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Dorothy Brenner Francis


Dorothy Brenner Francis, who also writes as Dorothy Francis, grew up in Kansas, and studied at the University of Kansas, from where she graduated with a degree in music. She taught music, and continued to teach after she, her husband Richard and their daughters, moved to Iowa. Having had her first adult book rejected, she studied Phyllis Whitney’s A Mystery of the Golden Horn line by line, and once she’d put what she learned into practice, her stories were accepted. She was off and running, she said. Now she has published over 70 novels for both children and adults.


Four of her stories involve horses, though one I have included has really a rather tangential connection - the horse in question is from a carousel!


Finding the books: all are reasonably easy to find. None were published in the UK.


Links and sources

Terri A. Wear: Horse Stories, an Annotated Bibliography, Scarecrow Press, 1987

Dorothy Francis’ website




Bibliography - horse books only

A Blue Ribbon for Marni

Avalon Books, NY, 1973

Thorndike Press, 1971 (large print)



Marni Justin works as a trainer at the CircleW ranch, which gives her a chance to make her
dream, which is  to have a horse of her own, come true…

Flint Hills Foal

Abingdon Press, Nashville, 1976, 127 pp, illus Taylor Oughton

Scholastic Paperback, 1976, 1978


Kathy has a new step-brother, Jay. He says he hates horses, but when the orphaned filly Flash is
lost in a storm, Jay helps Kathy.

Borderland Horse

Perfection Learning, Logan, Iowa, 2001, 88 pp, illus Dea Marks




Jayhawk Horse Mystery

Perfection Learning, Logan, Iowa, 2001, 80 pp, illus William Ersland



Tangentially horse content - the horse in question is a wooden carousel horse.Cody and his
friend Maria try to help an artist friend who was cheated when she bought the horse.