PBOTD: 27th April, Sheila Chapman - A Pony and His Partner

Today's pony book was written by an author who had four books under her belt by her mid teens: they were written between the ages of 12 and 15. A Pony and His Partner, the first of them, was published in 1959. The books are much darker than the usual teenage pony book. Death and disaster stalk the books, but the heroines always win through in the end.

Burke, 1959, 1st edn, illus Geoffrey Whittam

Carmen, the heroine of A Pony and His Partner and The Mystery Pony (1960), has come to live with her cousins after her parents' death.  Carmen does find a new home with her pony, Oberon, though in the next book, the pony dies. The books appealed to those teenagers who have realised that life is not all sunshine. 13 year old Roberta Wilkinson, reviewing A Pony and His Partner in Pony Magazine, called the story “moving” and “thoroughly enjoyable.”

Burke, pb, 1964
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For more on the author, see her page on my website.


Linda Newbery said…
I loved the Sheila Chapman books as a child and only found out from you that she was so young when she wrote them! In THE MYSTERY PONY, though, wasn't it the new pony, Mestizo, who died while trying to jump a barbed-wire fence? Carmen's own pony, Oberon, was lamed in an accident while being ridden by one of the visiting cousins. I haven't got my copy now, but from memory it was amazingly accomplished for so young a writer.
janebadgerbooks said…
You could well be right - I am going to have to check! I'll alter the blog text so it's a bit more ambiguous....

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