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Black Beauty: Oxford Children's Classics Hardcover – 6 Mar 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 662 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; Reprint edition (6 Mar. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192727982
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192727985
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 1.8 x 13.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (662 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 541,680 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 the Paperback edition.

Review

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 )

--Review

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Written in an age of innocence and genteel charm this is the story of a horses life ,his adventures owners and drivers ,some good some bad. A story written when class division was uppermost. Lord's, Ladies , Masters and Mistresses. Beauty' s story begins and ends in a shady meadow but in between he experiences several owners from Squires and Masters to cab drivers and delivery men. ,Some treat him well others not so, but throughout he strives to do his best. He loses friends and indeed owners who sadly pass away, each event a trigger for more change , a resilient character he soon overcomes adversity luckily with the aid of a kind person. One of the first books I remember reading ,it hasn't lost it's charm.
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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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By Boof VINE VOICE on 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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Written for the Victorian readership, this is the life story of a horse. The book has never been out of print, or lost its appeal, and at the moment, the Kindle edition is free, so download it, and enjoy it.

Ok, some suspension of disbelief is needed, but no more than a great many other stories.
The main leap of faith required is that horses can understand human speech perfectly. Furthermore, they can talk to each other (unbeknown to humans), with a full and varied vocabulary, they have an almost humanlike code of conduct, they forge lasting friendships, they have long memories, and they are capable of deep feelings, such as love, happiness, sadness, pain, or loyalty.
Of course, these attributes are essential; because our tale is narrated by the horse himself, Black Beauty, a handsome, good-natured thoroughbred stallion.

.... and so to the story itself.
Our protagonist, Black Beauty, tells us about his life, in which he is bought and sold numerous times over the years, frequently passing to new owners and situations, with varying levels of treatment.
He is expected to perform in many different ways: as a riding horse, pulling carriages, as a cab horse, as a hire horse, but always working, never as a "pet". I was reminded of the way we view our cars nowadays - to the Victorians, a horse was a commodity, an essential form of transport, albeit a living one,

This, however, is a story with a message - not exactly subtle, the message is delivered with sledgehammer tactics. It is quite obvious that the main purpose of this book is to educate people as to the correct treatment of horses.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Lots of great reviews for this classic. I got mine free on kindle and at some time I hope my daughter will read it. She's horse mad but she prefers being with them rather than reading about them.

The book is geared towards the horse lover and I can't relate to that. I know my daughter gets more out of being with horses than I could ever imagine and this book is aimed at those who bond with horses and will feel part of the story.

I did read it when I was in my teens and I still remember parts of it and also I remember watching the TV series back in the 70's.

I wouldn't say it's a literary masterpiece but it is a huge seller and has a place in the history books as a true story of childhood, horses and choices. Lots of lessons and good advice throughout and doing the right thing wins through in the end.

It is a very good story that reaches a particular audience, so for a horse lover it's sure to be a big hit if you can get them out of the stable.
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