About the author
Elizabeth van Steenwyk is a prolific author who has written widely for children. As well as horse books, she has written on ice skating (including a biography of Dorothy Hammill) and several children’s history books. She started to write when she was 10, and came home from school convinced she had to write. Her friend Jeannie called to ask her to play, but with no luck: “Quickly, I ran out to the front porch and told her that I couldn’t play because I had to write a story. No one told me I had to except me, and what propelled me into my room to that pad of paper and pencil was simply a desire to write something down.” Since then she has won the Texas Bluebonnet Award and Vermont’s Rebecca Caudill Award.
Barrel Horse Racer was made into a film, Best Horse, which won a silver award at the Cannes Film Festival.
Finding the books
All are reasonably easy to find. None were published in the UK.
Bibliography (horse books only)
The Best Horse
Scholastic, 1977, pb
As Barrel Horse Racer
Walker, New York, 1977, 91 pp.
Wendy has a pleasure horse called Kickapoo, but she wants him to be a barrel racer. Wendy’s mother, who used to be a rodeo rider herself, has other ideas however. Wendy is to grow up into a refined young lady.
Ride to Win
Creative Education, Mankato, 1978, 56 pp. Photographs by George Long Photography
Nancy jumps from one event to another, trying to find out what her horse, an Appaloosa called Oatmeal, does best. At last she plumps for endurance riding, something which teaches her a lot about herself, as well as about her horse.
Quarter Horse Winner
Whitman, Chicago, 1980, 80 pp, illus Susan Mohn
Holly has a horse called Buddy, which she trains for pole bending.
The Secret of the Spotted Horse
Children’s Press, Chicago, 1983, 63 pp, illus Keith Neely
Reddy is keen to be in the rodeo when he is visiting his relatives in Montana, riding the horse they bought for him very cheaply indeed. However, the horse attracts so much attention from strangers, they begin to wonder if he is stolen.
Ace Tempo Books, New York, 1983
– which might not be a horse book at all. The title looks likely, and that’s as far as I’ve got.