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The Black Stallion and the Shape-shifter Paperback – May 11, 2010

11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4–7—Alec and the Black's latest adventure takes them to Ireland, where the Black has a chance to once again prove his brilliance as a racehorse. Then an injury forces them to prolong their stay. When a girl, Mora, finds a pony wandering the beach, Alec and the stallion are drawn into a mystery involving a kelpie. At first, he dismisses the tales about these shape-shifters but when Mora disappears, his search for her leads him and the horse into a deadly struggle to save her from this legendary creature. This is a carefully crafted novel, with Irish legend and daily life woven throughout. The suspense builds slowly but steadily. The lightly drawn characters support the story line, and Mora is typical of many girls whose greatest wish is to have a horse of their own. Devoted fans of the series will enjoy this latest adventure with a supernatural twist.—Carol Schene, formerly at Taunton Public Schools, MA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Steve Farley is the son of Walter Farley, the man who created the Black Stallion and wrote twenty stories about the best-loved literary horse of all time. A freelance writer based in Manhattan, Steve travels frequently, especially to places where he can enjoy riding, diving, and surfing.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Series: Black Stallion
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling; Reprint edition (May 11, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375845321
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375845321
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #815,159 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on April 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Walter Farley's son is taking up the reigns of his father's famous horse stories in producing a new addition to the old series, The Black Stallion and the Shape-Shifter. Here the Black and Alec Ramsey are heading to Ireland to recuperate from a racing injury, only to find a girl who loves horses is eager to learn to ride. When she vanishes after Alec agrees to teach her, villagers say she's been taken by a kelpie and is gone forever. Can there be such a thing as magic? A fine horse story and mystery evolves.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By C. Chambers on January 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is the 2nd Black Stallion novel written by Steven that I've read. I read all of Walter Farley's books as a child and have re-read them as an adult. Steven just doesn't have his father's gift for story telling. The characters are flat. I'd call Alec insensitive in this book. At least he doesn't have a crew cut!

BTW, Steven, the word is "conformation" when you're talking about how a horse is put together, not "confirmation"! Shall we blame your editor?
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dawn from CT on February 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Black Stallion and the Shape-shifter is a nice addition to the Black Stallion Series.
I read the plot for this book in October and was not sure then if it would work. I am happy to say it does.
The Series has, from the beginning, some mystic, supernatural and science fiction elements running through it. And this book defintely has the supernatural elements.
Steven used various elements from the multiple stories about the kelpie and wove them together into an exciting story.
Alec and the Black's meeting of the kelpie on Long Island is a nice foreshadowing of what's to come. And when you meet the next one, you're not sure; is it or isn't it, but it seems so benign but isn't.
He also refers to earlier books which will help anyone new to the series. For example: the desert island where Alec and the Black bond, Hopeful Farm, Satan and Pam.
Also, this is the first book that acknowledges the passing of time from The Black Stallion,the first book, to this one. (Pg. 6) A nice surprise.
Mora, the fourth main character, is the normal teenage of today: sees a pony, wants a pony, catch it and then rides it. And then races it!! Personally I would never have mounted a strange horse or pony no matter how much I wanted to. And to race it? Never. However, she is a better character than others I read in other horse fiction being written today.
There are two races in this book. The Irish one which the Black is injuried in. And the last one. The most important one. Very good description of both these races.

The negatives. The first review is correct on the misspelling of conformation. But this person reaction to this is strange. I have found words misspelled, missing, lines missing or attached to different paragraphs in many books.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
The story is interesting as it delves into the kelpie legend of Gaelic lore. As far as the writing goes, however--ugh! Adjectives are cliched (mornings begin with a "quick cup of coffee" at least three times), the imagery is aimless (what is the green stone Alec finds on the beach as the eye of a horse outlined by shells in the sand? What is its significance? What happened to it after Alec puts in his pocket?). And more: what is Alec's problem with the smell of seaweed? He finds it "acrid" and foul, enough to make him gag and wretch, yet the smell of ammonia in the barn is solacing. Large pieces of the storyline are disjointed: major characters (including reminiscences of a tragically dead girlfriend) come and go without interconnection; the length of the overseas flight is exaggerated (what does that have to do with the story anyway?) Alec is a man of indeterminate age, with years of being a racehorse jockey, yet other characters' ages are well-defined. In this story Alec befriends a twelve year-old girl, and at one point he puts his hand on her back to comfort her--double ugh! Since this is a kids' book, it would function well if Alec were portrayed as a teen. Technically, the characters are flat, including the horses, whose eyes blaze red with fear or hatred. The Black expresses himself by rearing back, pawing the air and screaming. It gets a little trite. I will admit, though, to liking the image of a bareback rider leaning forward and entwining his arms in the horses' mane to hang on for a desperate ride.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tempting Fortune on May 31, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've read about kelpies before but not the horse part. Shape shifters I've read about too. Was a good story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Crafty Lady on February 5, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a present, my daughter was glad to receive. This had been her list for
a couple of years.
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