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Patricia Calvert

Patricia Calvert (date of birth uncertain but possibly 1931) spent the first years of her life living in a cabin in the Montana mountains with her family. Not only was her mother a vivid teller of tales about her own life, she also read to her children, and not just the standard childhood fare either. Detective stories and love stories were on the menu too. It was a childhood spent roaming free, with plenty of animals for company. "It was a magic world for any child, one in which lodgepole pines grew like arrows toward a sky that seemed always blue. When I was older I had a sassy little horse named Redbird to ride, a collie named Bruno to keep me company, and a calico cat named Agamemnon to sleep at the foot of my bed."  (Something About the Author). Patricia found school difficult because she was dyslexic, but her mother worked hard with her and she learned to read. By the time she was ten, she had decided she wanted to be a writer.

After university, she became a senior editorial assistant at the Mayo Clinic. The Snowbird was her first novel, and she has gone on to write numerous children’s books, three in all being about horses. Her books are aimed at a young adult readership, and are about the journeys her characters go on. She said: “We are all emigrants from the same country - the land of childhood. What I want to do is write about the journey all of us have taken - or are in the process of taking -from that special place."

Finding the books: Money Creek Mare is not particularly expensive, but not the easiest book in the world to track down. Neither it nor The Stone Pony had a British publication. The Stone Pony is cheap, but not particularly common. The Snowbird had a British publication: it’s usually reasonably priced but is not spectacularly common. In short, there’s not a huge amount of her books around apart from the first, The Snowbird, but so far they’re not expensive.

Links and sources

From The Children’s Literature Network

Biographical information from Bookrags

Many thanks to Susan Bourgeau for all her help with the books and their contents.

The Snowbird

Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1980, cover art Honi Werner
Macmillan, London, 1983

Signet Books, pb

Atheneum, 1998

The silver white foal was born in Dakota Territory in 1883.  Orphan Willie Bannerman ( a girl) falls
for the foal. Life has been hard, but now they see snowbirds flying in from the sea, Willie’s Irish aunt
thinks their luck will change. Disorientated after the death of her parents, Willie begins to piece her
life together again.

Money Creek Mare

Charles Scribners' Sons, New York, 1981, cover art by Ruth Sanderson
Signet, paperback

Ella Rae Carmody feels older than both her parents: her mother has gone to Hollywood to be a star,
and her father gambles. Ella’s father wins a crippled red mare in a card game. She has Man O’
War as one of her ancestors, and Ella and her father dream of using the mare to found a horse
farm - Money Creek Farms. Ella gets a job as a housemaid with Mrs. Puckett-Smythe who sees
in Ella Rae "something between a longed-for child and a filly with possibilities."

The Stone Pony

Charles Scribners' Sons, New York, 1982, cover art Debbi Chabrian

JoBeth Cunningham’s sister, Ashley, dies. She was good at everything, and won prizes for her
riding. JoBeth struggles to overcome her grief, and her guilt at being the one left alive, by solving
the mystery of some strange letters carved on a stone pony her father, a museum director, buys
as an exhibit. She meets Luke, who has his own grief and guilt, and he shows her how to face
life and not run away.

Bibliography - horse books only