Alter, Judy

About the author

Judy Alter (b.1938) published her first book, After Pa Was Shot, in 1978, and since then has written for both adults and children. Many of her books are on Western themes, and she has written several books on rodeos. She has a “lifelong interest in the lives of women in the American West,” and her juvenile horse novels are all historical, being set in Late Victorian and Depression Era America. Her Maggie series sees a Texas tomboy sent away to school to learn to be a lady, and return to eventually realise her dream and ride at Madison Square Garden.

Judy Alter worked as a director of a small academic press, TCU, and is now retired, and writing “cozy mysteries.”

Finding the books
Callie is easy to find in the USA. The Maggie books are easily available.

Links and sources
Judy Alter’s website
Judy Alter’s blog
Many thanks to Lisa Catz for the photograph.


The Maggie Series
Maggie and a Horse Named Devildust
Maggie and the Search for Devildust
Maggie and Devildust – Ridin’ High

Bibliography (horse books only)

Callie Shaw, Stable Boy

Eakin Press, Texas, 1996, 188 pp.

Callie wants to work with horses, so to do it, in Depression era America, with an aunt who thinks of racing as the devil’s work, she poses as a boy called Caleb and gets a job in a stable.

Maggie and a Horse Named Devildust

Ellen C Temple Publishing, Texas, 1989

Maggie would rather ride than learn to be a lady, as her mother wants. She works hard with the wild horse Devildust, but after she is involved in a fight at school, her mother insists she is sent away to boarding school. Maggie runs away to join a Wild West Show, but is soon reunited with her family, where she learns to compromise.

Maggie and the Search for Devildust

Ellen C Temple Publishing, Texas, 1989, 159 pp

It is 1897, and Maggie has survived her year at Miss Porter’s school for Girls. She returns home to Texas to train Devildust and ride in a Wild West Show.

Maggie and Devildust – Ridin’ High

Ellen C Temple Publishing, Texas, 1990, 174 pp

Maggie is now 18, and finally realises her dream. She stars in a Wild West Show in Madison Square Garden.