Marguerite Henry

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Marguerite Henry
Marguerite Henry.jpg
Born Marguerite Breithaupt
(1902-04-13)April 13, 1902
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US
Died November 26, 1997(1997-11-26) (aged 95)
San Diego, California, US
Pen name Marguerite Henry
Occupation Writer
Nationality American
Period 1940–1997
Genre Children's literature, animal stories
Notable works Misty of Chincoteague
King of the Wind
Brighty of the Grand Canyon
Notable awards Newbery Medal
Spouse Sidney Crocker Henry

Marguerite Henry (April 13, 1902 – November 26, 1997)[1] was an American writer of children's books. Her fifty-nine books based on true stories of horses and other animals captivated entire generations. She won the annual Newbery Medal for one of her books about horses and she was a runner-up for two others.[2] One of the latter, Misty of Chincoteague (1947), was the basis for several sequels and for the 1961 movie Misty.


Born to Louis and Anna Breithaupt, the youngest of the five children, Henry was a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.[1][3] Unfortunately, Henry was stricken with rheumatic fever at the age of six, which kept her bedridden until the age of twelve. Because of her illness, Henry was unable to go to school with other children because of her weak condition and the fear of spreading the illness to others. While she was confined indoors, she discovered the joy of reading.[citation needed] Henry's love of animals started during her childhood. Soon afterwards, she also discovered a love for writing when her parents presented her with a writing desk for Christmas. Henry later said, "At last I had a world of my very own -- a writing world, and soon it would be populated by all the creatures of my imagination."[4]

Henry sold her first story at the age of 11. She often wrote about animals, such as dogs, cats, birds, foxes, and even mules, but chiefly her stories focused on horses.

She studied at Milwaukee State Teachers College.[5] On May 5, 1923, she married Sidney Crocker Henry.[1] During their 64 years of marriage they did not have any children, but instead had numerous pets that served as the inspiration for some of Marguerite’s stories. They lived in Wayne, Illinois.

In 1945, Henry began a twenty-year collaboration with artist Wesley Dennis. She recalled "I had just finished writing Justin Morgan Had a Horse, and wanted the best horse artist in the world to illustrate it. So I went to the library, studied the horse books, and immediately fell in love with the work of Will James and Wesley Dennis. When I found out that Will James was dead, I sent my manuscript to Wesley Dennis."[6] Henry and Dennis eventually published 15 books together.[7]

Misty of Chincoteague was published in 1947 and it was an instant success. Later it was adapted as a movie, as were Justin Morgan had a Horse and Brighty of the Grand Canyon.

Henry finished her last book, Brown Sunshine of Sawdust Valley, just before her death on November 26, 1997 at the age of 95.


Henry won the annual Newbery Medal from the American Library Association in 1949, recognizing King of the Wind: the story of the Godolphin Arabian as the year's "most distinguished contribution to American literature for children". She had been a runner-up for Justin Morgan Had a Horse in 1946 and Misty of Chincoteague in 1948.[2] Brighty of the Grand Canyon was given the William Allen White Children's Book Award in 1956.[8] In 1960, Black Gold won the Sequoyah Book Award.[9] Gaudenzia: Pride of the Palio was awarded the Clara Ingram Judson Award for children's literature in 1961.[10] Misty of Chincoteague was named to the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award list in 1961. Mustang, Wild Spirit of the West received the 1967 Western Heritage Award for Outstanding Juvenile Book.[11]


  • 1940 Auno and Tauno: a Story of Finland, illus. Gladys Rourke Blackwood
  • 1940 Dilly Dally Sally, illus. Gladys Rourke Blackwood
  • 1942 Birds at Home, illus. Jacob Bates Abbott)
  • 1942 Geraldine Belinda, illus. Gladys Rourke Blackwood
  • 1943 Their First Igloo On Baffin Island, illus. Gladys Rourke Blackwood
  • 1944 A Boy and a Dog, illus. Diana Thorne and Ottilie Foy
  • 1945 Justin Morgan Had a Horse, illus. Wesley Dennis
  • 1945 The Little Fellow, illus. Diana Thorne
  • 1945 Robert Fulton, Boy Craftsman
  • 1947 Always Reddy, illus. Wesley Dennis; also published as Shamrock Queen
  • 1947 Benjamin West and His Cat Grimalkin, illus. Wesley Dennis
  • 1947 Misty of Chincoteague, illus. Wesley Dennis
  • 1948 King of the Wind: the Story of the Godolphin Arabian, illus. Wesley Dennis
  • 1949 Little-or-Nothing from Nottingham, illus. Wesley Dennis
  • 1949 Sea Star, Orphan of Chincoteague, illus. Wesley Dennis
  • 1950 Born To Trot, illus. Wesley Dennis
  • 1951 Album of Horses, illus. Wesley Dennis
  • 1953 Brighty of the Grand Canyon, illus. Wesley Dennis
  • 1954 Justin Morgan Had a Horse (revised), illus. Wesley Dennis
  • 1955 Wagging Tails: Album of Dogs, illus. Wesley Dennis
  • 1956 Cinnabar, the One O'Clock Fox, illus. Wesley Dennis
  • 1956 Misty, the Wonder Pony, by Misty, Herself, illus. Clare McKinley
  • 1957 Black Gold, illus. Wesley Dennis
  • 1959 Muley-Ears, Nobody's Dog, illus. Wesley Dennis
  • 1960 Gaudenzia, Pride of the Palio, illus. Lynd Ward; also published as The Wildest Horse Race in the World
  • 1962 All About Horses
  • 1962 Five O'Clock Charlie, illus. Wesley Dennis
  • 1963 Stormy, Misty's Foal, illus. Wesley Dennis
  • 1964 Portfolio of Horse Paintings, illus. Wesley Dennis
  • 1964 White Stallion of Lipizza, illus. Wesley Dennis
  • 1966 Mustang, Wild Spirit of the West, illus. Robert Lougheed
  • 1969 Dear Readers and Riders; also published as Dear Marguerite Henry
  • 1971 Stories from Around the World
  • 1972 San Domingo, the Medicine Hat Stallion, illus. Robert Lougheed; also published as Peter Lundy and the Medicine Hat Stallion
  • 1975 The Little Fellow (revised), illus. Rich Rudish
  • 1976 A Pictorial Life Story of Misty
  • 1977 One Man's Horse
  • 1980 The Illustrated Marguerite Henry
  • 1984 Our First Pony, illus. Rich Rudish
  • 1989 Herds of Thunder, Manes of Gold, including a contribution by Henry
  • 1992 Misty's Twilight, illus. Karen Haus Grandpre
  • 1993 Album of Horses: A Pop-Up Book, illus. Ezra N. Tucker
  • 1996 Brown Sunshine of Sawdust Valley, illus. Bonnie Shields
  • 1997 My Misty Diary, illus. Bill Farnsworth

Pictured Geography series[edit]

[clarification needed]

  • 1941 Alaska in Story and Pictures
  • 1941 Argentina in Story and Pictures
  • 1941 Brazil in Story and Pictures
  • 1941 Canada in Story and Pictures
  • 1941 Chile in Story and Pictures (Albert Whitman), 28-page picture book illustrated by Kurt Wiese[12]
  • 1941 Mexico in Story and Pictures
  • 1941 Panama in Story and Pictures
  • 1941 West Indies in Story and Pictures
  • 1946 Australia in Story and Pictures
  • 1946 Bahamas in Story and Pictures
  • 1946 Bermuda in Story and Pictures
  • 1946 British Honduras in Story and Pictures
  • 1946 Dominican Republic in Story and Pictures
  • 1946 Hawaii in Story and Pictures, illus. Kurt Wiese
  • 1946 New Zealand in Story and Pictures
  • 1946 Virgin Islands in Story and Pictures

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Marguerite Henry". Encyclopedia of World Biography. 2004.
  2. ^ a b Newbery Medal and Honor Books, 1922–Present. Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC). American Library Association (ALA).
      "The John Newbery Medal". ALSC. ALA. Retrieved 2013-08-29.
  3. ^ Marguerite Henry, 95, Author Of the 'Chincoteague' Series.
  4. ^ Marguerite Henry, Dear Readers and Riders, New York: Rand McNally & Company, 1969, p. 200.
  5. ^ Newbery Medal Books: 1922–1955, eds. Bertha Mahony Miller, Elinor Whitney Field, Horn Book, 1955, LOC 55-13968, p. 322.
  6. ^ Marguerite Henry, Dear Readers and Riders, New York: Rand McNally & Company, 1969, p. 207.
  7. ^ Inspired Animation: The Art of Wesley Dennis.
  8. ^ William Allen White Children's Book Award Past Winners.
  9. ^ Children's Sequoyah Winners.
  10. ^ The Society of Midland Authors
  11. ^ National Cowboy Museum
  12. ^ Chile in Story and Picture.
  • Collins, David R. (1999) Write a book for me: The story of Marguerite Henry, Morgan Reynolds, Inc. 112 pp.
  • "Marguerite Henry 1902-1997." Publisher's Weekly 15 December. 1997:27.
  • Mooar, Brian. "Marguerite Henry Wrote 'Misty of Chincoteague'". Washington Post thirty eight Nov. 1997, national ed.:106.
  • "Chincoteague Island Homepage" Retrieved 2001-05-03.

External links[edit]

Film adaptations