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Black Beauty

Overview

A handsome horse with a glossy black coat and a pretty white star on his forehead, Black Beauty seems to lead a charmed life. Although his mother warns him that there are 'bad, cruel men' in the world, he begins his life in a happy home, with a friendly groom to look after him and plenty to eat. However, when a change of circumstances means that he is sold, he soon discovers the truth of his mother's words. Anna Sewell's moving story is one of the best-loved animal adventures ...
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Overview

A handsome horse with a glossy black coat and a pretty white star on his forehead, Black Beauty seems to lead a charmed life. Although his mother warns him that there are 'bad, cruel men' in the world, he begins his life in a happy home, with a friendly groom to look after him and plenty to eat. However, when a change of circumstances means that he is sold, he soon discovers the truth of his mother's words. Anna Sewell's moving story is one of the best-loved animal adventures ever written.
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Editorial Reviews

VOYA
The historical sidebars in Black Beauty mostly deal with what English life in the nineteenth century was like, but a few specifically deal with horses. They can be distracting if you're trying to follow the story. Unless you're really interested in details of that time period, don't think that this book is any better than another version, although the illustrations might make it easier for younger readers to enjoy, $17.99 Trade pb. Illus. VOYA CODES: 4Q 3P M (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8). 2000, Viking/Penguin Putnam, 208p, $25.99. Ages 11 to 14. Reviewer: Kristen Moreland, Teen Reviewer SOURCE: VOYA, February 2002 (Vol. 24, No.6)
Children's Literature - Children's Literature
This summary of the Black Beauty story is profusely illustrated with full-color drawings of horses, clothing, and artifacts of Victorian England. An introduction explains the context of the story and its impact on the care and treatment of horses. Ten short chapters follow, carefully capturing the essence of the original book. Sidebars feature photographs and illustrations with descriptions of words and terms that may not be familiar to young readers. A glossary in the back contributes to further understanding. Some biographical information about Sewell is included. This is a good introduction to both the study of horses and the enjoyment of horse stories. 2000, DK, Ages 7 to 10, $12.95 and $3.95. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer
School Library Journal
Gr 4-8-Anna Sewell's classic novel begins with Black Beauty's early days as a colt at his mother's side and follows him through each of his masters and jobs. It is written in a charmingly sophisticated voice that is easier for listeners to understand than to read; the language, tone, and sentence structure are a bit antiquated, suiting the time period in which the story was first published in 1877. Moral lessons are abundant in this tale told from the horse's point of view. A great deal of information about the nature and abilities of horses is imparted in a surprisingly grim first person narrative. The casual cruelty of man toward beast is expounded throughout the captivating story. Each character, man or horse, is compellingly and earnestly voiced by narrator Simon Vance. Sure to be popular with horse lovers.-Charli Osborne, Oxford Public Library, MI Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780394965758
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 10/12/1986
  • Series: Children's Classics Series
  • Pages: 72
  • Age range: 4 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 12.34 (h) x 0.45 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One



My Early Home



The first place that I can well remember was a large pleasant meadow with a pond of clear water in it. Some shady trees leaned over it, and rushes and water lilies grew at the deep end. Over the hedge on one side we looked into a plowed field, and on the other we looked over a gate at our master's house, which stood by the roadside; at the top of the meadow was a plantation of fir trees, and at the bottom a running brook overhung by a steep bank.

Whilst I was young I lived upon my mother's milk, as I could not eat grass. In the daytime I ran by her side, and at night I lay down close by her. When it was hot, we used to stand by the pond in the shade of the trees, and when it was cold, we had a nice warm shed near the plantation.

As soon as I was old enough to eat grass, my mother used to go out to work in the daytime, and came back in the evening.

There were six young colts in the meadow besides me; they were older than I was; some were nearly as large as grown-up horses. I used to run with them, and had great fun; we used to gallop all together round and round the field, as hard as we could go. Sometimes we had rather rough play, for they would frequently bite and kick as well as gallop.

One day, when there was a good deal of kicking, my mother whinnied to me to come to her, and then she said:

"I wish you to pay attention to what I am going to say to you. The colts who live here are very good colts, but they are cart-horse colts, and, of course, they have not learned manners. You have been well bred and well born; your father has a great name in these parts,and your grandfather won the cup two years at the Newmarket races; your grandmother had the sweetest temper of any horse I ever knew, and I think you have never seen me kick or bite. I hope you will grow up gentle and good, and never learn bad ways; do your work with a good will, lift your feet up well when you trot, and never bite or kick even in play."

I have never forgotten my mother's advice; I knew she was a wise old horse, and our master thought a great deal of her. Her name was Duchess, but he often called her Pet.

Our master was a good, kind man. He gave us good food, good lodging, and kind words; he spoke as kindly to us as he did to his little children. We were all fond of him, and my mother loved him very much. When she saw him at the gate, she would neigh with joy, and trot up to him. He would pat and stroke her and say, "Well, old Pet, and how is your little Darkie?" I was a dull black, so he called me Darkie; then he would give me a piece of bread, which was very good, and sometimes he brought a carrot for my mother. All the horses would come to him, but I think we were his favorites. My mother always took him to the town on a market day in a light gig.

There was a plowboy, Dick, who sometimes came into our field to pluck blackberries from the hedge. When he had eaten all he wanted, he would have what he called fun with the colts, throwing stones and sticks at them to make them gallop. We did not much mind him, for we could gallop off; but sometimes a stone would hit and hurt us.

One day he was at this game, and did not know that the master was in the next field; but he was there, watching what was going on: over the hedge he jumped in a snap, and catching Dick by the arm, he gave him such a box on the ear as made him roar with the pain and surprise. As soon as we saw the master, we trotted up nearer to see what went on.

"Bad boy!" he said. "Bad boy to chase the colts. This is not the first time, nor the second, but it shall be the last. There-take your money and go home, I shall not want you on my farm again." So we never saw Dick anymore. Old Daniel, the man who looked after the horses, was just as gentle as our master, so we were well off.

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Table of Contents

1 My Early Home 7
2 The Hunt 10
3 My Breaking In 14
4 Birtwick Park 19
5 A Fair Start 22
6 Liberty 26
7 Ginger 29
8 Ginger's Story Continued 34
9 Merrylegs 38
10 A Talk in the Orchard 41
11 Plain Speaking 48
12 A Stormy Day 52
13 The Devil's Trade Mark 56
14 James Howard 60
15 The Old Ostler 63
16 The Fire 66
17 John Manly's Talk 70
18 Going for the Doctor 74
19 Only Ignorance 78
20 Joe Green 80
21 The Parting 83
22 Earlshall 88
23 A Strike for Liberty 93
24 Lady Anne, or a Runaway Horse 98
25 Reuben Smith 104
26 How it Ended 108
27 Ruined, and Going Downhill 112
28 A Job Horse and his Drivers 116
29 Cockneys 120
30 A Thief 126
31 A Humbug 129
32 A Horse Fair 132
33 A London Cab Horse 136
34 An Old War Horse 140
35 Jerry Barker 146
36 The Sunday Cab 152
37 The Golden Rule 157
38 Dolly and a Real Gentleman 161
39 Seedy Sam 165
40 Poor Ginger 169
41 The Butcher 172
42 The Election 175
43 A Friend in Need 177
44 Old Captain and his Successor 181
45 Jerry's New Year 186
46 Jakes and the Lady 192
47 Hard Times 196
48 Farmer Thoroughgood and his Grandson Willie 201
49 My Last Home 205
About the Author 209
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2000

    Black Beauty

    This book is written in the voice of a horse. The horse is a gorgeous black stallion, well-named as Black Beauty. The story is set in 18th century London, and one learns of all the cruelties, mishaps and whatnot a horse may have to endure. The compassoinate voice does not whine - rather, he unwinds a sweet, sad story of a young horse, from birth to old age, who never lost his temper or hurt a human. He learned early on about the goodness of a sweet and gentle spirit, a spirit that seems to always be there when you need it most. The rich, wise voice sounds, to me, soft and husky, ever-calming. And if one loves animals, I warn you now. The vivid descriptions can move a lover of animals to tears. In this book, all horses, all animals have a life of their own, a life we often do not understand. All in all, this is a classic that people will, I think, always love. I read this in 4th grade, and yet, every time I read it, the adventure is still fresh and inviting, only waitng for someone to make the discovery.

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