The Black Stallion (The Black Stallion, #1)
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The Black Stallion (The Black Stallion #1)

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4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  49,130 ratings  ·  690 reviews
Published originally in 1941, this book is about a young boy, Alec Ramsay who finds a wild black stallion at a small Arabian port on the Red Sea. Between the black stallion and young boy, a strange understanding grew that you lead them through untold dangers as they journeyed to America. Nor could Alec understand that his adventures with the black stallion would capture th...more
Hardcover, 275 pages
Published 1941 by Random House
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Community Reviews

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Tara Lynn
I've been an avid horse fanatic since before I can remember. Unfortunately, when you're a kid growing up in the city, there's nothing a horse fanatic can do about it until they grow up and can afford (or work for) lessons of their own.

When I was a teenager, my parents movied to Long Island, and I finally had the opportunity to work summers at a barn in exhange for riding lessons.

Today I teach riding to little kids, and spend as much time in a barn as a can.

In those years before my horse crazy...more
Jessica
The Black Stallion begins with a boy traveling home from India. He visited his uncle for two months during his summer vacations. When he boards the ship to take him to England a terrifying and wild horse is brought on deck. The men whip this animal and trick it to get on the boat. However, this ship is not equipped to carry animals so they have to make a makeshift stall. The boy, whose name is Alec, gradually befriends this wild stallion. The ship is wrecked during a terrible storm and Alec ties...more
Chris

It's no surprise that this book has stood the test of time, no surprise at all. Even without the movie and its beautiful images of horse and boy on the desert island, this book stands out in ways that other teen mets horse books don't. The possible exception to this My Friend Flicka (Black Beauty is about a horse, not a boy and his horse). Perhaps this is because both books have the horse be a horse. In other words, the Black Stallion is always a stallion. He doesn't get magically gelded and the...more
Ruth
This book is clearly a product of its time, and not just because of the corny slang. The second page awkwardly gives us a dose of muscular Christianity ideology: "Never again would he think of a missionary's work as sissy work. No, sir, you had to be big and strong..." The two female characters are completely boring. The Irish- and Italian-American characters are completely stereotyped. Egyptians are referred to as "natives" or as "the dark-skinned man"--I deduce that this person merited descrip...more
N.T. Embe [Against GR Censorship]
Dec 17, 2012 N.T. Embe [Against GR Censorship] rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All horse lovers, people who enjoy adventure and thrill, and who love dreams coming true.
Recommended to N.T. Embe by: Library
Shelves: middle-grade, horses

How do you ever talk through a review about a book you love? This was my first time re-reading this book since the first time I came upon the book series some ten years ago. I was overwhelmed with sentiment just seeing its title in the library, and it was the first book I picked out of a pile of seventeen I eventually brought home that day, but I held it close to my chest and cradled it--because just holding it felt like I was holding one of my dreams in my arms again.

I always grew up dreaming a...more
Callie
Mar 13, 2010 Callie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anybody with a heart
Recommended to Callie by: kierstin baak
You know, no words can really express how much I absolutely adored this book. The beginning made me laugh until mine eyes watered, the ending made me cry until no more tears would come. This book really is iconic and glorious. It was almost like that black stallion who was written about on each page was galloping about my presence, neighing and whinnying until the cows came home. This horse became my best friend, even more so than any person I have ever known. As I read, I could see his black co...more
John The Rabbit
As most everyone knows, The Black Stallion is a story about a singular bond between a boy and a wild horse who is almost an embodiment of nature's primal forces.

This is the second time I've read it and I enjoyed both times, but this last reading (now that I am an adult) left me longing for something a bit more realistic and deep. It focuses almost exclusively on the boy's (Alec) immediate thoughts and never really fleshes out the world's scenery around Alec beyond the minimum necessities of the...more
Nancy
It's an okay book, three stars by itself. Four stars, possibly five, if I were to let my undying love of the 1979 movie (starring Kelly Reno) influence my opinion. It's hard not to. I feel a general nostalgia for all the books I read in my horse-crazy childhood, and I desperately wanted a Black of my very own!

It's interesting to note that Alec never experiences any issues with authority figures. The two boat captains, the two reporters, the policeman, his father - they're all kind, patient and...more
C

Childhood Classic...

Something about "survival" seems to really appeal to young adults... I had books all over that centered on characters who went out into the wilderness and survived off the land. I'm not sure quite what was so appealing about it, but those books landed in the "classics" section of my childhood library: Jim Kjelgaard books, My Side of the Mountain, the Black Stallion, Julie of the Wolves... see a theme here? Even The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankenweiler is a "survival...more
Wendy
This whole book is made up of two basic things--super-cool horse, and a boy and his horse. In fact, this book probably either invented them or codified them. It's very much wish-fulfillment, and in this case...that's not bad. Particularly since the book is aimed at children.

The Black Stallion kicked off a twenty-book series, which also included a sub-series about another super-cool horse, The Island Stallion. While I wouldn't say the original stands head-and-shoulders above the rest, it was the...more
English315/educ510
Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young. Just don't let it happen. Sometimes it's hard to prevent when others tell you that you can't do something. Especially if the people telling you this are older or in a position of authority. They might tell you that you are too small. They might tell you that you are not old enough. They might even tell you that you don't have the talent it takes to accomplish what you are trying to do.

That is exactly what everyone told Alec Ramsey in The...more
Angela
This is a book I think I would have liked the most out of all the horse books I've read. Alec Ramsay, our leading main character who falls in a deep love for this horse.
The horse saves his life from a storm and he and his horse are stuck on this island. After being rescued, Alec strives to help this horse being a great racer, having him going against the two fastest horses, Sun raider and Cyclone. As the race begins, anger begins in the heart of Sun Raider the horse of a man named Mr. Volence....more
Robin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kelly
I was a horse nut as a child. I'm not sure that that phase has ever really gone away, but anyway. The Black Stallion was one of my favorite horse incarnations. I devoured every book in this series over and over again. I loved the headiness of it, the feel of the wind around my face just opening the book. Its searingly memorable all this years later, and I haven't opened a page of it in a decade. Perhaps this is where my love affair with the misunderstood Saetan character in literature began. Oh...more
Jennifer Becton
From this book, I learned to love horses, and it truly influenced the rest of my life. Even as an adult, I dreamed of riding the Black bareback across the beach, and as a result, I ended up buying my own black stallion--well, a mare. But she is black and of partial Arabian origin. This book will always be one of my favorites.
Kate Dee
Oh the happy days! I practically devoured all his books about the Black Stallion and also those about the Red Stallion. I think those were the first books I read on my own and they made for a life of addiction to the written word. A must read for every kid that wants adventure - not just crazy little girls. :)
Carrie
This is a great read aloud to kids book. Because it's a good story, and also because it's easy to skim ahead over some of the descriptive paragraphs and get to the good stuff. I actually teared up a little reading the final race scene to Lucy. She couldn't figure out what was wrong with me.
Kalen
The Black Stallion is a good horse book but I wouldn't call it a great horse book. Like many horse books (and the black stallion wasn't the first, National Velvet was published before) a child, in this case Alec, acquires an amazing horse by equally amazing circumstances. And like many other horse stories, goes on to prove that this horse is the best.

I think I would have enjoyed this book more had I read it when I was younger because the story moves on at a quick pace with mini climaxes and int...more
Nicola Mansfield
This is a book I've wanted to read almost my whole life. As a kid I loved animal stories but had an aversion to horse books but as I got older the urge to read this crept upon me until at last today I can finally say I've read "The Black Stallion" and plan on reading its sequel, which I managed to snatch up for a great deal on my Kindle a while back. The writing is wonderful and there are so few references to technology or current events that one is only reminded that the story is taking place i...more
Sheree
The Black Stallion was one of my favourite childhood reads. I first read it a horse-loving 8 year old, re-read it until my Scholastic copy became dog-eared and visited with The Black & Alec again as a 40 something child at heart.
I believe this is the premise that makes The Black Stallion a classic, a book remembered fondly from childhood days, pieces of the story remaining with you over the years, then upon re-visiting as an adult, the wonder of this fantastic tale comes flooding back.

The...more
Natalie
This is one of those books that I come back and read every couple of years. I just love it.

Alec is 14 years old and just coming home from the trip of a lifetime (to go see his uncle in Arabia) - when the ship he's sailing home on hits a giant storm and it turns out this really could be the last trip in his lifetime!

Adventure abounds and Alec ends up trapped on a tiny island with a giant horse: the Black Stallion. Will they come to an understanding before the elements get to them? Will they make...more
P. Christopher Colter
The Black Stallion by Walter Farley, tied with Treasure Island, was my favorite book as a kid. I remember having it recommended to me when I was about nine and absolutely devouring it in the space of a day. Then I turned around and read it again, before proceeding on to a number of the sequels. As fate would have it, Francis Ford Coppolla's critically-acclaimed film version came out at that very time, and it is one of the few films that is an equal to it's written counterpart.

In hindsight, the p...more
Noelle VanVleet
Picked up a boxed set of these books for $0.75 at a book sale because I remember enjoying this as a kid (though not as much as the Black Stallion Mystery, which I loved). I like to go back and read old favorites to see why I originally like them.

This was disappointing. It was dull, with a handful of anemic, well-behaved boys who say "gosh," and way too many kindly, horse-knowledgeable Irish men who say things like "Jumpin Jehoshaphat!" And don't forget the stereotypical Italian guy with the obv...more
Mary
This classic children's story about a boy shipwrecked with a wild stallion contains many great plot devices. The boy, Alec, is rescued by the horse when their ship sinks in a storm then returns the favor by insisting that the stallion return home with him when they are finally plucked from the desert island by a passing freighter. Home is Flushing, New York, where Alec's neighbor just happens to be a former champion jockey. Alec works hard to tame and then train the Black under Mr. Dailey's tute...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
My heart has never gone pitter-patter for horses. No, I’ve never gotten swept up in that crazy love that so many young kids suffer from, horse fever.

Something tells me that most of the people who pick up The Black Stallion do have horse fever. That’s okay, but it is something that must be considered when taking a look at all the rave reviews this book has received over the years.

What is the opinion of a regular, horse-neutral person?

I liked it. It was okay. Improbable, I think. (Would the owner...more
Logan Schaal
This is about a young boy named Alec. Alec is traveling back to the United States on a boat. On the way back the boat stops at a small Arabian port. At the port there is a small crowd of people holding down a great black horse. The horse is untrained and untamed. As the people struggle to load the horse on the boat, Alec becomes entranced by the stallion's strength. Alec is drawn to the horse. He wants more than anything to own the stallion but its not that simple. The horse was already owned by...more
Phair
Probably first read circa 1957. During 2d childhood reread I noticed not all was as I had recalled- a little more unbelievable for sure. Also -the writing style jumped out at me: short, simple, declarative sentences one after another. Was this Farley new to the writing trade or a conscious decision to appeal to unsophisticated kid audience of the day. After a while I got used to the style & didn't notice it as much. The ending had very much the 'to be continued' feel and I can clearly remem...more
Virag
My mom brought home this very copy of The Black Stallion when I was in, oh I dunno, maybe 4th grade? I read it in a day or two and fell in love with it immediately. I don't even know how many times I read this book.
In case you don't know what it's about (do you live under a rock?!) Alec, a young boy becomes ship-wrecked on a desert island with a magnificent black stallion. The two fo them bond, and they get back to Alec's home. It becomes apparent that Black is an incredibly fast horse, and Alec...more
Christina Dubisar
The Black Stallion by Walter Farley was such an amazing book. I loved it! I would definitely read this book again. Reading this book reminded me of horseback riding at my Aunt's house. She has three beautiful horses and they are each a different breed. Every time I go back horseback riding, I always go on Harmony. Harmony can be a diva at times, and strives for attention, but it doesn't bother me. I always have fun horseback riding and this book reminded me of it. This book has a sense of advent...more
Dean Deters
The main characters are Alec and The Black. The Black in a horse Alec is a boy who lives in new York. Alec was in India he got on a ship called the Drake on the ship there was a man and with him was a horse. The ship crashed and only the hose and Alec survived. They were stranded on an island they have to help each other to survive eventually they get rescued. When Alec gets back to New York with The Black the neighbors let the horse stay in their shed Alec goes to the shed everyday to feed and...more
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  • Sea Star: Orphan of Chincoteague (Misty, #2)
  • My Friend Flicka (Flicka, #1)
  • A Horse Called Wonder (Thoroughbred, #1)
  • National Velvet
  • Lad: A Dog
  • Big Red
  • The Black Stallion's Shadow (Black Stallion Returns, #1)
  • Old Bones the Wonder Horse
  • The Incredible Journey
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Walter Farley's love for horses began when he was a small boy living in Syracuse, New York, and continued as he grew up in New York City, where his family moved. Young Walter never owned a horse. But unlike most city children, he had little trouble gaining firsthand experience with horses-his uncle was a professional horseman, and Walter spent much of his time at the stables with him.

"He wasn't th...more
More about Walter Farley...
The Black Stallion Returns (The Black Stallion, #2) The Island Stallion (The Black Stallion, #4) Man O'War The Black Stallion and Satan (The Black Stallion, #5) Son of the Black Stallion (The Black Stallion, #3)

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“I believe that half the trouble in the world comes from people asking 'What have I achieved?' rather than 'What have I enjoyed?' I've been writing about a subject I love as long as I can remember--horses and the people associated with them, anyplace, anywhere, anytime. I couldn't be happier knowing that young people are reading my books. But even more important to me is that I've enjoyed so much the writing of them.” 40 likes
“You've never in your life seen a horse run so fast! He's all power-all beauty.” 8 likes
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