The beloved story of Misty of Chincoteague ends with Misty still a foal. It was the perfect setup for a sequel. Fans of the 1947 Newbery Honor title by Marguerite Henry, prolific writer of horse books, begged her to write another Misty book. They wanted to know what happened next to the pretty palomino pinto pony they had fallen in love with as they read about her adventures on Chincoteague Island with the Beebes.
Marguerite determined to never, ever write a sequel. In fact, she encouraged her young readers who asked for a second book to instead, "dream up your own wonderful sequels." Young readers sent Marguerite Henry fan mail and gave her storylines for the pony. She could have a foal. She could solve mysteries. She could join the circus. Marguerite politely declined all these ideas, and firmly resolved to leave the Chincoteague story and characters behind as she sought out new exciting stories.
Her firm resolve dissolved when she heard that a young colt was discovered on Chincoteague, nuzzling his dead mother. An orphan colt storyline intrigued her and she set off for Chincoteague to bring the story of the foal to life. And that is the genesis of the story Sea Star, Orphan of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry.
I had not read Sea Star for decades, but recently re-read it as part of my research for my book, part equestrian memoir, part Marguerite Henry biography Marguerite, Misty and Me: a Horse Girl's Hunt for the Hidden History of Marguerite Henry and her Chincoteague Pony. It did not disappoint.
I thought it was cute that Marguerite never did call Sea Star a sequel to Misty of Chincoteague, but instead referred to it as a PostScript. I hope you will read both Sea Star and Marguerite, Misty and Me. Let me know what you think of them both.