Alida Malkus

American author of children's novels. Born in 1895. She worked for a newspaper and wrote short stories for magazines as well as novels. She was a fairly prolific author, penning a number of books, both fiction and non-fiction. Most of her novels were adventures set in historical times and many were set in exotic locations, some visited in person by the author, giving them an authentic feel. One of her books The Dark Star of Itza was a Newbery Honour book.

Two of her books featured horses, like most of her stories both are historical tales. She also wrote a ranching story called
Raquel of the Ranch Country which has some horse content. (Many thanks to Carol Todd for providing details of this book.)

Pony Books:

RAQUEL OF THE RANCH COUNTRY
(HARCOURT, BRACE & CO [USA] 1927)
ILLUSTRATED BY GEORGE F. AVISON
Rare
SUMMARY: Some horse content. Ranching story set around the time of the First World War. Raquel has to return home to Texas from a posh Eastern finishing school in order to manage the family ranch when all the menfolk sign up as soldiers. Can she overcome draught, bandits and all other many of problems to ensure a shipment of cattle for the government?


COLT OF DESTINY
(WINSTON [USA] 1950)
(1st UK edition HAMISH HAMILTON 1953)
ILLUSTRATED BY MANNING DE V. LEE
Reprinted in hardback by original publisher.
Also published in the UK by Hamish Hamilton.
SUMMARY: Historical horse story set in the early days of California when missions were attempting to tame the wild country. Jaimie is staying at Father Junipero Serro's mission when he sees the wild golden filly Starlight and determines to tame her.

SIDI BOY OF THE DESERT
(WINSTON [USA] 1956)
ILLUSTRATED BY MANNING DE V. LEE
SUMMARY: Ali gives Zilfan, the black foal of his Arab mare Yasmin, to his son Sidi. But the unscrupulous Mahmoud plans to take both horses for himself.


Collector's Info:
Raquel of the Ranch Country is rare and may be expensive. The other two titles are fairly easy to find in the USA, although quite a bit harder elsewhere. Despite having a British printing, Colt of Destiny is hard to find in the UK, as the British edition is rarely seen.