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Black Beauty (Wordsworth's Children's Classics) [Paperback]

Anna Sewell
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
Price: 1.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 April 1993 Wordsworth's Children's Classics
Black Beauty had a fine, soft black coat, one white foot and a silver star on his forehead. This tale tells of the horse's adventures and the disappointments and joys that surround him.

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Black Beauty (Wordsworth's Children's Classics) + The Railway Children (Wordsworth's Children's Classics) + The Secret Garden (Wordsworth's Children's Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd; New edition edition (1 April 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853261092
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573353625
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.9 x 1.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,321 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 an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 27 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this story 6 April 2009
By Marie
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Black beauty 7 May 2012
By Jen Jen
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was bought for my daughter who is in her final year at university. She had to get some older literature as well as new to get the children to see how differently they were written. I have alway been a reader, and this is one of my favorites as a child. She was extremely pleased with it, and was a book she had not previously read.
The book arrived very promptly and would definately use this service again. Great service :).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Black Beauty - a blast from the past 18 Mar 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a book that I read in my youth, I recently bought a tablet that had the kindle app loaded so I thought I'd take a look, saw this book and felt like revisiting it. So far it's been good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 8 Mar 2012
By Dani
Format:Kindle Edition
Brilliant book, a must read for all ages. Haven't finished reading it yet but can't put it down. Very descriptive but easy to follow. A classic that just doesn't get old.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good traditional story. 16 Feb 2012
By Ferret
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Good traditional story with plenty of drama thrown in. Lots of descriptions of the era.
A light pleasure to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT 5 Feb 2012
By Emma
Format:Kindle Edition
i love this story so much n easy to read on my phone, enjoyed the film but enjoyed this boot more
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars a very well loved story greatly enjoyed by myself, an easy read
Great insight into the work, treatment and lives of horse in that time. Sometimes very sad but the absolute BEST ending for Beauty.
Published 3 days ago by Jane
5.0 out of 5 stars Have your hankies ready
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. Read more
Published 6 days ago by maybknot
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
I read this book on my Kindle and it gives me so many memories of the first time I read it.
Published 7 days ago by Country Music Fan
5.0 out of 5 stars Black Beauty (Collector's Library)
This is a classic tale that speaks to anyone with a sense of decency. I bought it for a friend's birthday and it was much appreciated as she has a passion for horses. Read more
Published 17 days ago by H H CLARK
5.0 out of 5 stars Black beauty
This was purchased for my daughter. She enjoyed reading it even though I think she found it a bit old fashioned.
Published 25 days ago by jools
5.0 out of 5 stars Granddaughter.
This was a present, so was glad to hear my granddaughter loved it as much as I did, although it was many years since I read it.
Published 1 month ago by R J TOMLIN
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant
having seen the tv series when i was young i was interested to see the difference between the book and the programme and loved it
Published 1 month ago by Judith Bryant
4.0 out of 5 stars Kindle book
Downloaded to assist granddaughter with her reading and to introduce her to a great childrens classic which she is really enjoying
Published 1 month ago by J Barrs
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
Black Beauty should be compulsory reading matter in schools.
It is a reminder of the good and bad of days gone bye. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Peter Ellis
5.0 out of 5 stars a pleasant easy read
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... Read more
Published 2 months ago by I. Macleod
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