Learn fresh insights about the author, her writing life, and her early childhood, as well as how she’s inspired legions of horse lovers to follow their dreams.
In the realm of children’s literature, Wisconsin writer Marguerite Henry reigned as the unofficial queen of horse books from the 1940s until her death in 1997. The popular author rose to national literary prominence with her 1947 title, Misty of Chincoteague, which tells the story of Virginia’s wild ponies and their annual swim to the mainland, an event that draws thousands of visitors every year. Still widely read, the title has sold more than a million copies and even inspired the creation of Misty and Stormy (her foal) Breyer horse models.
Equestrian author, Susan Friedland’s “Marguerite, Misty and Me” provides Henry fans with the previously hidden history of an author whose influence is still strong, thirty years after her death. Join passionate horse lover Friedland on a cross-country adventure as she delves into the hidden history of Marguerite, the Newbery Medal-winning author and literary legend. From a kayak in the waves off Chincoteague Island and an underground archive in Minnesota, to a dreamlike ride aboard a Chincoteague Pony, Friedland unearths clues while forging deep connections with fellow Misty fans. Come to the Horse Emporium, 1924 Mac Arthur Rd, Waukesha, WI 53188, December 16 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to meet the author and learn more about her journey to connect with the literary icon.
Friedland interviewed octogenarians who, as children, attended pony birthday parties Henry hosted for Misty when she lived in Wayne, Illinois in the 1940s-50s. During that era, Marguerite traveled with the palomino pinto pony to schools and libraries promoting her books. The pinnacle of Marguerite and Misty’s publicity tour was a trip to Grand Rapids, Michigan for the American Library Association Conference, when the pair accepted the 1949 Newbery Award for “King of the Wind,” Henry’s book about a founding sire of the Thoroughbred breed.
“One of the most charming facts I uncovered is that when Marguerite was a girl, she roller skated every other day over a mile one way to her local library to check out and return books,” said Friedland. “Also, in the 1920s she attended what is today University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and began writing for business magazines after graduation. She never retired from writing. Her last book, ‘Brown Sunshine of Sawdust Valley,’ was published when she was 94. She deserves to be celebrated for being a trailblazing female writer and for bringing joy to countless readers through her unforgettable horse stories.”
Photos available upon request. For more information about Marguerite Henry and Misty of Chincoteague, visit https://saddleseekshorse.shop/pages/marguerite-henry-misty.
Media Contact: Susan Friedland