Lambert, Janet

About the author

Janet Lambert worked as an actress and playwright with a repertory company touring the US before her marriage. After her marriage during World War I  to Captain Kent Lambert, her acting career was curtailed. She began her writing career by writing stories for her daughters. She wrote widely, with most of her stories being about girls and their families on military bases around the country. Although some of her books have horses in them, and characters who appear in different series, only one set, the Dria Meredith trilogy, are truly horse books. The first two books are set on Dria’s grandmother’s farm in Virginia, where she first meets her horse Star Dream. The third, High Hurdles, sees Dria at her senior year in High School, with Star Dream entered for the National Horse Show.

In their description of the second book, Summer for Seven, the current publishers of the series, Image Cascade, say “the group of teens have great fun at Lane Acres as they run the washing machine, help with household chores, plant and weed a garden and sell their produce…” which to my jaundiced eye, sounds more like a scene from fantasy and certainly not like any teenager I know, but maybe it really was all different back then. 

Finding the books
None of the Dria Meredith books were published in the UK, but they are still in print in America. The series was printed originally by E P Dutton, and was later reprinted by Grosset & Dunlap, though sometimes with different cover art. First editions can be expensive, but none seem particularly hard to find. All Janet Lambert’s books have been reprinted by Image Cascade.

Links and sources
The Dria Meredith series is in print again: Image Cascade have published it. Details can be found here.
Janet Lambert – fan site
Many thanks to Susan Bourgeau for providing the information and pictures for this section.


Dria Meredith series
Star Dream
Summer for Seven
High Hurdles

Bibliography (horse books only)

Star Spangled Summer

E P Dutton & Company Inc, New York, 1941, 281 pp, illus Sandra James.
Image Cascade, paperback

First in the Penny Parrish series of six books. Wealthy but lonely Carol Houghton visits her friend, Penny Parish, on an Army cavalry post. They all get ready for the upcoming show, but do plenty more: a scavenger hunt, a moonlight picnic, and a dance. The relationship between Carol and her father isn’t good, and Penny tries to improve it.

Just Jenifer

E P Dutton & Company Inc, New York, 1945, 187 pp, cover art Roberta Paflin.Image Cascade, paperback

Jennifer is one of nine brothers and sisters, and when their housekeeper suddenly leaves, they move to a beach front house. Their soldier father is serving overseas in the war, and the family send for his cavalry horse Royal, so they can use him for running errands. This book is the first of the nine-book Jordon series, which tells each sibling’s story. All of them are raised by Jennifer.

One for the Money

E P Dutton & Co, New York, 1946, 188 pp.
Grosset & Dunlap “Locket” edition, 188 pp.
Image Cascade, paperback

Third in the Candy Kane series, in which Candy becomes involved in the career of a racehorse. He is owned by an elderly man who cannot afford to train him, and whose son is in the Army. Candy offers to help, but her boyfriend, when he returns from the war, is jealous. The resulting quarrel jeopardises the horse’s chances.

Star Dream

E P Dutton, New York,1951, cover art uncredited, 190 pp.
Grosset & Dunlap, New York
Image Cascade, paperback

Dria is sent to stay with relatives, and expects she will have a dreadful summer until she discovers the family have horses, though they are soon to be sold.

Summer for Seven

E P Dutton, New York, 1952, 190 pp, cover art uncredited.
Grosset & Dunlap, New York
Image Cascade, paperback

Dria and six of her friends are summering at her grandmother’s. Dria is schooling Star Dream while her friends are keeping house.

High Hurdles

E P Dutton, New York, 1955, cover art uncredited, 191 pp.
Grosset & Dunlap, New York
Image Cascade, paperback

Dria has entered senior year, and is going to edit the school newspaper. Then her grandmother changes her plans when she asks her to school Star Dream and go to New York for the National Horse Show.

short stories

Tall as the Stars appeared in two collections:

Everygirls Horse Stories
Grossett & Dunlap, New York, 1956, illus Richard H Burhans

The American Girl Book of Horse Stories
Random House 1963, illus Sam Savitt