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The Black Stallion Paperback – August 20, 1991

311 customer reviews

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Dr. Seuss' Ultimate Horton Collection
Dr. Seuss' Ultimate Horton Collection
These stories entertain and inspire young readers while extolling the virtues and rewards of patience and loyalty. Hardcover | More Dr. Seuss
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The Black Stallion is about the most famous fictional horse of the century." --The New York Times

From the Inside Flap

First published in 1941, Walter Farley's best-selling novel for young readers is the triumphant tale of a boy and a wild horse. From Alec Ramsay and the Black's first meeting on an ill-fated ship to their adventures on a desert island and their eventual rescue, this beloved story will hold the rapt attention of readers new and old.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 680L (What's this?)
  • Series: Black Stallion (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 187 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1 edition (August 20, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679813438
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679813439
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (311 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,232 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Monika on September 8, 2004
Format: Paperback
As a horse lover from a very young age, this is one of those books that was read to me when I was little, which I later read on my own more than once, and of which I still have fond memories today. The first of Walter Farley's twenty-one books, written while the author was in high school and published in 1941, before he graduated from college, "The Black Stallion" has become a staple in children's literature. It tells the story of Alec Ramsay and his partnership with a remarkable horse, referred to only as the Black. While returning from a trip to India, Alec's ship is wrecked in a storm, leaving he and the Black as the only survivors, washed up on a small, deserted island. For nineteen days they must survive in that desolate place, and in this time a strong bond is formed between the boy and the wild Arab horse.

Once Alec and the Black are rescued by a passing ship, the story takes a different turn. Back in New York, Alec asks a neighbor if he might stable the Black in the old barn on his property. As it turns out, Henry Dailey is a former racehorse trainer, and he immediately recognizes the Black's potential for speed. Thus, man and boy pair up in order to train the spirited horse, hoping to harness his energy and turn him into a competitive runner. At this time the racing world is all abuzz about an upcoming match race between two champion horses, each touted as the best racer in the country, but who have never run against each other. But when the Black shows more talent than Dailey would ever have thought possible, he begins to think that this wild, unpedigreed stallion just might have what it takes to beat them both...

The story is a bit far-fetched and idealistic, but it nevertheless makes for one whopping adventure.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 19, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Walter Farley started writing the story which became "The Black Stallion" while he was still in high school. I think I was eight or nine years old when I first read it. I still read the series from time to time, and time has only made me appreciate Farley's fine writing skills all the more. Especially the final chapter about the match race between Sun Raider, Cyclone, and the Black - I can actually HEAR the track announcer's "It's the mystery horse!" in my mind. Mr. Farley had the unique ability to express emotions through the written word - it still gives me tingles.
Only one beef I have - why, oh why, did they decide to re-do the illustrations? I still have my dogeared Scholastic Books paperback with the original illustrations. The original illustrator made the Black truly look like "the wildest of all wild creatures".
This book should be in every child's library!
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By T. Watson on December 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I left a comment for the other review, but I feel so strongly that his one-star rating could possibly affect someone's decision to buy this book that I had to post a review of my own. The Black Stallion is a WONDERFUL book, in fact, my all-time favorite childhood book, even over the old classic, Black Beauty (which is way too depressing for children, in my opinion). For a very young child, begin with Big Black Horse---also by Walter Farley and when the kids are old enough, buy The Black Stallion. The only caveat I have for parents is: get ready for the "I want a black stallion of my own!!" refrain once they've read these books.
I don't know what became of my original books, but I re-ordered them as an adult and have them sitting proudly on the shelves in my library. That's the impact the books will have on your children! And buy the movie for them, too, while you're at it.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
Others have expressed these thoughts but I must chime in and support them. This is a great book for children. I first read it when I was nine and my sister and I re-read the entire series many times. There are women working the backstretch on race tracks who say that it all started with Walter Farley.
The movie, though gorgeous to look at, is an insipid version of the story--minus the sexiness, danger, and complexity of relationships. (In the movie the director neatly kills off the father and makes the hero much younger to remove all that troubling complexity!) Many years ago in Seattle I attended a screening of this film and had an opportunity to politely explain my feelings to the director, Francis Ford Coppola. Basically he said something like getting rid of all the talking made the film more mythic. Oh well: to some extent I can see his point. Films are difficult to make and have their own requirements--but why don't they make up their own stories instead of taking so much license with good books?
As at least one reader's review has commented, the decision to redo the illustrations for the early Black Stallion books was misguided. The originals have a wildness and excitement to them that later editions lost. If your child really likes these books, finding an old edition with those drawings would be a wonderful gift.
Like all good books for children, The Black Stallion contains undercurrents of troubling feeling and presents strategies for working those out, or at least living with them. Don't we all have something wild living in our back yard that occasionally jumps the fence? This notion was exciting to me as an adventurous little girl --and as a nearly 50-year-old who is still crazy for horses, it still works for me.
--A reader and parent from Olympia, Washington
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