Kathy Helidoniotis is the author of six books in the Horse Mad series and numerous other books for children. Horse-crazy herself, Helidoniotis divides her time between riding, writing, reading, and teaching.
Sydney-born author Kathy Helidoniotis published the first book in her 'Totally Horse Mad' series in 2006. Since then there have been five more, including this novel, Horse Mad Heights, due for publication in February 2009. Kathy has published seven picture books, including numerous ABC titles such as 'The Wiggles' and 'Bananas in Pyjamas'. The inspiration for her 'Horse Mad' series comes from her own experiences of riding since the age of six, and being totally horse-mad herself. This novel centres around Ashleigh, who wins a scholarship to Linley Heights, the only school that has a riding program included in the curriculum, and allows horses to be stabled on campus. Ashleigh faces the prospect of new friends, a new school, living away from home, a compulsively hygienic roommate who hates horses, and the animosity of India, who wants the scholarship for herself. Helidoniotis is very descriptive about the treatment of horses, emphasising the knowledge and experience she has on the subject. From my experience as a bookseller, girls aged seven to 13 cannot read enough books about horses, so this novel will appeal to that market in particular, as well as being popular with readers of the author's previous books. Sharon Athanasos is a former bookseller