

If you liked horses in the late eighties and early nineties, I bet that whatever other pony books have passed you by, you've read a Saddle Club title. It is an epically long series, easily outpacing any British equivalent, weighing in as it does at 101 titles. And that doesn't include the spin off series: Pony Tails (aimed at younger readers) and Pine Hollow (aimed at older). 


British edition

Series sell. Readers want to find out what happens to the characters they've come to know and love. Of course if you are a single author, producing a series is a slog. Authors can fall out of love with their author long, long before their reading public does. Conan Doyle had to bring Sherlock Holmes back from the dead, and Ian Rankin's Rebus has lurched out of retirement. Bryant did not write the entire series, but still clocked up a thoroughly respectable thirty titles or so before  handing the baton on to a team of ghost writers. 


One of the many American editions
The Saddle Club is made up of three girls: Stevie, Carole and Lisa, who keep their horses at a local stables (barn). They were created by author Bonnie Bryant, who was commissioned by publishers Bantam to fill a gap in the market, and produce a horse series. Bryant succeeded admirably. Even though her characters don't age significantly during the series, they cover just about every aspect of horsey life you can think of. They do Western riding, side saddle, endurance, and go on endless, endless trips and trails. 

The series is no longer being added to. It's still in print, and is now being made available in ebook format. Bantam published the books in both America and the UK, though not all the American cover versions were available in the UK. 

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For more on the Saddle Club and Bonnie Bryant, try my website

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