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Dorothy Lyons' reputation as a writer was built around her love of horses and ponies. From her first book in 1939 until her final work of fiction in 1973, her deep affection for the equine was in the forefront. In 1939, The New York Times reviewed Silver Birch. Though the review found fault with her personality development of characters, there was not doubt of her expertise. "It is a sound knowledge of horsemanship displayed against a thoroughly American background which lifts this book above the mediocre run," wrote reviewer E.L. Buell on December 15, 1939.
A review in Churchman focused on content. "Girl Scout story about a troop of Michigan girls, and how they secured horses for each member in order to form a mounted patrol."
By the time Golden Sovereign came into print a decade later, Lyons was firmly established. Major books review sources paid attention. Reviews appeared in Book Week, The New York Times, and San Francisco Chronicle among others.
In their November 9, 1946 review, The Saturday Review of Literature called Golden Sovereign "a sure-fire story for all lovers of horses, regardless of age." Atlantic waxed enthusiastic in their November 1946 issue, writing "It is beautifully written, exciting, interesting in its information, and totally unexpected as to plot…. the book as a whole has a rare overtone of humorous enjoyment. As a novel it is superior to 75 per cent of the average lending library books …."
The glowing reviews continued throughout the 1940s but some of her 1950s titles received mixed comments that included the terms too simple, undistinguished, and a bit fantastic. Still, praise dominated. In 1959, The Chicago Sun Tribune called Bright Wampum "a first-rate adventure story." Lyons published two more horse books - Smoke Rings in 1960 and Pedigree Unknown in 1973.
After 1973, her writing focused on the occasional article, brochure, or training information about her beloved Connemara ponies and finally, in 1983, on her autobiography The Devil Made the Small Town.
Blue Smoke, illustrated by Wesley Dennis. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1953.
Blue Smoke und Andy, translated by Elfriede Leseberg. Hannover, Germany: Gundert, 1968. [German translation of Blue Smoke]
Bluegrass Champion, illustrated by Wesley Dennis. Famous Horse Stories. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1949. [Also published as Harlequin Hullabaloo]
Bright Wampum, illustrated by Wesley Dennis. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1958.
"Connemaras - The 'Did It Themselves' Breed." American Horseman, n.d. [article held by one library separate from the magazine]
Copper Kahn, illustrated by Wesley Dennis. New York: Harcourt, 1950; reprinted 1952, Museum Press.
Dark Sunshine, illustrated by Wesley Dennis. A Voyager Book. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1951.
The Devil Made the Small Town. Santa Barbara: Kimberly Press, 1983.
Dunkler Strahl, illustrated by Maja von Arx, translated by Irma Silzer. Zurich: Büchergilde Gutenberg, 1961. [German translation of Dark Sunshine]
Golden Sovereign, illustrated by Wesley Dennis. New York, Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1946; reprinted 1960 by Harcourt, Brace and Co.; reprinted 1963 and 1966, Scholastic Book Services.
Harlequin Hullabaloo, illustrated by Wesley Dennis. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1949. [Also published as Bluegrass Champion]
Java Jive, illustrated by Wesley Dennis. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1955.
Midnight Moon, illustrated by W.C. Nims. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1941; reprinted 1960 by Harcourt, Brace and Co.
Pedigree Unknown. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1973.
Red Embers, illustrated by Wesley Dennis. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1948.
Silver Birch, illustrated by John Austin Taylor. New York: Harcourt, 1939.
Smoke Rings. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1960.
Smoky, translated by Elfriede Leseberg. Hannover, Germany: Gundert, 1963. [German translation of Smoke Rings]
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