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Marion P. Stroud

If Wishes Were Horses
Victory Press, 1968.

Sally wants a dog, and Patience wants to learn to ride, but it doesn’t look as if either of their wishes will come
true.  Then a new dog training premises opens, and Sally and Patience find their wishes are at least part way
to coming true.

Marion P Stroud was one of a small group of authors who wrote evangelistic pony books in the 1960s.  Like her contemporary Patricia Baldwin, her books were published by the Victory Press, whose titles were often used as prizes in Sunday School:  it is quite hard to find examples without the telltale prize plate at the front.  Her other books were devotional:  as far as I can see, she wrote just two children’s books.  

If Wishes Were Horses is generally a well-written story:  it’s the overtly evangelistic elements that jar.  Marion P Stroud uses the conventional religious language of the evangelical:  the girls have “asked the Lord Jesus to come into their hearts”, which usage does jar with the direct, simple style of the rest of the book.  To another evangelical it probably would have meant something, but to someone not versed in evangelical terms it does jar.  Conveniently, both heroines and their brothers have asked Jesus into their hearts, so there is no inconvenient opposition to their spiritual journey.   It’s a pity the conversion experiences aren’t more naturally expressed, as the rest of the story is a decent enough pony story, albeit with a slightly difficult to believe dog stealing plot line.

Finding the books:  like most of their sub-genre, easy to find and generally very cheap.

Bibliography - Pony Books Only

Rainbow’s End
Victory Press, 1971.

Many thanks to Dawn Harrison for the picture and blurb.

“Penny wants to learn how to ride, and when she moves from town to the country she thought she would have the
opportunity to do so. But she found it wasn’t easy to join the local riding school. The children are unfriendly to her,
not wanting “townies” in their group. Penny spends her time helping others less fortunate than herself, and although
it takes awhile, she finds things beginning to fit into place. “