Blind Beauty

( 15 )

Overview

Tessa has an impossible dream: to ride her great-hearted horse, Buffoon, in the Grand National. But who will support her plan to become a jockey? She's been repeatedly kicked out of boarding school, and her rich stepfather hates her. And could the sometimes clumsy, nearly blind Buffoon ever be expected to survive such a difficult racecourse?

Tessa pursues her dream across troubled teenage years while growing in responsibility, self-respect, ...
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Overview

Tessa has an impossible dream: to ride her great-hearted horse, Buffoon, in the Grand National. But who will support her plan to become a jockey? She's been repeatedly kicked out of boarding school, and her rich stepfather hates her. And could the sometimes clumsy, nearly blind Buffoon ever be expected to survive such a difficult racecourse?

Tessa pursues her dream across troubled teenage years while growing in responsibility, self-respect, and understanding. A magnificent steeplechase, thrillingly evoked, caps this vivid, romantic, fast-paced novel by a writer who is the undisputed master of exploring the bonds between horses and people.

Teenage Tessa's passion for riding and her love for an ugly horse named Buffoon help her endure an unhappy life in the English countryside with a hateful stepfather.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
When Tessa's parents split up and she is torn from the side of Shiner, the eyeless mare she has doted on since early childhood, Tessa grows into an angry and rebellious spitfire. Kicked out of every school that tries to tame her, the 12-year-old is at last sent as an unwilling worker to the small farm run by tenants of her nasty stepfather (a man whose vices include cruelty, the glaring ostentation of the nouveau riche and--perhaps worst of all, by this book's standards--no true feeling for racing and horses). On the farm, Tessa sulks and scowls until she discovers that Buffoon, the awkward, gangling new horse she's been assigned to care for, is--in a bit of forgivable novelistic coincidence--the offspring of her long-lost Shiner. With Buffoon as the new focus of her prodigious energies, the headstrong girl struggles against numerous obstacles in order to eventually achieve the goal of riding her charge in the Grand National. British author Peyton's (Snowfall) knowledge of the racing world is thorough enough that readers will likely overlook a few halting shifts in point of view and some sloppy writing (e.g., "As well as running the home, she did the paperwork for both the farm and the racing department and ran a poultry business as well," Tessa observes of the woman who runs the tenant farm). Her distinctively cadenced prose ("And an idiotic smile lit up her face, Tom could almost feel it, like an electric fire. What a girl!") keeps the narrative galloping at a cracking pace. Ages 12-up. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
VOYA
Tessa is young when her parents' divorce forces her to leave her favorite horse, a blind mare named Shiner. Tessa's mother remarries a rich and cruel man who owns racehorses just to make money. After several years of being expelled from a series of boarding schools, Tessa ends up working for kindly stable owner Peter. Peter assigns her to care for an ugly horse named Buffoon, and Tessa resents the job until she learns that Buffoon is Shiner's foal and has the makings of a fine racehorse. Tessa battles her stepfather, the racing establishment, and Buffoon's impending blindness to watch him race in the legendary Grand National steeplechase. Her stepfather sabotages the race, and Tessa retaliates by stabbing him in the chest. When the severely depressed Tessa is released from confinement two years later, romantic overtures from a young jockey and the support of Peter's stable allow Tessa to find Buffoon again. She heals his cataracts and starts training to ride him in the Grand National herself. The novel ends with the exciting description of her ride in the race. This modern horse fable has a British setting and an old-fashioned feel of such classics as Enid Bagnold's National Velvet and Anna Sewell's Black Beauty, with a contemporary teen playing the lead. Blind Beauty is a novel for the older reader who wants gritty teen plot lines but is not quite ready to give up the sheer poetry of a quality horse story. It is a sure winner for fans of horse stories and for girls who like a strong-minded, determined heroine. VOYA CODES: 4Q 3P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7to 9). 2000, Dutton, 368p, . Ages 12 to 15. Reviewer: Hillary Theyer SOURCE: VOYA, April 2001 (Vol. 24, No.1)
KLIATT
Author of the Flambard Trilogy and numerous other novels about teenagers (and frequently about horses as well), Peyton now gives us a long story about a young girl and her horse that will capture just about any reader. When the story begins, Tessa is a toddler who loves a blind horse. Within a few chapters, she is 12 years old, the angry stepdaughter of a rich tyrant who invests in racehorses; and Tessa's mother is reduced to a passive ornament in this new husband's life, one of the reasons Tessa is so furious. The plot cannot be easily summarized, but Tessa's life abruptly changes when she begins work at nearby stables and meets an ungainly horse she learns is the offspring of the blind mare she loved so much as a child. This horse, Buffoon, links her to her real father who has been lost to her for so many years. Loving this horse is not a miraculous cure for all Tessa's many ills: far from it. In fact her passion for this horse inflames her hatred for her stepfather, which leads to an act of violence that lands her in a juvenile detention center for several years, a broken, lost soul. And Buffoon as well is broken and lost—even blind. Then, Peyton gives us many more pages in this marvelous story, which will keep her readers raptly involved in Tessa and Buffoon's fortunes. No one—maybe not even Dick Francis at his best—is able to write about horses and horse racing as well as K.M. Peyton. As Tessa becomes a professional jockey (the story ends when she is 20 years old), Peyton describes her riding to perfection: Tessa's emotions, her skill, her strategy. Peyton can get inside her horse characters as well, describing their experiences through their eyes. Informationabout the author tells us Peyton lives close to horses herself, and that she, in fact, knew a racehorse like Buffoon. She knew, as well, of a filly born without eyes (like the one Tessa loved so dearly as a young child), who, nevertheless was able to grow to adulthood and "bear valuable foals," horses such as Buffoon. The cover—a blurred photograph of a horse and rider going over a jump—is appealing and will entice all those who like animal stories, especially horse stories. KLIATT Codes: JS*—Exceptional book, recommended for junior and senior high school students. 1999, Penguin Putnam/Dutton, 360p, 00-060273, $17.99. Ages 13 to 18. Reviewer: Claire Rosser; May 2001 (Vol. 35 No. 3)
School Library Journal
Gr 6-10-The adults in Tessa's life have always let her down-her alcoholic father; her cold, unsympathetic stepfather; and her insecure mother. She acts out her resentment to these betrayals by getting thrown out of every school that she is sent to and eventually landing in jail after stabbing her stepfather. The only time she lets go of her anger is when she works at Sparrows Wyck, a farm that trains racehorses. One day, a lanky, singularly unattractive horse appropriately named Buffoon arrives for training. At first, the 12-year-old resents being responsible for an animal that is the barn joke but when she discovers his lineage, she realizes that his mother was a mare that her father had owned when she was a young child. Tessa had passionately loved the mare, Shiner, but when her parents divorced, she had never seen her again. Determined to hang on to Buffoon, she throws all of her energy into turning this "ugly duckling" horse around and manages to dramatically change her own life as well. Ultimately, together they win the Grand National in spite of Buffoon's failing eyesight. This modern day National Velvet is a hard-edged story with a heroine whose sullen and abrasive personality is somewhat wearing at the beginning of the story, but whose gritty determination to salvage what appears to be an equine disaster will rally readers to her side.-Carol Schene, Taunton Public Schools, MA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525466529
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 3/1/1901
  • Edition description: 1 AMER ED
  • Pages: 368
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Lexile: 720L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.56 (h) x 1.29 (d)

Meet the Author

K. M. Peyton lives in Essex, England, and is the author of over fifty novels, including the Flambards trilogy, which won the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Award.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 15 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2008

    Just amazing!

    I just recently re-read this book, because I first read it two years ago. I still love it! This book was the first horse novel I ever read, despite being crazy over horses! I loved the writing style, and the chapters were exactly the right length to keep me happy and involved. Tessa, the main character, has great courage, despite her situation. I would have loved to have been her. The horse racing parts keep me to interested, because Peyton obviously has an idea about what shes talking about! It was a funny book, as well as a dramatic and heart-felt story. Write on, K.M. Peyton, write on!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2007

    A reviewer

    I read this book in 7th grade- it wasnt a hard read but just a good length. I never wanted to stop reading it i loved it so much! I would recommend this book without thought to anyone who loves horses and a great story. You should DEFINATELY read this book!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2007

    best book ever

    This book is the best horse book I have ever read. It really captures your mind.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2007

    I loved it!!

    i found it in my school library and loved it it made me cry but i wish it showed what happened to the rest of the characters it was so good and it inspired me!! I am now ordering a few of her other books possibly Darkling or Fly by Night

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2006

    A Sequel?

    I think that there should be a sequel,because I looved all the characters. I want to see more Tom and Tessa. I do wish that the ending would have been longer or atleast told you about the future a little more in detail. Other then that, I have nothing left to say.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2005

    Blind Beauty Book Review

    This book is called Blind Beauty by K. M. Peyton. This book is about a girl named Tessa who, when she was young went with her mom to live in England. By taking Tessa away, Tessa¿s mother separated Tessa from her drinking father and horse Shiner. Being separated from Shiner made Tessa so upset that no one could cheer her up and she started smoking and doing terribly in school on purpose. Tessa and her new stepfather hate each other. Her stepfather sends Tessa off to work at Sparrow Wyck after being expelled again from school. There she meets Buffoon, Shiner¿s baby, that Tessa will do anything to be with. Shiner gave birth to Buffoon in Tessa¿s Dad¿s stable, but Buffoon was ugly, so eventually he was sold at an auction and then taken to England where Tessa finds him. Tessa rides Buffoon and shows everyone that he has talent to race long distance races and isn¿t lazy all the time. Then she meets Tom, another jockey who agrees to ride Buffoon and can get Buffoon to do his best. Tessa really likes Tom and looks up to him. That¿s when things get worse and Tessa¿s stepfather ruins Buffoon¿s chance of winning the Grand National by stealing Buffoon¿s buddy Lucky. Tessa stabs her stepfather and is sent away to a rehabilitation place. While she is gone Buffoon is sold and Tessa doesn¿t want to get better. So now Tessa has to somehow shape up and find Buffoon. Read the book to find out what happens! I thought that this book was good. I liked how there was always something exciting going on in each chapter that made it hard to put the book down. It often felt like I was Tessa, angry at her stepfather or talking to Buffoon. The main conflict kept me interested in finishing the book to see how everything turned out. The main character, Tessa, had a rough beginning which explained some of her behavior for most of the book. By the end she had grown up a little bit more and had figured out who she wanted to be and what she wanted to do. The characters were so realistic that they could just pop out of the book and be in real life. I think that this book could be made into a movie it was a really good story. The beginning was really quick in getting into what was happening and what was going on, so it didn¿t take too much time explaining stuff. I also liked the ending, it was just the way that I thought that it should turn out. K. M. Peyton wrote the book like it was in Tessa¿s mind. The book had what Tessa was thinking most of the time but every now and then it had what one of the other characters was thinking about Tessa or what was going on. K. M. Peyton had a few tough words but otherwise there weren¿t many difficult vocabulary words. The author would end every chapter with a statement that made you want to read on to the next chapter and made it difficult to put the book down. The author also described every new thing entering the book so that you could picture it clearly. The dialogue in the story went smoothly with what was going on and the mood of the current situation in the book. The tone was upset, angry or cold a lot but there were some happy and a lot of exciting parts. I really liked how the author kept the book moving at a nice pace and didn¿t slow it down with too many descriptions. I¿ve read a couple of books where the author explains and describes to much that the reader loses interest. I would rate this book at a seven out of ten compared to other books I have read. The book was good and well written but it wasn¿t as exciting or page turning as others that I have read. It also didn¿t have as an exciting plot and climax as other books I have read. I would recommend this book to people who like horses and are over the age of eleven. Younger children might not understand some of the things that happen in the book and people not interested in horses might get bored with the book or not understand some parts. I thought that this was a good book. Some parts were heartwarming while other

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2005

    excellent

    wonderful book. full of excitement and love. Peyton has fabulous vocabulary and uses it when she tells you about each characters feelings. Here is my own little quote:*** If u are doing something just for money, STOP. You're waisting away ure life. Go make a difference.***

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2004

    Best Book Ever- Horses ROCK!!!!!!!

    Blind Beauty is the best book ever and before my sister pressed me to read it I ignored it, thinking it was going to be soppy and Boring. It's the exact opposite and anyone can read it horse crazy or not. I wish I was short enough to be a jockey!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2004

    The Best!!!

    This book was amazing!!!!! I could read it over and over again and not get sick of it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2002

    All around great book

    I loved this book. It is great to involve a girl that isnt just some preppy rich horsewoman, but a tough teenager that fights for what she feels is right. This girl finds love deep down in her within a horse. I recommend this book to anyone especially horse book lovers. The books I listed below are all horse related books and my favorites!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2002

    A Great Book

    Tessa is such a complex character she has so many different emotions from when shes crying into Buffoons shoulder to all the hate that runs through her when she attemps to kill her step-father she is a truly unique individual. I bought this book becasue I love horses and thought it sounded pretty good but, I reread it for other reasons. This a book that anyone can relate to. And right now i'm 13 years old and can enjoy this book greatly but,in 10 years i believe I'll be sorting through my old possessions find this book and enjoy it just as much. Its a real thriller! When I first read it and even when I reread it I found myself crying when Tessa sees Buffoon again,gasping everytime she picks up the carving knife,filling myself with anger as Morission kills Lukey,and smiling like an idiot as Tessa races towards the finish in the Grand National. No matter how old you are Blind Beauty is an excellent reading selection.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2002

    Blind Beauty......

    lind Beauty is without doubt the best book I have ever read. It is a very emotional story for people who enjoy reading all genres. It is especially good for horse-mad readers but is also very romantic and sporting. Once you have read it you would want to read it again and again!

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    Posted March 8, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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