Ponies, ponies, ponies


Lauren St John has written several well-received books for children. Her Dead Man’s Cove, the first in her Laura Marlin series, won the Blue Peter Children’s Book prize in 2011. She was born in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and was brought up in South Africa on a 1,000 acre farm, where she rode, and also had a pet giraffe, Jenny, who provided the inspiration for her book The White Giraffe. Her black horse, Morning Star, she called ‘the single best thing about my childhood’.

The One Dollar Horse was her first essay into equestrian fiction, and the first in a three part series. It is the story of Casey Blue, born and brought up in inner city London, but with a burning desire to compete at Badminton. Much of the book I enjoyed; it’s particularly good to see a book set (at least initially) in surroundings with which many of its readers will identify.

Finding the books:  all in print.

Links and sources

Lauren St John’s website

Lauren St John on creative writing with children

Lauren St John

Casey Blue

The One Dollar Horse

Race the Wind

Fire Storm

British Pony Books Home

The One Dollar Horse

Orion, London, 2012, 314 pp.

My review

Casey Blue lives in East London, and rides occasionally at a local riding school. Her one
ambition is to enter Badminton: a hopeless dream, it seems, as Casey is poor, with a father
who has just come out of prison and who cannot get a job. And Casey has no horse. And if she
did, inner city London is not the best place to train for Badminton. One day, Casey finds that
she has a horse, bought for all the money her father had on him: a dollar coin he keeps to
remind himself of Casey’s American mother. Horse bought, Casey’s problems are by no means

Bibliography - pony books only

Kentucky Thriller

Orion, London, 2012, 192 pp.

Part of the Laura Marlin detective series, this one sees Laura’s uncle allowing her to keep a
horse after they rescue it from an overturned trailer. Before she can keep the horse for good,
they must do their best to find the horse’s original owner. Laura travels to Newmarket and
Kentucky in her search.

Race the Wind

Orion, London, 2013, 224 pp.

My review of the book

Second in the Casey Blue series: in this episode, Casey’s full of plans for the Kentucky Derby.
However, it looks as if her plans will be scuppered when Casey’s father is arrested. Casey
feels she must stay and defend her father, whom she is convinced was wrongly accused.
However, Casey is then forced into competing by a mysterious person who tells her she must
compete if she wants to be given a DVD which proves her father is innocent.

Fire Storm

Orion, London, 2014, 224 pp.

My review of the book

Third in the Casey Blue series, in which she tackles Burghley, Mrs Smith’s illness, her horse’s
 injuries and much more besides.