- Age Range: 18 and up
- Grade Level: 12 - 6
- Series: Signet Classics
- Mass Market Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Signet Classics; Reissue edition (December 3, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0451528654
- ISBN-13: 978-0451528650
- Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.7 x 6.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3,236 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,498,201 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Black Beauty (Signet Classics) Mass Market Paperback – December 3, 2002
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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 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 the Kindle Edition edition.
From School Library Journal
Grade 4-6–While better written than most abridged versions, these adaptations sacrifice character and theme development through simplified retellings of the basic plots or action. In Black Beauty, Church has reduced the original 49 chapters to 21 by combining the sequence and action into simpler accounts. Sasaki has reworked six of the Sherlock Holmes stories to maintain the mystery and solution minus Holmes's roundabout explanations of deduction. The books include lists of questions for discussion. The generously spaced, large-type format, interspersed with occasional black-and-white drawings, may serve as an introduction or starter as the series intends. However, waiting for the right read-aloud setting combined with discussion of the original is the best way to include the classics in any child's literary experience.–Rita Soltan, Youth Services Consultant, West Bloomfield, MI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.
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This novel, written at the end of the gilded-age, shows the great divide created by unregulated capitalism, showing how workers and consumers can end up bearing the heavy burden, the real cost, of maintaining the lifestyles of the rich and powerful, how the American dream of working hard to succeed does not work when the cards are stacked against you.
Funny how some of these same problems are with us again. How easy it is to assume the free market can regulate itself, after generations of living in a regulated market. People seem to forget the first principle of business is to make a profit.
The ending was a weak point by today's standards. There was hope that socialism would address all the flaws of social inequity. Obviously, that never happened, though political changes were enacted to address some of the inequities. Socialism was a dream never realized and I'm not sure I'd want the author's final solution. It reminded me of Ayn Rand, escaping from Communism and seeing Capitalism as the ultimate system of perfection. The grass is always greener . . .
The theories of government never translate into practice with the lofty ideals or ethics of the philosophers who write about a perfect society. I doubt there is any system (including capitalism) that would be successful if not tempered to address the ways humans devise to scam the system.
What I found most interesting is the nation's current drift into a second gilded-age. It makes this a frightening powerful novel, a modern-day warning. I wish it was required reading.
You will be shocked by so many atrocities and it will be difficult not to feel empathy for the characters, who destroy themselves in the name of Capitalism. Time and again the protagonist is put through trials that would cause you or I to curl up and die! It's a very dark book with a very good message and I recommend it to all!
P.S. I haven't read the other reviews, but I'm willing to bet that many of them will warn of the slaughterhouse scenes, which made me REALLY happy to be a vegetarian!
Definitely not worth the extra price! We thought we were getting a classic reprint but we got a weird mishmash of chapters. Very odd.