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Black Beauty tells the story of the horse's own long and varied life, from a well-born colt in a pleasant meadow to an elegant carriage horse for a gentleman to a painfully overworked cab horse. Throughout, Sewell rails--in a gentle, 19th-century way--against animal maltreatment. Young readers will follow Black Beauty's fortunes, good and bad, with gentle masters as well as cruel. Children can easily make the leap from horse-human relationships to human-human relationships, and begin to understand how their own consideration of others may be a benefit to all. (Ages 9 to 12)-
Black Beauty's earliest days are spent growing up happily with his mother, Dutchess and then working in Squire Gordon's stables at Birtwick Park where he meets his friends Ginger and Merrylegs. His later years are not so happy, and the horse endures fires, floods and hard times with harsh masters, before he at last finds a happy home with his old friends.