Black Beauty with CD: The Autobiography of a Horse

Overview

The world's greatest horse story, brought to life in a new book-plus-audio edition.

Black Beauty teaches everyone he meets the true meaning of courage and loyalty. From escaping a burning barn to saving the life of his owner, every day is full of adventure. But he longs for a family to love him for the gentle horse he is. Will he ever find the perfect home?

Hear Black Beauty read by Jonathan Keeble, who ...

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(Book and CD)
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Overview

The world's greatest horse story, brought to life in a new book-plus-audio edition.

Black Beauty teaches everyone he meets the true meaning of courage and loyalty. From escaping a burning barn to saving the life of his owner, every day is full of adventure. But he longs for a family to love him for the gentle horse he is. Will he ever find the perfect home?

Hear Black Beauty read by Jonathan Keeble, who appeared in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.

With the included audio you can HEAR the entire book, word for word, READ ALONG with the audio, or READ the story on your own.

Each HEAR IT READ IT classic presents the world's greatest stories in an easy-to-read abridged format. The included audio contains a dramatic reading-with music and sound effects-that match the text, word for word, so children of all ages and reading levels can read along.

Perfect for high-level young readers experiencing the classics for the first time and also ideally accessible for "reluctant readers," HEAR IT READ IT classics give young readers the best possible introduction to the world's timeless tales. It's a terrific way for adults to re-experience the thrills of a classic tale, too!

Add other Hear It Read It classics to your library, including:
--King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table
--The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
--The Secret Garden
--And more...

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this abridgement of Sewell's classic story, McKinley has managed nicely to retain Beauty's unique voice as well as the most-remembered stories, while making the text more accessible to younger readers. Jeffers's fine ink illustrations will satisfy even the most demanding of horse-lovers with her ability to capture each horse's personality. This version brings back the sharpness of the cruelty towards Beauty and his companions, and McKinley has rightfully retained the pain and the ugliness of some of the incidents. Children will still weep at the death of Ginger, and Jeffers's portrayal of the barn fire is quite frightening. It's an elegant edition, which will linger with readers until they are ready to tackle the original. (All ages
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
It's the straight story, which has been around for over one hundred years. In this edition, beautiful color plates and almost one hundred black-and-white drawings by Lucy Kemp-Welch enhance the story. Black Beauty was Anna Sewell's only book. She wanted to raise the awareness of people to stop abuse and mistreatment of these majestic animals, while providing a story that lets the reader experience the horse's life. She succeeded beyond her wildest dreams with this thrilling and heartwarming story. Peter Glassman provides an Afterword. This version is perfect for gift giving and a great book for reading aloud.
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
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)
School Library Journal
Gr 2-5 Sewell's classic tale of ahorse's fortunes and adversities has been a favorite since it was written over 100 years ago. Now McKinley offers a new abridgment which, while honing the original almost to spareness, loses none of the beauty of Sewell's poetic prose. Although some of the less important incidents and descriptive passages have necessarily been omitted, there is still every essential element of the plot here to delight readers as Black Beauty's story unfolds. But it is Jeffers' illustrations (pen-and-ink with watercolor wash) that bring this book to a level above the ordinary. Intensely yet sensitively wrought, there is a fine attention to detail, down to veins and quivering nostrils. The horses are never allowed to descend to the anthropomorphic tone of the text, and although Jeffers' human portrayals suffer by comparison with their equine counterparts, they are nonetheless keenly done. Given the demand for simpler versions of children's classics, this one won't stay on the shelf long; it is wonderful as a read-aloud, or for independent readers. Kathleen Brachmann, Highland Park Public Library, Ill.
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: 9781402211683
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/1/2008
  • Series: Hear It Read It Classics
  • Edition description: Book and CD
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 686,268
  • Age range: 7 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: 860L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Anna Sewell was born on March 30, 1820, in England. A childhood injury prevented her from walking well, so she spent much time riding in horse-drawn carriages. She originally wrote Black Beauty to encourage others to treat horses with kindness; little did she know the book would become a best-selling novel. Black Beauty was Sewell's only novel; however, she is remembered for her many efforts to improve the treatment of animals.
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Read an Excerpt

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.

While 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 come 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 carthorse 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. Yourgrandmother 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.

CHAPTER 2

The Hunt

I was two years old when a circumstance happened which I have never forgotten. It was early in the spring; there had been a little frost in the night, and a light mist still hung over the plantations and meadows. I and the other colts were feeding at the lower part of the field when we heard, quite in the distance, what sounded like the cry of dogs. The oldest of the colts raised his head, pricked his ears, and said, "There are the hounds!" and immediately cantered off, followed by the rest of us to the upper part of the field, where we could look over the hedge and see several fields beyond. My mother and an old riding horse of our master's were also standing near, and seemed to know all about it.

"They have found a hare," said my mother, "and if they come this way we shall see the hunt."

And soon the dogs were all tearing down the field of young wheat next to ours. I never heard such a noise as they made. They did not bark, nor howl, nor whine, but kept on a "yo! yo, o, o! yo! yo, o, o!" at the top of their voices. After them came a number of men on horseback, some of them in green coats, all galloping as fast as they could. The old horse snorted and looked eagerly after them, and we young colts wanted to be galloping with them, but they were soon away into the fields lower down. Here it seemed as if they had come to a stand; the dogs left off barking and ran about every way with their noses to the ground.
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: The Hunt
Chapter 2: My Breaking In
Chapter 3: A Fair Start
Chapter 4: Life at Birtwick
Chapter 5: The Storm and the Fire
Chapter 6: Going for the Doctor
Chapter 7: The Accident with Reuben Smith
Chapter 8: A Ruined Horse
Chapter 9: A New Start as a Cab Horse
Chapter 10: Election Day
Chapter 11: New Year's Eve
Chapter 12: Hard Times with Nicholas Skinner
Chapter 13: A New Beginning
Chapter 14: My Last Home

About the Author

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