'You saved your mistress's life, Beauty! yes, you saved her life'
Black Beauty is the prettiest young horse in the meadows, and spends many happy days under the apple trees with his friends Ginger and Merrylegs. But this easy life comes to an end when Beauty is sold and goes from farm to inn to cabhorse in London, enduring rough treatment from foolish and careless masters. Beauty remains faithful, hardworking and full of spirit despite his trials, and through him we learn that all horses and humans alike deserve to be treated with kindness.
BACKSTORY: Find out about the unusual author and learn some horsey vocabulary.
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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 - 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. - Daily Mail
So what makes these different to any other set of classics? In a moment of inspiration Random House had the bright idea of actually asking Key stage 2 children what extra ingredients they could add to make children want to read. And does it work? Well, put it this way...my 13-year-old daughter announced that she had to read a book over the summer holiday and, without any prompting, spotted The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas...and proceeded to read it! Now, if you knew my 13-year-old daughter, you would realise that this is quite remarkable. She reads texts, blogs and tags by the thousand - but this is the first book she has read since going to high school, so all hail Vintage Classics! - National Association for the Teaching of English
About the Author
Anna Sewell was born in 1820 and lived with her family in Norfolk and then in a village on the outskirts of London. At the age of fourteen Anna injured her ankles in a fall, and was severely disabled for the rest of her life. She had to travel everywhere in horse-drawn carriages, and so Anna was always concerned with the treatment of the animals she so relied upon. She wrote Black Beauty in order to convince a wide audience of the importance of the humane treatment of animals. It is her only novel, and Anna Sewell died shortly after it's publication, little guessing how well-known and widely loved her story would become.