The Black Stallion

The Black Stallion

4.7 139
by Walter Farley

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First published in 1941, Walter Farley's best-selling novel for young readers is the triumphant tale of a boy and a wild horse. From Alec Ramsay and the Black's first meeting on an ill-fated ship to their adventures on a desert island and their eventual rescue, this beloved story will hold the rapt attention of readers new and old.

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First published in 1941, Walter Farley's best-selling novel for young readers is the triumphant tale of a boy and a wild horse. From Alec Ramsay and the Black's first meeting on an ill-fated ship to their adventures on a desert island and their eventual rescue, this beloved story will hold the rapt attention of readers new and old.

This book has been selected as a Common Core State Standards Text Exemplar (Grades 4-5, Stories) in Appendix B.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Pulled to a desert island by a wild black stallion he has freed during a shipwreck at sea, then rescued by a southbound freighter, a seventeen year old boy befriends the horse, trains him by night, and rides him to victory in a match race. Available for more than fifty years, this story will appeal to girls and boys who dream of owning and riding a horse.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3 Farley has undertaken another adaptation of his perpetually popular book, this time for readers not yet ready to tackle his The Black Stallion Picture Book (Random, 1979). This version is based on the ``Wild horse rescues boy'' segment of both the original story and the 1979 movie tie-in, from which a few sentences are repeated word-for-word. Writing in a bare-bones primer style, the author has pared down the adventures of Alec and the Black to a basic plot. Short, simple sentences describe the shipwreck, the struggle to survive, and the rescue that are already familiar to the millions of children who have seen the movie. Although the text is unremarkable, the illustrations succeed in recapturing the thrills of the ultimate child/horse fantasy. Drawing in pen-and-ink with a watercolor wash, Rabinowitz portrays the Black stallion as an exquisite, long-legged Arabian, with a strong resemblance to the real-life equine star, ``Cass Ole.'' Double-page spreads alternate with single-page illustrations, and they serve to convey the story independent of the text. Combined with the obvious appeal of the subject, the effective artwork makes this book a sure-fire winner for young horse fanciers. Charlene Strickland, Los Angeles County Public Library, Valencia
From the Publisher
"The Black Stallion is about the most famous fictional horse of the century." --The New York Times

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Black Stallion
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Random House
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File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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Read an Excerpt

Homeward Bound


The tramp steamer Drake plowed away from the coast of India and pushed its blunt prow into the Arabian Sea, homeward bound. Slowly it made its way west toward the Gulf of Aden. Its hold was loaded with coffee, rice, tea, oil seeds and jute. Black smoke poured from its one stack, darkening the hot cloudless sky.

Alexander Ramsay, known to his friends back home in New York City as Alec, leaned over the rail and watched the water slide away from the sides of the boat. His red hair blazed redder than ever in the hot sun; his tanned elbows rested heavily on the rail as he turned his freckled face back toward the fast-disappearing shore.

It had been fun--those two months in India. He would miss Uncle Ralph, miss the days they had spent together in the jungle, even the screams of the panthers and the many eerie sounds of the jungle night. Never again would he think of a missionary's work as easy work. No, sir, you had to be big and strong, able to ride horseback for long hours through the tangled jungle paths. Alec glanced down proudly at the hard muscles in his arms. Uncle Ralph had taught him how to ride--the one thing in the world he had always wanted to do.

But it was all over now. Rides back home would be few.

His fist opened. Lovingly he surveyed the pearl pocketknife he held there. The inscription on it was in gold: To Alec on his birthday, Bombay, India. He remembered, too, his uncle's words: "A knife, Alec, comes in handy sometimes."

Suddenly a large hand descended on his shoulder. "Well, m'boy, you're on your way home," a gruff voice said, with a decidedly English accent.

Alec looked up into the captain's wrinkled, wind-tanned face. "Hello, Captain Watson," he answered. "It's rather a long way home, though, sir. To England with you and then to New York on the Majestic."

"About four weeks' sailing all in all, lad, but you look like a pretty good sailor."

"I am, sir. I wasn't sick once all the way over and we had a rough crossing, too," Alec said proudly.

"When'd you come over, lad?"

"In June, sir, with some friends of my father's. They left me with my uncle in Bombay. You know my Uncle Ralph, don't you? He came aboard with me and spoke to you."

"Yes, I know your Uncle Ralph. A fine man, too. . . . And now you're going home alone?"

"Yes, sir! School opens next month and I have to be there."

The captain smiled and took Alec by the arm. "Come along," he said. "I'll show you how we steer this ship and what makes it go."

The captain and crew were kind to Alec, but the days passed monotonously for the homeward-bound boy as the Drake steamed its way through the Gulf of Aden and into the Red Sea. The tropic sun beat down mercilessly on the heads of the few passengers aboard.

The Drake kept near the coast of Arabia--endless miles of barren desert shore. But Alec's thoughts were not on the scorching sand. Arabia--where the greatest horses in the world were bred! Did other fellows dream of horses the way he did? To him, a horse was the greatest animal in the world.

Then one day the Drake headed for a small Arabian port. As they approached the small landing, Alec saw a crowd of Arabs milling about in great excitement. Obviously it was not often that a boat stopped there.

But, as the gangplank went down with a bang, Alec could see that it wasn't the ship itself that was attracting all the attention. The Arabs were crowding toward the center of the landing. Alec heard a whistle--shrill, loud, clear, unlike anything he had ever heard before. He saw a mighty black horse rear on its hind legs, its forelegs striking out into the air. A white scarf was tied across its eyes. The crowd broke and ran.

White lather ran from the horse's body; his mouth was open, his teeth bared. He was a giant of a horse, glistening black--too big to be pure Arabian. His mane was like a crest, mounting, then falling low. His neck was long and slender, and arched to the small, savagely beautiful head. The head was that of the wildest of all wild creatures--a stallion born wild--and it was beautiful, savage, splendid. A stallion with a wonderful physical perfection that matched his savage, ruthless spirit.

Once again the Black screamed and rose on his hind legs. Alec could hardly believe his eyes and ears--a stallion, a wild stallion--unbroken, such as he had read and dreamed about!

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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From the Publisher
"The Black Stallion is about the most famous fictional horse of the century." —The New York Times

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The Black Stallion 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 139 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I first picked up this book, I thought this book would be EXCEDINGLY boring. This is because I tried reading 'Black Beauty' earlier, and found it REALLY,REALLY boring. But as soon as I started reading it, I was not able to put it down! It's a wonderful story. I highly recommend it for anyone who loves horses!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a classic and a great read for those who love horses. It was a great prelude to watching the movie, which is another classic. The six year old little girl I take care of enjoyed it and is excited to read the next book in the series.
Kelly_Dew More than 1 year ago
Bravo Bravo!! It is a book you want to re-read every few years. Great characters as well as an amazing story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
No one can narrate a horse race like Walter Farley! His prose is descriptive and compelling, and he truly brings to life the noble spirit of the horse. The entire series is a must-read for horse fans and lovers of good fiction alike.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful series, which I read in the 1950's when I was a teenager. I am getting it now for my great niece, with whom I share a love of horses.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I won't elaberate because other reviewers have, but this is a must read book. Once you read it, you will definately want to finish the rest of the series. You don't have to be a horse lover to love this book. Can be enjoyed by all ages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This Book is AWSOME! I don't have it on Nook, but I have the whole PAPERBACK collection and Breyer Model Horses The Black Stallion and Island Stallion! I completely reccomend this sieres to ANYBODY who dosnt not like Horses! This seires has Adventure, Horse Racing, and Horse Love and it will keep you READING for a while! Alec the main character is in a boat crash and the Black is with him and they have an adventure, throughout the sieres there is alot of Racing, Training, and Freindmaking! They Travel the world together! From a 10 Year Old!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a new writing style, absolutely nothing can match it! Farley did a outstanding job with this book. It will forever change the way you feel about horses. Enjoy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is great they have a movie snd even a breyer horse of the black. This book is great and highly reccomended. Trust me this book will wow you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a very good book for horse lovers like me.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Black STallion is such a great book. Its for horse lovers and even non horse lovers will be charmed by the great book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best book i've ever read. If you like horses, you will love this book. Walter Farley really pulls you into the book, with great details to the dialouge of every character. This book deserves 6 stars.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Being shipwrecked with a wild stallion isn't easy, which is what Alec Ramsey finds out the hard way. After the wreck of the ocean liner the Drake, Alec must find food for himself and the stallion which he calls the Black. Days pass and with no sign of any rescue ship, Alec begins to loose hope. Suddenly, Alec sees two men rowing ashore to rescue him. They take Alec and the Black on another ship where he is taken back home to New York. Alec is allowed to keep the Black at the Dailey's stables which is right down the street from his house. With the help of Henry Dailey, Alec trains the Black into a competitive race horse. Meanwhile, the two greatest horses in the country are schelduled to race in Chicago only weeks away. Henry and Alec enter the Black into this race. Will the Black be fast enough to beat Sun Raider and Cyclone the fastest horses in the country? Find out when you read The black Stallion. This is a heart warming story that shows that hard work and determination really do pay off. I would recomend this book to anyone that likes a book that is packed with adventure!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The racing was out of this world.I'd rather read this book all day than play video games or anthing else!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful book for people that enjoy action, horses, and adventure. You'll love it!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I chose this book because when I first saw it. it looked interesting.I thought it was about a horse on a farm.It wasn't what I thought it what I expected, but I still feel the same about the book when I first saw it. This book was about a black stallion who met a boy named Alec.They bothwent on a ship to go home.Unfortunetly they were shipwrecked.The black Stallion saved his live by pulling him to shore.Then were saved on another ship.Another journey then happened.They were destined to be with other for the lives they both saved each other.Hope if they made home save. I liked this book because it was exciting and adventurous, but I didn't disliked at all.If I could I would read this book for every book report in my whole life. Everyone should read this book.Any age throghout the world should read this book because of how two, one who was a boy and another wild and tame, grown a deep friendship.You would absolutly love this book!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I don't want to give it a 5, I want to give it a 10+. I read this book already 3 times and I never get sick of it. If you have not read it, start readin!
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's been many years for me since I read the series.. As a teenager I said goodbye to the them.. I can't say enough about these books.. Readers will ejoy beautifully written tales about a Boy and His Horse, and wonderful imagery that draws you in.. I'm going to start collecting these again.. A 'must read' for a starter..
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book is the most extrodinary book I'v read. I love horses. I recomend this book to all horse lovers. I'ts the best book in the whole world.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Black Stallion rules! This is a enchanting story about a boy named Alec who is shipped wrecked. He grabs hold of the stallions halter and is dragged threw ragging seas to the safety of an island. There, the wild stallion and the boy gained aunbreakable, remarkable, bond. Then they are rescued. The boy keeps the stalli0n, and ( with the help of Henry)trains him to race.
Guest More than 1 year ago
if you love horses and adventure, this is the book for you. a kid named alec goes home from India aboard the Drake. The ship sinks but the great big black stallion aboard drags him to safety. though the stallion is wild and untamed, there grows a bond between these two species. read more for exciting, thrilling reactions!
Anonymous 5 days ago
I have this book so i dont realy need to buy this book. Other wise it is pretty awsome.
Anonymous 8 days ago
Now i want to see the movie!!! P.S anyone want to chat
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book ever!!!