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Children's LiteratureAlec and the Black, his proud, fast Arabian horse, make an awesome team. Alec respects the Black; he anticipates and responds to the horse's needs in a forthright, caring way. Alec would never place his horse in harm's way, but circumstances isolate the boy and his horse. They find themselves trying to overcome dangers created by their new environment and by one who has a score to settle with the Black. Suspenseful writing, vibrant characters and a plot filled with action drive this adventure story to its exciting conclusion. Although this book was originally published in the 1950s, its story will resonate with today's middle school and adolescent readers. Horse lovers will appreciate the Black's distinctive personality, independent and sharp and able to outrun his peers. When Alec and Henry Dailey, the Black's trainer, visit a nearby horse farm, they aren't prepared for what they find—three yearlings (supposedly bred in Spain) that are carbon copies of the Black. Shaken by what they see, Alec and Henry remark that these yearlings are "everything we've tried to breed...and haven't." The pair is driven to find the stud that fathered these horses. This journey takes them and the Black across the Atlantic and over mountains in their quest. This smartly written adventure story will enchant readers, who will be happy to learn that this is just one installment in "The Black Stallion Series" by the author. 2004 (orig. 1957), Random House Children's Books, Ages 10 up.
—Jeanne K. Pettenati, J.D.