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Beautiful Joe

4.2  ·  Rating Details ·  1,724 Ratings  ·  187 Reviews
This is a pre-1923 historical reproduction that was curated for quality. Quality assurance was conducted on each of these books in an attempt to remove books with imperfections introduced by the digitization process. Though we have made best efforts - the books may have occasional errors that do not impede the reading experience. We believe this work is culturally importan ...more
Hardcover, 268 pages
Published August 18th 2008 by BiblioLife (first published January 1st 1893)
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Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) Saunders wanted to advertise the good work of the Band of Mercy, an anti-cruelty league for young people. She also wanted to draw attention to what I…moreSaunders wanted to advertise the good work of the Band of Mercy, an anti-cruelty league for young people. She also wanted to draw attention to what I call "casual cruelty"--things that normal people do/did every day without realising how the animals in question felt about it.

Where I live, docking tails and ears was banned by law in 2002. Yet you still see docked tails, because some vets don't think it matters; and some people do their own home-grown docking. You still see blinkers on horses pulling tourist carriages, though fortunately the check-rein disappeared in the 1990s (not the 1890s, when this book was set!). And unfortunately, bull running and fighting is still with us.(less)
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Community Reviews

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Jun 12, 2012 Desiree rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an old favorite. From "Beautiful Joes" point of view. It was an amazing book! Inspiring, simple, touching.The rough start at life for Joe really makes you think. How your life is, how his was.How it would be like for an animal.What they possibly think, would feel.I am quite fond with all the characters.Each one reaches out to you.You truly feel like you know them.The care in the book is amazing.Like I said, the book was touching.And it was a true story! It made me eager to read Beautiful ...more
May 18, 2011 Merriwether rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My mom introduced me this story when I was only about 8 years old, as I was an animal empath all of my life. Keeping with the tradition of Black Beauty, one has to understamd that this book was written more for simple people who didn't understand in the late 1800's and early 1900's that animals had souls and could feel pain. Marshall Saunders does an excellent job of teaching that it isn't easy living at the mercy of cruel humans in the same way as Black Beauty and I love books that are told fro ...more
Tabitha Marian
Oct 13, 2016 Tabitha Marian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorite books. . .I love it!! :) I want to read this one again sometime. I would highly recommend this book to any and everyone. What makes this book so special is because it focuses on taking care of all kinds of animals, and making sure that none of them are abused or mistreated even in the slightest way. This book has made me love animals all the more, and make me all the more determined not to abuse any animals. So glad I read this book!
Sherry (sethurner)
"My name is Beautiful Joe, and I am a brown dog of medium size."

Beautiful Joe: The Autobiography of a Dog was written in 1893 by Margaret Marshall Saunders. The author used a male pen name because she feared she would not be taken seriously as a woman writer. I picked up a copy at a used book sale on a strength of a recommendation of a friend, and while I enjoyed the story of a loyal dog who comes to a loving family after having been savagely mistreated, I think I would have enjoyed it more if I
Oct 21, 2015 Timothy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Depicts the story of a dog from his perspective. From abused to kindly cared for, this book is quite remarkable and inspirational. I had to stop and ponder: do I treat mice, snakes, and other creatures that cannot communicate understandably to humans with kindness? I do fail and fall short. May God forgive me!

Outstanding book to read and read again! Worth trying to find this book if you have pets of any sort or love animals. This book reminds me again of the following passage from the Bible: The
May 25, 2013 Andrea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't believe this book had no readers on Goodreads. This is a book written in the same manner as Black Beauty to raise awareness of animal cruelty. An influential book in my life.
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
If I had rated this when I was first given a copy in the 60s it would have gotten a solid five. I downloaded it from Gutenberg not long ago to revisit a childhood friend and got a surprise--the book I read from about age 8 had obviously been abridged. What I got from Gutenberg must have been the original text. I have to say, for once the "abridgers" got it right. The original is too long and preachy, with too much sentimentality in the expression and too much "tell." Instead of showing us the ca ...more
Jen Hirt
May 13, 2016 Jen Hirt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, wow. Remember Black Beauty? How it was all from the point of view of the horse? Well, in 1894, Margaret Marshall Saunders wanted to do for dogs what Black Beauty did for abused cab horses in 1877. She knew of a real-life story of a horribly mutilated dog in Canada -- he'd had his ears and tail cut clean off as punishment for some small infraction like barking or existing. The American Humane Society was running a writing contest, so Saunders set the story of Beautiful Joe in Maine. The book ...more
Rebecca McNutt
Poor Joe is sort of the Dolores Claiborne of the canine world; this book tells of the terrible abuse he suffered, but also of his salvation when finally he learns to trust people again.

It was a beautiful but depressing little book, but it's eye-opening because unfortunately even in today's modern age, there are still creeps out there who enjoy mistreating living things for the hell of it without stopping first to think, "would I like it if someone did the same thing to me?"
Nancy Brady
Jan 31, 2013 Nancy Brady rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was one of my favorite books when I was a youngster. It tells the story of a dog who is owned by a cruel master (he cuts his ears and tail off) before being rescued by a kind family. Told from the dog's perspective, it is a compelling and poignant read that is both joyful and tear producing depending. Highly recommended to all children ten and up.
Eva Leger
Aug 12, 2008 Eva Leger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: every animal lover on earth
Recommended to Eva by: Jeannie and Suzanna (thanks guys!) :D
I can't believe I made it 32 years without knowing about Beautiful Joe. I so wish I had been introduced to this book as a child - I can only imagine how many times I'd have read it between then and now. I won't make that same mistake with my daughter. I'm going to buy a copy of this for us and always keep it around. I'll read it to her in a few years and then hopefully a few years later she'll be reading it herself.
I would have liked this book to be five times as long as it is. It's rare to fin
Dec 29, 2011 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-5-stars
I was pleasantly surprised to find a book written in a dog's voice in 1893, and I absolutely loved it. And the voice - Beautiful Joe's - is indeed a beautiful voice. His voice is genuine and loveable, and his perspective is believable. The book also gives an historical account of the way animals were treated in America at that time. I found it sad that so little has changed since then in respect to the abuse, neglect, and abandonment of animals and the lack of laws to protect them. Beautiful Joe ...more
Sep 20, 2010 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all children between about 8-11 years old
Recommended to Kim by: Donna Fay
My aunt gave this book to us this summer and said that she had read and loved it when she was about 8 years old. It is about a dog who was born on a farm with a very abusive owner. The dog is soon rescued and taken in by a loving family. Kaitlyn loved it and always begged me to read more. We were instructed that the book is to share with all our cousins but Kaitlyn doesn't want to give it up. She is now starting to read it a second time on her own. My aunt tells me that there is a cemetery in On ...more
This book was written in 1893 by Margaret Marshall Saunders. What a remarkable, compassionate author she is. The story is of a dog, Beautiful Joe, and is told by the dog. The entire story focuses on his life and the the humane treatment of animals. I just loved the last sentence of the book:

"Boys and girls, be kind to dumb animals, not only because you will lose nothing by it, but because you ought to; for they were placed on the earth by the same Kind Hand that made all living creatures."
Brad Lyerla
Jan 19, 2015 Brad Lyerla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read BEAUTIFUL JOE as a child. I wept through the beginning until Joe escapes his cruel first master. My uncle was never able to get past page 20 or so. Old family story about that.

I was fond of animal stories for a period. I remember enjoying one written from the point of view of a peregrine falcon. Cannot remember the name.

I moved on from animals when I discovered Franklin W. Dixon's The Hardy Boys. I devoured the entire series of books. Even skipped school a few times to stay home and rea
I didn't enjoy this book very much and I usually just love dog stories. For that reason I can't recommend it for anyone. It does reflect the old thinking of that time which was for the most part very boring for instance they wanted to put a stop to young people moving to cities and all sorts of ridiculous ideas were put forth which would have made no difference at all. Many young people would have left just to get away from some of these ideas but the ideas about really caring for animals are go ...more
Feb 01, 2011 Jeannie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone should read this book especially with their children
Recommended to Jeannie by: my dad
This was my dad's favorite book and he let me read it when I was maybe 8 yrs old. I still have that hardback copy. It is a very moving story of an abused and then rescued dog told from his point of view. Very hard hitting book for a child to read and it has deeply influenced the way I look at and will treat animals for the rest of my life.
Cecile Hibbs
Jan 28, 2013 Cecile Hibbs rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Another excellent book that my grandmother gave me. A beautiful, sensitive and sad story told from the perspective of an abused dog. This story was written to strike up interest in animal's rights in the early 1900's.
Read this as a child, loved it and have never forgotten it was a favorite, although my memory of the details is dim. I do know Joe stole my heart. Have wanted to reread it for a long time.
Cat Zornes
Dec 02, 2014 Cat Zornes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite dog story - read this when I was a child and it really made an impact on how people treat others, people and dogs.
A great book for kids. Teaches love and compassion for all living beings, and creates a caring perspective for children!
Feb 07, 2013 Eliz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my dad's favorite book as a child and it is also one of mine!
Heather Redfurn
Jul 07, 2014 Heather Redfurn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I cried.
BEAUTIFUL JOE originated from the same era and sensibilities as the more famous BLACK BEAUTY. Like the world’s best-known horse novel, BEAUTIFUL JOE tells a story from the perspective of an animal (this time a dog), with the intent of instilling humane values in its readers. Unlike BLACK BEAUTY, however, JOE is not a classic in writing style, and reads more like a morality play—attempting to cram as many lessons as possible into the text—than an actual story that will hold readers’ attention.

May 22, 2017 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was given this book as a youngster, nigh on to 50 years ago, and as I loved anything having to do with animals, especially dogs, I read it again and again. It's been several decades since I revisited it (although I believe the original book, somewhat battered and minus its spine) still languishes on a shelf in my mother's house.

The language is a bit archaic, and the tone a little preachy at times, but all in all it's not aged badly since it was first published in 1893. Its earnest style, vivid
Libba Byrne
Jun 14, 2017 Libba Byrne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My fifth grade teacher read this book to our class. It took a long time to get through and left a mark on this little girl's heart all those years ago. I finally found a copy online to reread and share with my granddaughters. $30.00! Evidently, the book that was read to me, and that my mother bought for me, was a different edition. This book was very sensitive in the beginning, upsetting to read and written in a very formal style. Still the same story at heart but there must be a more child-frie ...more
Jordan Taylor
Beautiful Joe has been compared to the groundbreaking Black Beauty since its publication in 1893. This first person story of an abused dog runs many parallels to Black Beauty and Margaret Marshall Saunders made no secret of having been inspired and greatly influenced by the horse novel. The two even met comparable success. Black Beauty was already famous and Beautiful Joe soon became the best-selling Canadian novel ever. (Though the true story it is loosely based on took place in Canada, the nov ...more
Donna Ledington
Mar 02, 2017 Donna Ledington rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childhood-reads
I was given this book as a Christmas gift when I was about 8 years old (circa 1960) The story of Joe, the cur dog, has stuck with me to this day. I am now 64. It is the first book I remember receiving as a gift. I was a voracious reader and would often read books over and over. This was one.
Forgotten Realms Queen
Wow this was painful to read. It's a kids classic, so I thought I would rip through it pretty quick...but no...

Beautiful Joe is the story of a dog in his own words. Think Black Beauty if you've ever read the book or watched the movie. The only difference is book really encompasses all kinds of animals, rather than just focusing on one type.

So Beautiful Joe is a dog who was abused by his first master. Had his ears and tail chopped off with an axe because the guy got in a bad mood. Luckily for him
Aug 11, 2014 Fence rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful Joe is the story of a dog, a mongrel whose first owner abused him, going so far as to chop off his ears and tail. He was rescued and went on to live a much happier life. The author of this story, Margaret Marshall Saunders1 met the real Beautiful Joe while visiting her brother in law and his wife, the inspiration for Laura in the book. She was touched by Joe’s story, and having recently read Black Beauty2 decided to write “a dog’s own tale”.

A lot of comparisons to Black Beauty might be
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Margaret Marshall Saunders CBE was a Canadian author.

Saunders was born in the village of Milton, Queens County, Nova Scotia. She spent most of her childhood in Berwick, Nova Scotia where her father served as Baptist minister. Saunders is most famous for her novel Beautiful Joe. Originally published under the pseudonym Marshall Saunders, it is a story narrated by a dog who has had a difficult puppy
More about Marshall Saunders...

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