**spoiler alert** Okay, so I'll admit that when the Potter books first came out, I wasn't a kid. I don't have kids, unless you count three cats and a**spoiler alert** Okay, so I'll admit that when the Potter books first came out, I wasn't a kid. I don't have kids, unless you count three cats and a dog (though sometimes its three dogs), but you shouldn't because dogs and cats are different from kids. I don't have to send them to school, and I don't really have to read to them. Though, I had a dog who growled during Paradise Lost and a cat who loves Anthony Trollope. Anyway, the point is I am not the targeted age group. I have a soft spot for Potter. Rowling gets children to read long books. It's fantasy. Its about outcasts. It has dogs, cats, owls.
I, however, did not really like this one. Why? It didn't need to be as long as it was. It really didn't. It was predictable, at least if you think about everything it was. The real reason, however, is what in Hades did Rowling do to Hermione? I mean, geez, talk about a whining, nagging, annoying girl. She's nothing like she was in the last book. True, she's still smart and far more loyal than Ron. She knows how to pack. But sometimes in the book I just wanted to tell her to be quiet or to stop crying.
And what was with all those deaths at the end? Did Rowling just throw names out willy nilly? Remus and Tonks? Because Tonks cares more for her husband than her child? I get people die in war, but the deaths lacked the meaning and feeling that Dobby had. That was a death. The rest just felt like she was running though a list. Real life, maybe. But in this type of book? Why couldn't Harry mourn Hedwig just a little more? Then, I'm suppose to believe that Molly could take out Bellatrix? Really, without Molly showing any real power before? I understand the idea of a mother's rage, but it came across as "can't le Ginny do it because she's a kid".
And the ending, the fanfic ending? Why would Harry name his child after Snape before naming a child after Sirius?
Well, I'm not a kid, so maybe that's why I didn't like this one so much. ...more
Black Beauty is one of those rare books that can preach without being preachy. Anna Sewell wrote this to illustrate the abuse of horses, in particularBlack Beauty is one of those rare books that can preach without being preachy. Anna Sewell wrote this to illustrate the abuse of horses, in particulary the harsh use of the bearing rein. The bearing rein was used to get the horse's head arched, but made it difficult for the horse to breathe and near impossible for the horse to pull a carriage uphill. When Sewell died, the hearse to carry her body used horses with bearing reins. Her mother went out and made the driver get rid of them.
Another Sewell story. On her way home, driving her own trap, she was able to tell that her horse picked up a stone simply though the reins. Sewell was an awesome woman.
Sewell was truly a horsewoman and an educator, both of which are on display in Black Beauty. The plot deals with the abuse and mistreatment of horses; it teaches and raises awareness while it entertains. Sewell respects readers of all ages enough not to shy away from unpleasentness, though she never ever descends into shock value (and disregards more pressing questions for the adult reader wonders if Beauty is a gelding). She makes both her animal and human characters real and doesn't over romantize the story, as has been done in some adaptions of her work.
This edition presents stories about horses that are related to Black Beauty while capturing the tone and ideas being the original. One stand out storyThis edition presents stories about horses that are related to Black Beauty while capturing the tone and ideas being the original. One stand out story takes place during WW I. ...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 th 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 then ungelded.
That seems part of his greatness in this series; for at no point does Farley ever condsend to his young readers. He presents the world where the rules don't magically change; Alex only finds a way to work with them or around them. Yes, perhaps the book is part wish fulfillment, but it is also a non-Gary Stu wish fullment.
There is such passion and love for horses in this series, but in a non-romantized way. A child could do far worse than starting this series....more