By Anna Sewell
Illustrated by Paul Howard
Age range: 9–11
After a wonderful early life as a young colt on Farmer Gray’s meadows, the stallion Black Beauty is sold to Squire Gordon of Birtwick Hall and joins the gentleman’s stables. While his existence is no longer as carefree as before and he has to be trained by humans, he enjoys the company of the other horses there, such as the fiery Ginger and the kind Merrylegs.
Unfortunately, one day he is sold on to new owners, and a new chapter opens in his life, full of uncertainty, hardship and cruelty. Will Black Beauty ever make it back home, or reconnect with the people and horses that cared about him?
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.
The daughter of a successful children’s author, Anna Sewell (1820–78) suffered serious ankle injuries at the age of twelve and often had to rely on horse-drawn carriages as a means of transport, which provided material for her only novel, Black Beauty. Sadly she died of illness only five months after it was published in 1877.