Wilson, Diane Lee

About the author

Diane Lee Wilson writes historical horse stories. I haven’t been disappointed with one I’ve read yet. Her books are intensely readable; generally portraits of teenagers coming to terms with the world in which they find themselves, and that world’s restrictions. The author has loved horses since she was tiny (she was kicked by a carnival pony at the age of three – I was bitten by a riding school pony at about the same age, so I know the odd attraction that occurs even though you’re wounded.) Since she was given her first horse as a teenager, Diane Lee Wilson has not been without one, and learned to train horses at a professional stable in Texas.

She took degrees in English and Fine Arts at the University of Iowa. Her first book, I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade, was an ALA (American Library Association) Best Book for Young Adults, and her second, To Ride the Gods’ Own Stallion, was a Junior Library Guild selection.  

Finding the books
Black Storm Comin’ is still in print, and freely available secondhand.  Firehorse, I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade and To Ride the Gods’ Own Stallion are easy to find secondhand. Ravenspeak and Tracks are still in print.

Links and sources
Diane Lee Wilson’s website
Diane Lee Wilson at Simon & Schuster

Bibliography (horse books only)

I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade

Orchard Books, New York, 1998, 232 pp.
Harper Collins, New York, pb, 1999

Click here for a brief review of the book.

Oyuna and her white mare Bayan travel through Mongolian Society.

To Ride the Gods’ Own Stallion

Dorling Kindersley, New York, 2000, 276 pp. Cover Raul Colon

Set in Ninevah in 640 BC, Soulai is sold into slavery by his father. He is bought by one of the king’s sons, and works as a stable boy, caring for the horse Ti. Habasle, the horse’s owner, abuses him, and Soulai is determined to save the horse.

Black Storm Comin’

Margaret K McElderry Books, New York, 2005, 295pp.
Aladdin Paperbacks, New York, 2006, pb

Click here for a brief review of the book.

Colton Wescott is stranded with his mother and sisters on one side of the mountains; on the other lie his mother’s freedom papers. The only way he has of getting across the mountains is by signing on as a rider for the Pony Express.


Margaret K McElderry Books, New York, 2006, 326pp.
Margaret K McElderry Books, New York, 2010, pb, 326pp.

Click here for a brief review of the book.

Rachel and her family move from the country to Boston. Rachel has to leave her beloved horse, but finds a famous fire-horse, The Governor’s Girl. She has been terribly burned, and Rachel has to fight to save her; fight to realise her dreams of becoming a vet, and fight the Great Fire of Boston.

Raven Speak

Margaret McElderry Books, New York, 2010, 252 pp.

The blurb:

“Asa Coppermane is the proud daughter of a Viking chief. Asa and her horse, Rune, are creatures of the sea and the cold northernland. But this winter has been the worst one Asa has ever seen. Her father and the other men have gone to sea to search for food, leaving behind the women and children, many sick with fever. Also left behind is Jorgen, the clan’s wise man. His stories are meant to comfort them all, but Asa suspects that what Jorgan really wants is power. Now that her father is gone, Jorgen demands Asa give up Rune – for food, and as a sacrifice to the gods.”

When Jorgen comes to kill Rune, Asa fights him off and she and the horse flee. They find shelter with a one-eyed old woman who speaks to her two pet ravens, and who seems to have a strange power over Asa. The old woman hints that Asa must make a sacrifice to save her clan – but how? And what kind of sacrifice? What are the secrets of the raven?


Margaret K McElderry Books, New York, 2012, hb, 276pp.
Margaret K McElderry Books, New York, 2010, pb, 288pp.

A review of the book

Malachy finds a job as a builder: but it is no ordinary  job. Rail companies are competing to build the first Transcontinental railroad. He has to contend with anti-Irish prejudice but despite this is happy to follow the herd and discriminate against the Chinese workers. His only friends are his dog Brina, and the blind workhorse Blind Thomas, but in the end Malachy manages to see beyond someone’s race.