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Black Beauty Paperback – December 8, 2011
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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 way--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 alternate Paperback edition.
From School Library Journal
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
The story, of course, is about Black Beauty, a handsome horse who is born and raised in happy circumstances. But in Victorian England horses were used much as we use cars today: they were things to be bought and sold and then gotten rid of when they were no longer useful. Black Beauty is first sold to a good home, but as time passes he is sold again and again--and not always to people who treat him kindly or even to those who give him common care.
There are adventures aplenty, like a stable fire and a dangerous bridge; there are many memorable characters, like the horse Ginger and the kind cabbie Jerry. All of them are seen from Black Beauty's point of view, and beautifully, perfectly described. My mother read this book to me, and as soon as I could I was anxious to read it myself; now, some thirty years later I have stumbled once more upon it. And I can honestly say that it lives up to my memory: it is a fine book, and one that every parent should place in the hands of their children. Strongly recommended.
GFT, Amazon Reviewer
During the course of his lifetime, Beauty experiences the best and the worst humanity has to offer its companion animals. Children old enough to read this book will just be developing the kind of empathy skills necessary to understand how important kindness is, even, and perhaps especially, to those who cannot verbalize their gratitude.
The book teaches kids to notice how they and their peers treat others, and I have been buying it for all of the kids in my life for as long as I can remember.
I particularly like this edition because it is unabridged (the story is perfect), and because the illustrations are enchanting. I'd give it a hundred stars if I could.
Now as far as I know, kids today are no less intelligent, and they do still teach them to read starting in Kindergarten. So imagine my horror at discovering that the attractively bound, hardback of Black Beauty that I picked up was, uh, *paraphrased* (actually there are more accurate terms for it, but for the sake of the Amazon censors I'd better stick to the less graphic ones). Comparing selections of this version side by side with the original, the so-called "Classic Starts" Black Beauty plot is stripped down; worse, the lovely language of the original has been replaced with, ahem, simplified text and dialog that could have been written by the author of the Judy Moody books. This left little sense of the turn of the century England setting, and completely obliterated the spirit and style of Anna Sewell. Is this the publisher's idea of a quality introduction to children's lit?
What I really want to know is, why change it at all? As I said, kids today aren't less smart, they should be able to read the real Black Beauty well enough by the time they are in the 9-12 suggested age range. The reason it's a classic is because IT WORKED JUST AS IT WAS. Sorry, I had to put that in large type for the publishers, who evidently believe that the rest of the population matches their literary fluency.Read more ›
I've been reading horse-topic related books for as long as I can remember; but the very 1st horse story that left an indelible impression on me was ANNA SEWELL's " BLACK BEAUTY ".
It really openend my eyes as to the abuse and cruelty - and majestic fraility - that these wonderful creatures suffer at the hands of their human counterparts.
Ms Sewell opted to write this book from " the horse's point of view " and she was one of the very few authors that was able to pull this off with such great success.
This book also, laid the cornerstone for the ASPCA aims and goals, and brought to light the conditions and treatment of working horses in 20th century London, England ( and elsewhere ).
The story is such a wonderful tale of a horse's life from start to finish; told with a quiet dignity and warmth - and serves as a successful analogy also, as to how humans should interact with one another.
This book also laid the cornerstone for my interest and love of horses, and further spurred my interest in reading about all things Equine.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm not a big fan of talking animal books, so maybe my opinion shouldn't count, but I didn't really like it. I understand the message of the book, but it just wasn't for me. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Lescroft
I love reading this with my girls. We first read it when they were in kindergarten...and we just read it as they are off to middle school. Read morePublished 1 month ago by S GREASLEY
This is a wonderful story. The tale is of a kind and good natured horse that lives through being bought and sold to good and some bad owners. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amelia C.
Bought this for the little daughters of the trainer who taught me how to ride. I paged through before gifting it to make sure it was OK for their age. Read morePublished 1 month ago by hwash