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Black Beauty (Signet Classics) [Mass Market Paperback]

Anna Sewell , Monty Roberts
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)
RRP: £2.98
Price: £2.94 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

4 Jan 2011 Signet Classics
A classic story about a girl's touching relationship with a horse she befriends. Part of the ANDRE DEUTSCH CLASSICS series, with an introduction by Trevor McDonald.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Black Beauty (Signet Classics) + Little Women (Vintage Children's Classics) + The Secret Garden (Vintage Children's Classics)
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 222 pages
  • Publisher: Signet; Reprint edition (4 Jan 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451531744
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451531742
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 10.4 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 266,363 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

A horse is a horse of course, unless of course the horse is Black Beauty. Animal-loving children have been devoted to Black Beauty throughout this century, and no doubt will continue through the next. Although Anna Sewell's classic paints a clear picture of turn-of-the-century London, its message is universal and timeless: animals will serve humans well if they are treated with consideration and kindness.

Black Beauty tells the story of the horse's own long and varied life, from a well-born colt in a pleasant meadow to an elegant carriage horse for a gentleman to a painfully overworked cab horse. Throughout, Sewell rails--in a gentle, 19th-century manner--against animal maltreatment. Young readers will follow Black Beauty's fortunes, good and bad, with gentle masters as well as cruel. Children can easily make the leap from horse-human relationships to human-human relationships, and begin to understand how their own consideration of others may be a benefit to all. (Ages 9 to 12) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"One of the greatest books ever narrated by a horse, with a fine message: be kind to animals, and they'll be kind to you" (Michael Morpurgo Guardian)

"One of the most enchanting and best-loved children's stories of all time" (Mail on Sunday)

"This was the first book that reduced me to tears - I saw what it meant to campaign ardently and successfully for an important cause." (Esther Rantzen Daily Mail)

"So what makes these different to any other set of classics? In a moment of inspiration Random House had the bright idea of actually asking Key stage 2 children what extra ingredients they could add to make children want to read. And does it work? Well, put it this 13-year-old daughter announced that she had to read a book over the summer holiday and, without any prompting, spotted The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas...and proceeded to read it! Now, if you knew my 13-year-old daughter, you would realise that this is quite remarkable. She reads texts, blogs and tags by the thousand - but this is the first book she has read since going to high school, so all hail Vintage Classics!" (National Association for the Teaching of English) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential kids' reading 26 Jan 2006
This book did for horses what Charles Dickens managed for workhouses, boarding schools and several other of the less laudable Victorian institutions. Like Dickens, it has survived the test of time and remains on most “Children's Classic” lists. Although there are plenty of horsy adventures for the hero, Sewell manages to avoid almost all of the traps of anthropomorphism and sickening sentimentality that infest most kids' books that touch upon matters equine. This book should however come with a warning: it can be quite brutal, as was the Victorian's treatment of working horses and, when I first read it as a child of six I found it harrowing and desperately upsetting (although it does have a reasonably happy ending). At 44, I still can't read it without a tear and a lumpy throat so this is probably not one for the nursery bookshelf; however, it remains on my list of essential reading for children. My eight-year-old son is studying Victorian history as his school project and has put down Harry Potter in favour of this; trying to prevent my six-year-old, horse-mad daughter from picking it up may prove problematical.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Such a wonderful story 22 Feb 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Oh, this is such a sweet book and has left me sighing with satisfaction at the end.

I have never read Black Beauty until now. As a child I was never a girly girl and was never into horses or ponies at all and subsequently never had any desire to read this book. I wanted to read about The Famous Five solving crimes and having adventures.

I'm not even sure what made me pick this book up after all this time but I am so glad I did. The story itself is told by Black Beauty, a horse who is born to a kind family and trained to be a good working horse. He is then sold on and that is where he ends up in a series of backbreaking jobs. There are the baddies in this book and also the goodies, the kind, gentle owners who care for him and of course there are other horsey friends that Black Beauty makes along the way.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and has earned a place in my most-amazing-books shelf. It was such a sweet book and I'm so glad I read it after all this time. I would recommend to children and adults alike.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ap 19 May 2010
By ap
Format:Audio CD
The title gives this buuk as "unabridged", but it is abridged and as I've already opened it I cannot send it back. Still Martin Jarvis is a very good reader and the abridgement seems to only cover discriptions which some children might find dull so it's probably still a good buy. I have however informed Amazon that their discription is incorrect.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this story 6 April 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
For the sad fact is that it's as pertinent now, as it was back when it was produced by Anna Sewell as a "cry for help" for the horses of her time.

Do a bit of research ... how many horse and pony sancturies are in your country? Visit them (online or in person) and check out the state in which some of their residents arrive at that place of care and safety. It'll touch your heart.

The book itself is beautifully written, though perhaps not for the under 10's - for in places it'll bring tears to the eyes. It's interesting though - and A.S. has captured a horse's "take" on life with humans well. Indeed Black Beauty and his friends often show quite a touch of that "horse sense" we humans talk about! We are of course glad for Beauty that his own story has a happy ending, with him living out his old age in love and safekeeping. But for many horses, ponies, donkeys, it's not so - this is 2009, and that is a disgraceful fact.

As with all Collector's Library books, this is a compact size and a lovely presentation of the story, with occasional good quality line drawings. Well worth a place on your bookshelf - for all all ages to read, and learn from.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great 2 May 2012
By Sonia
Format:Mass Market Paperback
My 12 year old daughter couldn't put this classic story down. It really captured her imagination even though she's seen the film many times, she absolutely loved it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Have your hankies ready 17 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I never read this book as a child so I thought that I would give it a go as an adult. Read it on holiday. At the sad part about Ginger I had to go off to the sea for a swim on my own. (I seemed to have got something in my eyes! That's why they were so red.) Please take the IPad of your child and give them this to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a pleasant easy read 6 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
After some of the difficult to follow books I had been reading this was a pleasure to read. The author made sure there was empathy with horses and although the ending was obvious there was a slight twist in the tail! (oops)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect 23 Feb 2013
My little girl loves horses but the full version of Black Beauty is too difficult for her to manage. This version is perfect for her ability, a good interpretation of a classic book
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