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Black Beauty: Oxford Children's Classics Hardcover – 6 Mar 2008
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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.
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 )
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great classic ,anybody who has anything to do with riding or working with horses should read this ,it would make life easier for a lot of horsesPublished 12 days ago by petpen
I used to read this book over and over when I was little, an absolute pleasure to read it again!Published 12 days ago by tanya bowron
I loved it because it was so beautiful about get to known a horse so much better
Such a nice horse
This book is awesome anyone who likes animal book will love this
I liked it so much
I gave it 5 stars because the book is brilliant I'll give you the summary
A horse... Read more
The book is not an original one. We were sent a photo copy with a very small and unreadable font. My daughter needs a magnifying lens to read. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Prash J
I wouldn't give any start but I have to give one. The letters are so small you can't read it. Awful. Don't buy it.Published 2 months ago by J M