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The Black Stallion

(The Black Stallion #1)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  70,627 ratings  ·  1,272 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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Alisha I pick a book for my daughter to read and she gets to pick one (any appropriate topic) without any parental eye-rolling no matter what it is. I also m…moreI pick a book for my daughter to read and she gets to pick one (any appropriate topic) without any parental eye-rolling no matter what it is. I also make sure she has lots of options at home as well as asking her for suggestions about what she thinks I might like to read. For instance, last year I read a lot of the Warriors series (not my favorites but they weren't bad and most importantly she saw that I valued what she recommended so it goes both ways - it also gives us something to talk over).(less)
Rebecca My 8-year-old loved it. There's nothing objectionable in the story. …moreMy 8-year-old loved it. There's nothing objectionable in the story. (less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.18  · 
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 ·  70,627 ratings  ·  1,272 reviews

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Dec 06, 2009 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: children interested in horse stories
Although I certainly enjoyed Walter Farley's classic tale of a boy and his horse when I read The Black Stallion as a young teenager, I most definitely never liked it quite as much as Marguerite Henry's Misty of Chincoteague series (and other horse series that were part of my childhood); furthermore, I also never did warm up to any of the sequels. And part of the reason why The Black Stallion has always been a bit of a miss for me is the fact that at least some of the scenarios described by autho ...more
A very nice children's story. ...more
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No idea when I first read this but I was very young. This is the German edition and I always loved the covers (just looked into the English ones and am not convinced so I probably won't re-buy them). I was never the girly type of girl that was into horses, but the fierceness of the Black Stallion, the majestic way it was portrayed in the movie (as well as the Arabian kept in the stables where I had my lessons), and the adventures sucked me in. With the generous backing of my grandfather (who lik ...more
Feb 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-5-star
Alex Ramsey first meets the black stallion when they're both booked on a ship called the Drake. When the ship is destroyed during a storm, the Black stallion and Alex are the only survivors. They wash up on a deserted island. Alex knows if it wasn't for the Black he won't have survived the shipwreck. When Alex is rescued from the island, he insist on the Black being saved too. Soon they are on a voyage to New York in America. What fate awaits for a boy and a wild black stallion?

I can remember re
I know I read this as a kid & yet I couldn't remember a thing about it which is odd, although I hadn't remembered Misty of Chincoteague very well, either. Too many years, I guess. Anyway, I'm really happy that I had a chance to reread this as an audio book narrated by Frank Muller who did an excellent job.

This is definitely a kids book, perfect for young teens & down. It's full of adventure & yet Alec never forgot to do his homework plus his parents were completely clueless while being fully sup
Reading this to my kids, I honestly wonder if I've actually read it! I read all the Walter Farley books as a kid, and we also owned the movie on VHS. So I suspect that I had simply seen the movie, and then moved on with the books after that! The book is quite similar to the movie, and my kids found it a little dry. It goes into great detail about how wild the Black is, and how only Alec can ride him, but the big race takes place in just one chapter! Still, it's the first book about a horse that ...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
Gracelyn Buckner
I don't like horses, or horse books, but I really enjoyed this one. ...more
***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
May 24, 2009 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
Nov 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: prologue, favorites
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
Kailey (Luminous Libro)
Alec is heading home aboard a steamship, when the ship sinks in a storm and there are only two survivors: Alec and a spirited black stallion. The two are washed ashore on a small island, where they forage for food, and Alec tames the wild stallion.

I was completely riveted while reading this book! I couldn't put it down, and read it in one day. The writing has such good pacing, and the action moves swiftly along, pulling the reader into the next chapter and the next.

I adored Alec's character. He
Nov 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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
Ashley Marsh
Apr 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, 2018
I think I would have really loved this if I had read it as a kid. It was a cute story with little to no conflict, and I really enjoyed it. My biggest complaint is actually the excessive use of exclamation points. It seemed unnecessary. Other than that, it was a fun, quick, read, though definitely better suited to a younger audience.
Dec 08, 2009 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
Oct 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: animals
Cowboys are Better Than Their Horses

I read this when I was a teenager, but even before that I really loved horses, so much so that I wanted to marry Roy Roger’s horse Trigger when. I was 7 years old and living in Shandon, CA, a town of 500 people. We later moved to Porterville, CA, and I had Roy Rogers and Dale Evans paper dolls. My friend cut Dale Evans hair short, and I was rather upset. Other than that I remember wishing that Roy Rogers and Dale Evans were my parents. Perhaps I was just smart
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
Ellen Hamilton
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Now this is one horse book that I loved! I watched the movie a long time ago and really really enjoyed it, so I was glad to finally read the book. The action is so intense sometimes that I really had to hold my breath. I loved the descriptions of the horse; I could almost feel his silky mane and glossy coat, and hear his thundering hoofbeats and piercing cry. I look forward to reading more of the books in this series!
Benjamin Thomas
A re-read from my childhood. Holds up very well and would serve a young reader of today nicely. I read the first three in the series back then, but now I've bought the whole set. Really looking forward to them! ...more
Charles Barker
Mar 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Black Stallion is about a boy and a horse coming together to stay alive after there ship crashed and left them stranded on an island. This event helps the boy realize what he has to do to survive on this island which means him and the horse forming a bond and working together to get food and water. They were stranded on this island alone for two months before being rescued. After being split up the boy tries to form his bond with the horse again which leads to everyone thinking that the hors ...more
Mar 13, 2010 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
Nov 30, 2014 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
Kellyn Roth
Sep 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
I read this when I was about ten on a horse-book spree. :P
Jay Wright
Feb 11, 2021 rated it liked it
The book is good. The book is about a boy who gets shipwrecked on an island with a Black Arabian horse and they survive together. They are saved and returned to New York and the horse turns to racing. Now I am going to say it. The Movie is better than the book. I often sat with my children and watched it. I love Mickey Rooney and the movie was true to the book. The movie was able to put me on the deserted island with Alec. It is a great movie, but only a so-so book. And how often does that happe ...more
N.T. Embe
Dec 17, 2012 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

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
John The Rabbit
Feb 21, 2011 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
Silent Polyglot
Feb 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-english
The story was very simple but good. I really liked the ending! :)
Lynn Raye Harris
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A reread, many years later. I adored this series as a girl. And it’s still fun, even if the writing style is a bit old-fashioned. Loved the Black as much as ever. What a horse!
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
A wonderful story from a masterful storyteller. A great read to decompress and understand that life can be such an adventure within just pages in a book.
Oct 17, 2010 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
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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

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)

News & Interviews

  Kerine Wint is a software engineering graduate with more love for books than for computers. As an avid reader, writer, and fan of all things...
15 likes · 10 comments
“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.” 75 likes
“You've never in your life seen a horse run so fast! He's all power-all beauty.” 17 likes
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