Matt Christopher (1917-1997)

Popular and prolific American author. Born in Bath, Pennsylvania in 1917, the oldest of 9 children. He has written many children's novels, mostly with a sports theme, in particular baseball. He has also written some biographies of sportsmen and women. Perhaps not surprisingly, sports have been a life-long interest with the author, he was an excellent baseball player as a child and as an adult played in Minor League baseball. He also enjoyed and was interested in stories and writing from an early age. His career as an author began when he had a short story published in a magazine. Then, encouraged by the lack of sports stories available for children, he decided to try and fill the niche. Now he is considered America's top writer of children's sports novels.

Amongst his extensive catalogue of novels are three horse-related titles, there may be more but I am still in the process of researching this.

The author has his own website, although sadly it does not feature any of the pony stories. There is also a biography of him written by his son.

Horse & Pony Books:

DESPERATE SEARCH
(LITTLE, BROWN & CO [USA] 1973)
ILLUSTRATED BY LESLIE MORRELL
SUMMARY: Animal and pony story. Cat Whitey and dog Ginger become lost in a blizzard together. The two animals learn to get along in order to survive their ordeal. At the same time their owners Tommy and Jamie form a similar friendship when they set out to look for their pets on Tommy's horse.

EARTHQUAKE
(LITTLE, BROWN & CO [USA] 1975)
ILLUSTRATED BY TED LEWIN
Also Book Club edition.
Reprinted in paperback by Scholastic'
SUMMARY: Horse themed adventure story. Jeff hates the summer camp he is at in the Adirondack Mountains. He decides to run away with his camp horse. But once away from camp he finds the mountains a terrible and inhospitable place, especially when an earthquake strikes!

DEVIL PONY
(LITTLE, BROWN & CO [USA] 1977)
ILLUSTRATED BY LORENCE BJORKLAND
Available as a print on demand title.
SUMMARY: Ghostly mystery story. Stu and Sally can't wait for their Morgan horse Midnight to arrive. But when he does, strange unexplained events begin to happen around the house and stables. Is this a poltergeist or is the horse somehow to blame?

Collector's Info:
Earthquake and Desperate Search are easy to find in the USA, Devil Pony is a little rarer but still fairly easy to get hold of, though it is easily found as an e-book. The books are  not seen very often in the UK although  Earthquake can be bought reasonably cheaply from America via Amazon and Devil Pony is available at time of this update (2015) as a print on demand title.

Books about the author:

BEHIND THE DESK WITH MATT CHRISTOPHER
By Dale Christopher
(LITTLE, BROWN & CO [USA] 2004)
SUMMARY: Biography of Matt Christopher written by the author's son.

Collector's Info:
Can be bought new or second-hand from Amazon. Harder to find elsewhere.