Doris Gates (1901-1987)

Born in California in 1901. Grew up on a ranch surrounded by animals, so unsurprisingly they featured in many of her books. She was a very popular US children's novelist, perhaps best known for her re-telling of myths and legends.

She won the Newbery Honor Award in 1941 for her book 'Blue Willow' which was based on her experiences working in a migrant camp during the 1930s Depression era.

As far as I know she wrote only three horse-related novels.

Melinda Series:

aka A HORSE FOR MELINDA (UK edition)
(VIKING 1980)
(1st UK edition CAROUSEL PB 1981)
Reprinted in hardback.
Reprinted in paperback by Puffin.
Published in the UK by Carousel under the title A HORSE FOR MELINDA
SUMMARY: Melinda's father thinks all girls love ponies and wants to buy her one. But Melinda, not only does not like horses, she is also frightened of them. However she wants to please her father and make him proud so she accepts his gift of Ethan, a lovely Morgan horse. But can she overcome her fear and build a relationship with Ethan? Help comes from an unlikely source in the form of a crusty old writer.

(VIKING 1984)
Reprinted in paperback by Penguin.
SUMMARY: Set two years after the first book. Melinda now faces a heart-rending dilemma: keep her beloved filly or help her parents out of a family crisis...

Collectors Info:
A Morgan for Melinda, under its UK title, is fairly easy to find in paperback form in the UK. The sequel however was not printed here, so is harder to find. Both are easy to find in the USA.

Other Pony Books:

(VIKING 1951)
Reprinted in both hardback and paperback.
SUMMARY: The story of Jonathan 'Pony' Rivers, an orphan boy who works on a horse farm in Kentucky. He falls in love with Little Vic, a grandson of the great racehorse Man O'War. But Vic is a problem horse whom nobody else believes will amount to anything. It is up to Jonathan and Little Vic to prove them all wrong.

Collectors Info:
Not often seen in the UK, although very easy to find in its native America.