Pit Pony author reflected Nova Scotia life

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CBC News reports that Nova Scotia children’s author Joyce Barkhouse has died following a heart attack. She was 98.

The author of eight books and many children’s stories, she was probably best known for Pit Pony, the story of a boy and his horse working in the Cape Breton coal mines, which was published in 1990. The book was made into a Gemini-winning film in 1997 and spun off into a 44-episode series in 1999.

Barkhouse came late to professional writing. Her first published book, George Dawson: The Little Giant, came out in 1974 when she was a 61-year-old grandmother.

Many of her works reflected Nova Scotia life. Long-time friend Janet Lunn, a children’s author herself, told the CBC that Barkhouse was “Nova Scotia through and through.”

“She loved Nova Scotia like no other place all her life,”

In 2007, Barkhouse received the Order of Nova Scotia and in 2009 she became a member of the Order of Canada. She was also an honorary life member of the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia and of the Writers’ Union of Canada.

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