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The Black Stallion (The Black Stallion #1)

4.18  ·  Rating Details  ·  60,475 Ratings  ·  870 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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Christine It happened to me at around that same age. I adored that book, probably more than any other when I was young. I was disappointed in the other books in…moreIt happened to me at around that same age. I adored that book, probably more than any other when I was young. I was disappointed in the other books in that series, but my love of reading has continued through the decades. (less)
Kelsi_Betsy I don't know, maybe because it appealed to me. Maybe because I can. Why do you read the books you read?
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Jul 04, 2016 Manybooks rated it liked it
Recommends it for: children interested in horse stories
Although I enjoyed this book when I read it as a teenager, I never liked it quite as much as Marguerite Henry's Misty of Chincoteague series (and other horse series that were part of my childhood). And I never did warm up to any of the sequels. Part of the reason The Black Stallion has always been a bit of a miss for me is the fact that some of the scenarios described sound a bit too good to be true, a bit too convenient and at times, almost unbelievable (and I really despise the fact that Alec ...more
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
***Wanda’s Summer Carnival of Children’s Literature***

Wow, talk about fantasy! And yet this is the book which ignited my passion for reading. Totally unrealistic and it was totally captivating to an 11 year old, horse-crazy girl. This is the book which started my life-long habit of identifying with male characters, because I wanted to be Alec Ramsey. I am also truly lucky to have had an indulgent father who purchased my first pony, Nippy, at an auction sale for $50. (We left home with a truck fu
Mar 10, 2016 Amanda NEVER MANDY rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, prologue
I didn’t remember this book as being a race horse story. My memory of it was a child bonding with an animal. It’s funny how the mind can omit the things from memory that we don’t like or aren’t interested in. I remember the island part and the neighbor with a stable but everything else is gone. I guess it really wouldn’t have been that interesting of a story if it was just those parts as written without the exciting conclusion. Although if they would have made Alec and the Black’s time on the is ...more

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
Dec 08, 2009 Jessica rated it it was amazing
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
May 24, 2009 Ruth rated it it was ok
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
John The Rabbit
Feb 21, 2011 John The Rabbit rated it liked it
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
Mar 13, 2010 Callie rated it it was amazing  ·  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
N.T. Embe
Jun 12, 2016 N.T. Embe rated it it was amazing  ·  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. 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
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
Aug 12, 2015 Craig rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
My paternal grandmother gifted this to me over thirty years ago and I, shamefacedly, never read it. "A horse book? This is for girls," I remember thinking, still so carefully trying to puff up my masculinity, lest anyone find out I was gay.

clearly horse books are not just for girls. My grandmother was a very perceptive, prescient lady, so, as an adult, I find myself wondering: what's here that she thought I needed all those years ago? I aim to find out.

Resilience...self-reliance...the wild exte
Jun 28, 2009 Sheree rated it it was amazing
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.

Dec 30, 2009 C rated it it was amazing
Shelves: junior-fiction

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
Sep 30, 2011 Wendy rated it really liked it
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
Oct 17, 2010 English315/educ510 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 31, 2010 Angela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 29, 2014 Kalen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Rebecca McNutt
Jun 01, 2015 Rebecca McNutt rated it really liked it
Alec and his stallion are two characters I loved when I was a little kid; their adventures were vividly written and never got old no matter how many times I re-read them. This is an excellent classic and definitely a great book for all ages.
May 05, 2009 Robin rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 02, 2008 Kelly rated it it was amazing
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
Julie (Manga Maniac Cafe)
Nov 01, 2015 Julie (Manga Maniac Cafe) rated it it was amazing
4.75 stars

I am often reluctant to reread childhood faves, because as I've aged, my reading tastes have changed. Since The Black Stallion was written almost 80 years ago, the age of the novel also gave me pause. I impulsively checked it out of the library anyway (I do have an ancient hardcover copy somewhere in my own book collection, but it's so much easier to read a digital copy). I remember the first book in the series being one of my least favorites, but after finishing it again, a gazillion
Jennifer Becton
Aug 12, 2010 Jennifer Becton rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 31, 2009 Kate Dee rated it it was amazing
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. :)
Sep 08, 2009 Carrie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: to-read-to-kids
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.
Kensie Linton
May 20, 2015 Kensie Linton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jaysa Melton, Kaylin Hoover, Autumn Bloss, Lilly Richmond, Madeline Sitton, and my family
The main characters in this book are Alec, Henry, and the Black. Alec was a young boy and had met the black stallion on his way back home. Henry boards the Black and helps Alec with him. This book takes place on an island then his hometown.
The problem in this book started when Alec was on his way home in a ship. Then one night it started to storm. There was this black stallion he had fallen in love with that had to be boarded up on the ship. The ship started to sink and the waves were so hard
Apr 10, 2016 Kelsi_Betsy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Horse fans
Better review to come.
Nicola Mansfield
Jun 28, 2013 Nicola Mansfield rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 09, 2013 Natalie rated it really liked it
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
P. Christopher Colter
Jun 28, 2011 P. Christopher Colter rated it it was amazing
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • Born to Trot
  • National Velvet
  • My Friend Flicka (Flicka, #1)
  • A Horse Called Wonder (Thoroughbred, #1)
  • The Black Stallion's Shadow (Black Stallion Returns, #1)
  • Smoky the Cow Horse
  • Billy And Blaze: A Boy And His Pony
  • Big Red
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 about Walter Farley...

Other Books in the Series

The Black Stallion (1 - 10 of 24 books)
  • The Black Stallion Returns (The Black Stallion, #2)
  • Son of the Black Stallion (The Black Stallion, #3)
  • The Island Stallion (The Black Stallion, #4)
  • The Black Stallion and Satan (The Black Stallion, #5)
  • The Black Stallion's Blood Bay Colt (The Black Stallion, #6)
  • The Island Stallion's Fury (The Black Stallion, #7)
  • The Black Stallion's Filly (The Black Stallion, #8)
  • The Black Stallion Revolts (The Black Stallion, #9)
  • The Black Stallion's Sulky Colt (The Black Stallion, #10)
  • The Island Stallion Races (The Black Stallion, #11)

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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.” 52 likes
“You've never in your life seen a horse run so fast! He's all power-all beauty.” 11 likes
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