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Kathleen Duey

Kathleen Duey is a prolific American author. Many of her earlier works are historical, with a lengthy series of 19 titles in diary form. Called American Diaries, it’s American history told through the eyes of girls writing diaries as they experience the events. It’s a wide-ranging series, stretching from Massachusetts in 1651 through to Pearl Harbour in 1941.

She carried on the historical theme with her Hoofbeats series. This is an oddly titled series. The first four books all have the same title: Katie and the Mustang, and are only differentiated by number. They tell the story of a girl travelling the Oregon trail. The next four books in the series, the Lara quartet, are set in Ireland, with marauding chieftains and wicked clans; they’re allowed different titles, and the last two books in the series are different again.

She also writes fantasy; her Unicorn’s Secret series was based on her own dreams. She said: “The Unicorn's Secret series is tightly based on dreams I had in third and fourth grade. I would go to bed here, in the real world, and wake up there, in Heart's world. When I was sleepy there, I would close my eyes and wake up here...”

Finding the books: all the books are easy to find: most, if not all, appear to be in print.

Links and sources

Kathleen Duey’s blog

Kathleen Duey on Simon & Schuster

An interview with Kathleen Duey

Thank you to Lisa Catz for photographs and summaries

Katie and the Mustang

Katie and the Mustang 1-4

Lara and the Gray Mare

Lara and the Moon-colored Filly

Lara at Athenry Castle

Lara and the Silent Place

Silence and Lily: 1773

Margret and Flynn: 1875

Spirit of the Cimarron





Unicorn’s Secret


Silver Thread

The Silver Bracelet
Mountains of the Moon
The Sunset Gates
True Heart

Castle Avamir

The Journey Home

Katie and the Mustang, Book One
Puffin Books, 2004, 135 pp.

Katie Rose was orphaned at six. She is looked after by a heartless couple who make her spend
her days doing chores. She dreams of going west to find her Uncle Jack. Mr Stevens brings an
unbroken Mustang home, with whom Katie bonds. When she finds out the Stevens are going to
join the expansion west without her, she decides to go on her own, and take The Mustang so she
can return him to the land he came from. 

Bibliography - horse books only


Aladdin Paperbacks, New York, 2001, 78 pp, illus Omar Rayyan

Heart, a foundling who was discovered five years earlier wrapped in a unicorn-embroidered blanket,
finds a pregnant white mare in the woods and struggles to keep her and her colt safe and well.

The Silver Bracelet

Aladdin Paperbacks, New York, 2002

Heart must hide her beloved unicorn, Moonsilver, from Lord Dunraven's hunters. She and her
animal friends join a troupe of travelling minstrels. Everyone thinks Moonsilver's horn is fake -- just
part of the act. Then Moonsilver heals a badly injured boy right in front of the audience, and the
unicorn's secret is in danger.

Sierra: Spirit of the Cimarron

Dutton Juvenile, 2002

Puffin, 2002

Sierra’s herd is taken over by a new stallion. She finds herself alone, until she meets a stallion
who brings her into a Native American camp.

Esperanza: Spirit of the Cimarron

Dutton Juvenile, 2002

Puffin, 2002

Strider is a wild mustang who lives in the Cimarron Valley. When a drought strikes, he sets
off to find a new place to live. But on the way, danger strikes, and Strider must make the ultimate

sacrifice for the herd.

Bonita: Spirit of the Cimarron

Dutton Juvenile, 2002

Puffin, 2002

Bonita was a pampered riding horse when the Mexican War for Independence broke out. Bonita
is forced into a life of hardship, but she finds the strength to escape from her captors and find a
new life of freedom.

Dreamworks 2002

Puffin, 2002

Novelisation of the film: tells the story of Cimarron from his birth, through his
capture to his triumphant return to freedom.

Silver Thread

Aladdin Paperbacks, New York, 2001

Scholastic Paperbacks, 2002

When her beloved Moonsilver, the unicorn, is nearly killed by a hunter’s arrow, Heart sneaks back
into her village to get help. But greater danger awaits Heart and Moonsilver. Rumours of
Moonsilver's secret have reached the ears of the cruel Lord Dunraven. Once again Heart must flee,
with Ruth's mysterious gift -- a silver thread -- to protect her and Moonsilver.

Mountains of the Moon

Aladdin Paperbacks, New York, 2002

Simon & Schuster, 2003 (right)

Lord Dunraven is looking for Heart and the unicorns. If Heart’s friends help her,
they will bring down Dunraven's anger on themselves, and so she has nowhere
to turn. If only she knew where her family was -- or wh" they were. She finds a
drawing that looks like the design on her baby blanket. The paper is covered
with tiny symbols.

The Sunset Gates

Aladdin Paperbacks, New York, 2002

As Beyond the Sunset

Simon & Schuster, 2003

Heart must find her family and a safe haven for the unicorns. She needs to find
a teacher to help her unravel the mystery of a book she cannot read, and finds
a blacksmith whose family forge was made by unicorn magic. His old records
show that his grandfather made giant iron gates using the same design.

True Heart

Aladdin Paperbacks, New York, 2003

In the beautiful armor Joseph Lequire has created for Moonsilver, no one can tell he is a unicorn.
It's safe for Heart to travel to Bidenfast, where she hopes to find her Gypsy friends. But the streets
are jammed with people in town for the crowning of the new Lord Irmaedith, and the young lord
himself takes a special interest in the unicorns.

Castle Avamir

Aladdin Paperbacks, New York, 2003

It has been a long, hard winter, and the Gypsies are glad to be leaving Lord Levin's mountains
for the sunny plains of Lord Kaybale's lands. This means time is running out for Heart. She needs
to solve the riddle and find Avamir, and a safe haven for her beloved unicorns.

The Journey Home

Aladdin Paperbacks, New York, 2003

Simon & Schuster, 2004

Heart is convinced that the old man from Castle Avamir can help her find her

Family, but he has been taken prisoner by Lord Dunraven. Heart's search leads
her to the depths of Dunraven's heavily guarded castle. Her quest is nearing its
end -- and what awaits her is beyond her wildest imaginings.

Katie and the Mustang, Book Two

Puffin Books, 2004, 132 pp

When he decided to join the expansion west, cruel Mr. Stevens was going to put Katie in an
orphanage, and shoot her beloved horse, the Mustang. She decides to go west herself,
accompanied by Hiram, the farmhand, and the Mustang. They join a friendly family, but tragedy
strikes, and Katie must choose between travelling with a group of strangers, or abandoning her
dream of going west. 

Katie and the Mustang, Book Three

Puffin Books, 2004, 137 pp

On the Oregon Trail, a perilous river crossing leaves Katie’s group diminished, and the guide
crippled. The group joins up with a circus group, led by Miss Liddy McKenna, a trick rider, and
continue on to Fort Laramie, where an unexpected discovery makes Katie question whether she
will be able to ever find her uncle. But Katie knows that she and the Mustang have come too far to
turn back now.

Katie and the Mustang, Book 4

Puffin Books, 2004, 140 pp

The last part of Katie’s journey along the Oregon Trail is the hardest. She finally
asks Miss Liddy to teach her how to trick ride. They arrive in Oregon just before
the harsh winter snows hit. Katie and Mustang find a group of wild mares with no
stallion, and she sets him free, comforting herself that he’s now back in his homeland.

Lara and the Gray Mare

Dutton Children’s Books, New York, 2005

While her father is away fighting the Normans and other Irish clans, nine-year-old Lara works
hard to help harvest food and also cares for the pregnant gray mare that she loves.

Lara and the Moon-Colored Filly

Dutton Children’s Books, New York, 2005

Puffin Books, 2005, 133 pp.

Captured by members of another Irish clan, Lara continues to protect the young filly, Dannsair,
and ponders how they might escape together.

Lara at Athenry Castle

Dutton Children’s Books, New York, 2005, 140 pp

Puffin Books, 2005

Lara and the filly she rescued are captured by a rival clan. Lara’s determined they’ll stay together,
no matter what.

Silence and Lily: 1773

Dutton Juvenile, 2007

Puffin, 2007

Set in Boston in 1773, when tensions between the colonists and the British are heating up. Silence
is 12. What she wants is  to own the beautiful white mare Lily, but Silence’s mother doesn’t agree.
Girls shouldn’t be gallivanting outside riding.

Margret and Flynn, 1875
Dutton Children’s Books, New York, 2008

Puffin, 2008, 172 pp

In the Colorado Territory in 1875, orphan Margret and her older sister Libby are staying with the
kind-hearted Mrs Fredrickson when Margret finds an injured horse which she nurses back to
health and wants to keep, while Libby is too mistrustful of people to think that they might possibly
have found a home.

Lara and the Silent Place

Dutton Children’s Books, New York, 2005, 140 pp

Almost a year has passed since Lara and her beloved filly were captured and taken from their
Connemara home, but when they return she feels they no longer belong.