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Black Gold

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  5,769 ratings  ·  71 reviews
No one thinks much of Black Gold because he is so small. But Jaydee sees something special in his eyes. He knows Black Gold would be great if he was his rider! Finally, Jaydee gets his wish. And Black Gold grows strong and fast under his careful hands. Soon it would be time for the most important race in America. Did they really have what it takes to win? Black Gold's insp ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published April 30th 1992 by Aladdin (first published 1957)
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Black Beauty by Anna SewellThe Black Stallion by Walter FarleyKing of the Wind by Marguerite HenryMisty of Chincoteague by Marguerite HenrySeabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand
Horse Books/Novels
1,158 books — 609 voters
Black Beauty by Anna SewellThe Black Stallion by Walter FarleyKing of the Wind by Marguerite HenrySeabiscuit by Laura HillenbrandMisty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry
Best Horse Books
370 books — 324 voters

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Community Reviews

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4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,769 ratings  ·  71 reviews

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If I were to consider Marguerite Henry's Black Gold simply as a story in and of itself, I would probably be rating it with a lower than average three star rating (actually more two and a half stars). It is generally well enough written and engagingly recounted, but with a tragic (and for me likely preventable) ending that TOTALLY infuriates and frustrates me, for it is more than obvious that Black Gold should NOT have been raced or even trained again as a Thoroughbred (ever) once he developed hi ...more
Oct 24, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: children
Based on a true story, this book follows a boy's dream of being the jockey to ride a small, overlooked horse that he knows to be a champion.

In general, Henry's books, which are typically horse-related, are great for early readers.
Jul 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
All of Marguerite Henry's books are amazing, but this one has a special place in my heart. This is the first tragic animal tale I ever read. I cried for days. I couldn't believe the hero could have a unhappy ending. As an adolescent girl, it was delightful!!!
Rena Sherwood
Very weird and tragic "children's" story based on the life and death of the 1924 Kentucky Derby winner Black Gold. It's surprises me how many children;s books now thought of as classics had a lot of death and/or violence in them.

One of the murkier of Henry's books where it raises more questions in the reader than it answers. For example, that Black Gold was infertile was only hinted at, since you could talk about death but not sperm count in kids' books in 1957 (when Black Gold was first publis

Inspired by a true story, Marguerite Henry continues her literary tradition of showcasing a love of horse (and mule) flesh for young
adult readers. Unlike the homespun crises in MISTY OF CHINCOTEAGUE
this story takes readers into the harsh world of professional horse racing, with its stark risks and grim realities.

Set in Okalahoma, then in Kentucky in the 1920's this story relates the birth and racing career of a thoroughbred whose smaller stature caused him alm
Jun 16, 2010 rated it did not like it
This is a chapter book about a horse named Black Gold. The horse is seen by many as being too small to race. A young rider named Jaydee thinks the horse has what it takes to win horse races. The story ends with Black Gold breaking its leg during the final stretch of a race and has to be put to sleep. This book was written in 1957 for eight to twelve-year-old children. There are several small illustrations that appear to be done in pencil. I did not find the story very interesting. I think you wo ...more
Anne Osterlund
Dec 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Black Gold is the center of two dreams. The dream of Al Hoots, who risked much on a mare named U-see-it; then lost the chance to race her and set out to breed a Kentucky Derby champion. And the dream of Jaydee Mooney, a young boy destined to become a jockey and determined to ride one very special horse.

Black Gold is now one of my favorite Marguerite Henry books. The story seems more solidly based on fact than many of her other novels. And the horse is truly legendary.
Corinne Evans
Jun 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It was about a very fast horse named after oil. The Native Americans called oil black gold.

I'm trying very hard to not cry right now.

Better review to come.
Dec 26, 2014 rated it did not like it
Dear reader, I advise you not to buy this book, for the reason that the horse, Black Gold, the Main character, is killed. I also think that the people
should not have taken him away from his mother.
Jan 20, 2012 rated it it was ok
Horse is born.
Horse races.
Horse dies.
The end.

I was mad after reading this book at eleven or twelve years old. See my review of San Domingo for my opinion of this author's books.
Oct 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
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Title: Black Gold

Author: Marguerite Henry

Genre: Fiction


As a big horse lover, there may be some bias in this review in favor of
the novel Black Gold, written by Marguerite Henry. But whether I like
horses or not, I think I would've thoroughly enjoyed this book either way. For readers that have read Henry's work before, it is quite hard to miss her writing style. Even though I normally prefer a crisp, fast paced writing piece, Henry's writing approach
James Salzman
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: animals, young-adult
I have to agree with another reviewer here who mentioned that Henry shouldn't have written about Black Gold at all. His life was an extremely short tragedy propelled by greed and mismanagement. His leg snapped at the ankle due to a long-term crack in the hoof his trainer knew about for years but refused to have mended, due to nothing but pride. A useless, selfish old man that Henry paints as lonely and victimized, and she grants him pardon in the end for running a 7 year old horse to death. For ...more
This book was good in the beginning. I loved her characterization of Black Gold's jockey, and it was good to have even a fictionalized version of an otherwise forgotten Derby winner. I liked U-see-it, Rosa, and the boy. The trainer, though...he was all right at first, but got progressively more frustrating.

Black Gold's ultimate fate was (view spoiler). Despite being something of a downer, however, it's still a good, moving story. I think it still has relevance today in t
Kristen Smith
Jul 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
This story is the story of Seabiscuit and Ruffian. I think people like horse books so much because a horse symbolizes so many things from friendship to freedom. Those particular horses who can run so fast and jump so high on their own strength and without machine and who let us harness them teach us the power of synergy. Animals can teach us in a more direct and simpler way than just about anything else. Then we take those lessons and apply them to the most important relationships--those with ou ...more
May 26, 2011 added it
It was really well written. I think the tragedy at the end of the book was well put into words so much so that it brought tears of sympathy to my eyes. I really did enjoy this book... and I would recommend this book to horse lovers and young Jockeys that want to go to the track and be able to walk around in the winners circle. I read this book because its main basic story goes along about an race horse that made many wins and brought hope to the less fortunate. Black Gold was beautifully set and ...more
Aug 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: children who love horses and true stories.
I was obsessed with horses when I was younger and read EVERYTHING by Marguerite Henry. This one is true--and heartbreaking.

In case you're wondering, I'm still obsessed with horses; I just don't have the time or money.
Aug 21, 2010 rated it liked it
A good book about the true story of a horse no one thought could and a jockey with big dreams. I love the drawings in it -they're very cool! Of course my copy is an old harcover version which I love to collect old horse books.
Megan Lane
Agh, this was way sadder than expected... But I loved it all. I feel like everything ended up the way it should, even if it wasn't how I wanted it. I've always loved Marguerite Henry's books and this is no exception.
Anna Mcallister
Dec 16, 2007 rated it really liked it
Ha ha ha, I saw this book and had to add it to my books. I have very good memories of hiding in my closet reading this book when I was supposed to be doing my chores. I think I was 8. I probably read it 5 or so times.
Feb 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is probably my favorite of Marguerite Henry's books, partly because Black Gold was real, and at the time I read all her horse books, I was an elementary school girl who loved horses more than just about anything!
Sep 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
One of my all time childhood favorites!
Sep 01, 2010 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed the book! but the ending was better sweet.....
Apr 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is still one of my favorite horse stories. I read it many times when I was in sixth grade! My father gave this book to me.
Oct 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book evokes childhood memories! I still have the hardcover given to me 30+ years ago. It's a treasure to me.
Dec 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
These marvelous books wouldnt be the same without the collaboration of the incomparable illustrations by Wesley Dennis.
Aug 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
What I remember most about this book, is how after Black Gold died, there was a memorial set up for him at the race track, and I have always wanted to go there to see it, and maybe someday I will.
Ariel Jameson
Mar 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Black gold was a fun easy read. A classic horse book any true horse fan in my opinion should read. I really enjoyed it. I am sure that I will someday share it with my kids.
Kelli George
Jan 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a book that needs to be expanded in the same way that Seabiscuit's story was. It is a true story of a horse owned by an Osage Indian woman from Oklahoma who won the Kentucky Derby in 1924.
Feb 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: horse-books
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Marguerite Henry (April 13, 1902-November 26, 1997) was an American writer. The author of fifty-nine books based on true stories of horses and other animals, her work has captivated entire generations of children and young adults and won several Newbery Awards and Honors. Among the more famous of her works was Misty of Chincoteague, which was the basis for the 1961 movie Misty, and several sequel ...more