Picture of author.

Mary O'Hara (1) (1885–1980)

Author of My Friend Flicka

For other authors named Mary O'Hara, see the disambiguation page.

22+ Works 3,756 Members 28 Reviews

Series

Works by Mary O'Hara

My Friend Flicka (1941) 2,302 copies
Thunderhead (1943) 642 copies
Green Grass of Wyoming (1946) 414 copies
Wyoming Summer (1963) 79 copies
The Catch Colt (1964) 51 copies
My Friend Flicka Part 1 (1966) 29 copies
My Friend Flicka Part 2 (1971) 25 copies
Thunderhead Part 2 (1966) 18 copies
Thunderhead Part 1 (1966) 14 copies
The Son of Adam Wyngate (1952) 11 copies

Associated Works

Flicka [2006 film] (2007) — Original book — 161 copies
Best Loved Books for Young Readers 03 (1847) — Contributor — 110 copies
Herds of Thunder, Manes of Gold (1989) — Contributor — 38 copies
Flicka 2 [2010 film] (2010) — Based on the book by — 28 copies
Great Short Stories of the World (1965) — Contributor — 25 copies
The Best American Short Stories 1942 (1942) — Contributor — 4 copies
The New Roger Caras Treasury of Great Horse Stories (1999) — Contributor — 3 copies
My Friend Flicka, The Apprentice, Old Ben — Contributor — 1 copy

Tagged

Common Knowledge

Legal name
Alsop, Mary O'Hara
Other names
Sture-Vasa, Mary
Birthdate
1885-07-10
Date of death
1980-10-14
Gender
female
Nationality
USA
Country (for map)
USA
Birthplace
Cape May Point, New Jersey, USA
Place of death
Chevy Chase, Maryland, USA
Places of residence
Cape May Point, New Jersey, USA
Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn, New York, USA
Los Angeles, California, USA
Laramie County, Wyoming, USA
Monroe, Connecticut, USA
Chevy Chase, Maryland, USA
Occupations
screenwriter
composer
Relationships
Alsop, Gulielma Fell (sister)
Short biography
Mary O'Hara, née Alsop, was born in Cape May Point, New Jersey to a clergyman's family. Her older sister became the physician and writer Gulielma Fell Alsop. In 1905, Mary married a distant cousin, Kent Kane Parrot, against her father's wishes. After their divorce, she worked in Hollywood as a screenwriter for silent films; her credits included the The Prisoner of Zenda (1922). In 1922, she remarried to Helge Sture-Vasa, born in Sweden, and moved with him to a sheep ranch in Laramie County, Wyoming. The Great Depression ruined the sheep market, so they began breeding horses and running a summer camp for boys. Mary began writing Wyoming ranch stories. Her best-known and loved works were from this period, including the trilogy My Friend Flicka (1941), Thunderhead (1943), and Green Grass of Wyoming (1946). She also wrote a novella, The Catch Colt, and Wyoming Summer, based on her diaries. After Mary and her second husband divorced, she moved back East, and continued to write fiction and nonfiction for children and adults. She also was a talented pianist and composer of piano works and musicals. In 1966, she published an account of writing, composing and producing called A Musical in the Making.

Members

Reviews

It seems Ken can't do anything right. He loses saddle blankets and breaks reins... but then comes the worst news yet: a report card so bad that he has to repeat a grade. How can you tame the dreamy mind of a boy who stares out of the window instead of taking an exam? Enter Flicka, the chestnut filly with a wild spirit. Over the course of one magical summer, both will learn the meaning of responsibility, courage, and, ultimately, friendship.
 
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PlumfieldCH | 13 other reviews | Dec 21, 2023 |
Month of January 2022: Young Reader’s Classics

READING LEVEL: 6.0 AR POINTS: 15.0
(Ages 8-12 years, grades 3-7)
Originally published in 1941.


3.5 rounded up to 4...better than average, not a great story...but a good story

You will see a lot of the author’s own life sprinkled into this novel. The question is...just how much is of her life? She used her own real 130-acre ranch, which sat over 7500 feet in altitude between Cheyenne and Laramie, Wyoming, as the setting. In the story, Ken McLaughlin’s father is an ex-Army officer. The author was really married at the time, living on the ranch and writing this book, married to a Swede named Helge Sture-Vasa. He previously worked with horses in the U.S. Army Remount Service. The name “Flicka” is Swedish for little girl. The McLaughlin family in the story had a Swedish foreman working for them. Also, the author had a son named Kent. In the novel, the protagonist is named Ken.

Ken McLaughlin's father was MEAN! Constantly insulting and cutting him down. Screaming and hollering, “You cost me money every time I turn around”, “I didn’t think you’d amount to anything”, or just downright calling him lazy and good for nothing. He was also constantly snapping at everyone around him, barking orders, and having everyone walking on eggshells, especially his wife who was constantly trying to console him to ease his temper against Ken...who he literally treated like he hated. Some might call this "tough love", but, at times it was extreme.

So, where does this come from? Was this really the character of the author’s own Swede husband, her second husband, who’s marriage dissolved after 11 years. Or could this have been her father’s actions toward her growing up years? Mary's father was a Reverend, and against his wishes, she married her third cousin, Kent Parrot? Was Mary really the dreamy, insecure little kid portrayed in Ken’s character? Or was this Kent Parrot's character? Their marriage also dissolved. I wonder!!! So, this was how I was reading the story, trying to figure out what was real. One thing is for sure, she SURE DID KNOW A LOT ABOUT RAISING AND BREEDING HORSES! And by the time you finish reading this, you will also know how much work goes into breeding and training them.

This is a slow, meandering type of story, which I love because it’s outdoors. Ken is a dreamer because he obviously feels like the failure his father makes him feel like in life. He’s awkward. He’s clumsy. He ruins just about everything. He has a habit of drifting off into la-la land, dreaming of places he loves, things he loves, but mainly of a horse of his own. He fails 5th grade because he doesn’t turn in a 2-page report because he was busy daydreaming in class and now has to repeat. His father is irate because now it’s going to cost him more money. But, his mother gets him. She talks some sense into the cranky old man, and they decide to allow Ken to choose one colt to raise and train up because Ken needs to feel successful of at least something.

Ken picks out the most unlikely rambunctious colt from a bad blood bronco. Of course, his father shows total lack of faith that Ken can train this pony and points it out at every opportunity. But, Ken does it. Slowly but surely, he wins over the trust and love of this horse named Flicka. This turns out to be a good little story of what love and perseverance can bring. Not great, but good! I didn’t like the daddy being downright hateful at times.

I did think I was the only mother in the world whose kids thought their mother never slept. I had three kids and each one of them, from age 2 to 4 years, would quietly walk into our bedroom and to my side of the bed at around 4:00am in the mornings. I’d sit up before they even got there and ask, “What it is sweety? You need to cuddle?” I’d slide over and they climb in bed for a couple of hours. Well, when my son was four years old, he literally asked me what Ken in the story asked his mom, “Don’t you ever sleep at all, Mother?” She always seemed awake every time Ken walked into the room and reached her bedside. haha….

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mary O’Hara Alsop, born July 10 1885 in Cape May Point, New Jersey. She was the third of four children born to Reverend Reese Alsop and Mary Spring. Mary O’Hara, her artist name, married her 3rd cousin, Kent Kane Parrot, in 1905 and had two children: Mary Parrot (b. 1908-1995) and Kent Parrot Jr. (1911-1995). Their marriage dissolved.

In 1922, she married a Swede by the name of Helge Sture-Vasa. He was the horseman. In 1930, they bought the Remount Ranch in Southeastern Wyoming, in Laramie County, which provided beautiful views for her writing inspiration but not much profit due to the Great Depression. They raised sheep and bred horses. It was here she wrote the trilogy, her most cherished works: My Friend Flicka, Thunderhead and Green Grass of Wyoming. They lived there until 1946, sold it and moved to California. Their marriage dissolved one year after moving to California.

She then moved to Connecticut and continued to write plays and musicals and novels. In 1968, she moved to Chevy Chase, Maryland, and lived until her death on October 14, 1980. She died at age 95.

TRILOGY SERIES

#1 My Friend Flicka (1941)
#2 Thunderhead (1943)
#3 Green Grass of Wyoming (1946)

BOOK-TO-MOVIE

1943 - “My Friend Flicka”, starring Roddy MacDowell
1945 - “Thunderhead, Son of Flicka”, starring Roddy McDowall, Preston Foster, and Rita Johnson.
1948 - “Green Grass of Wyoming”, starring Peggy Cummins, Charles Coburn and Robert Arthur.
2006 - “Flicka”, the protagonist is a girl instead of a boy, played by Alison Lohman, also starring Maria Bello, Ryan Kwanten and country singer Tim McGraw.

TV SERIES

“My Friend Flicka” - ran from 1956-1956 & again between 1959 and 1966, then ran again in the mid ‘80s.
… (more)
 
Flagged
MissysBookshelf | 13 other reviews | Aug 27, 2023 |
Het derde deel opnieuw gelezen. Ik wist er weinig meer van maar ik heb genoten van de natuurbeschrijvingen. Kan me voorstellen dat ik het vroeger wat uitgesponnen en langdradig vond, maar nu vind ik dit wel het beste deel van de serie.
 
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elsmvst | 4 other reviews | Nov 13, 2021 |
Een wat minder boek dan het eerste deel met een erbovenop liggende moraal. Het deel over de huwelijksproblemen vond ik vrij taai. Verder herinnerde ikme wel het een en ander uit de eerste keer dat ik het boek las: de worsteling met de eagle en het opblazen van de rotsen met dynamiet.
 
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elsmvst | 4 other reviews | Jun 10, 2021 |

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Works
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Popularity
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Rating
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ISBNs
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