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Betty Cavanna

Betty Cavanna (Elizabeth Allen Cavanna, 1901 - 2001) was born in New Jersey. She suffered polio as a child, but managed to overcome its effects with exercise and treatment. After going to the New Jersey College for Women to study journalism, she had a job as a reporter for the Bayonne Times from 1929 - 1931. She then joined the Westminster Press as Art Director and Advertising Manager. In 1941, she became a full time writer, and wrote many books aimed at young teenage girls. Amongst her works were children's mysteries (for which she received Edgar awards), teen romances, dog books, and a few pony books. Two of her titles, Spring Comes Riding and Spurs for Suzanna were printed in the UK by Lutterworth. The other titles only had US printings.

Finding the books: Spurs for Suzanna and Spring Comes Riding were both published in the UK, and are reasonably affordable here. In the USA, Banner Year is very cheap and easy to find as a paperback, and reasonably affordable in

 hardback. Lasso Your Heart is affordable as an ex-library copy, and Spurs for Suzanna and Spring Comes Riding are both easily findable. Wanted - a Girl for the Horses is easy to find, and cheap.

Links and sources
Betty Cavanna’s papers are held by the University of Southern Mississippi; the de Grummond collection.
She wrote the Connie Blair mystery series under the pseudonym Betsy Allan, and this link provides more information on the series.
Many thanks to Susan Bourgeau and Lisa Catz for all their help with this page.

Spurs for Suzanna

Westminster, Philadelphia, 1947, (left), illus Virginia Mann

Junior Literary Guild, possibly 1947

Lutterworth, Guildford, 1948 (right), illus Stanley Lloyd

Sue thinks she loves horses and the country, and is delighted when
she is invited to High Acres Farm. Alas, she can’t seem to do
anything right, and the more she tries, the worse it gets. She is
especially scared of jumping, but one day decides to conquer
her fear

Spring Comes Riding

Westminster, Philadelphia, 1950, cover art uncredited

Lutterworth, Guildford, 1952

Meg feels she’s the odd one out: good with horses, but not people. She feels
inferior next to her pretty, charming, sister Joanna, and Joanna brooks no
interference or rivalry from Meg when it comes to men, or anything else either.
Eventually Meg learns that Joanna is as she is, and that she isn’t the only one
who sees the truth about Joanna.

Lasso Your Heart

Westminster, Philadelphia, 1952, cover art Harold Minton

Book Club edition (right)

Prue has to leave her mare Feather near her foaling time in order to attend her cousin Cissy’s
big party, but she decides that she is glad that she is getting better acquainted with Cissy and
her friends.

Banner Year

William Morrow 1987, cover art Jon Weiman
Troll, pb, 1988

“Starting her sophomore year on Martha's Vineyard, Cindy thinks the only thing she really cares
about is a beautiful black horse she works with at a nearby farm, until she meets the new boy Tad.”

Wanted, a Girl for the Horses

Morrow, New York, 1984


When Charlotte is asked to leave her private boarding school, she takes the unusual job of girl
groom with an elderly couple who used to be rich, but are now barely making ends meet.

Bibliography - horse books only