Monday, February 29, 2016

Reading Challenge 2016: Black Beauty

Week 9: A novel set in a country not your own

Black Beauty 
by Anna Sewell 

Just as Good as I Remembered

Do you ever get nervous that if you go back and read a book you adored as a child that you would be disappointed? Maybe I'm the only one with that fear, but I hadn't read Black Beauty for such a long time I was really, really nervous about re-reading it, afraid I would only find it a disappointment. Well, good job little me, you had good tastes way back in the day.

Black Beauty was just as good as I remembered. Easy to understand language, but nothing is dumbed down. You don't even notice the easy of reading, but the pace is just right. It's no wonder this book is usually classified as a children's classic - the problem is relegating it there. This is a book for everyone, not just children (in fact, this book was published for adults.)

You know, I feel bad for all these "children's classics" authors. They wrote in an understandable, readable fashion - which is the mark of a good author and good literature, and they get stuck in a section of the book store that ensures a limited audience.

Black Beauty is an engaging read from the start, though not action paced. It reads like a comfortable friend. As you journey through Black Beauty's life you meet an assortment of characters and learn a little about cruelty and treatment of animals along the way in a reasonable manner. I don't know whether my love of horses stemmed from reading this book as a child, or if that love was simply flamed by reading this novel. I have no doubt, though, that this book played a key role in developing the love for these amazing creatures which I still have today.

The illustrations in this particular volume are gorgeous. While I don't believe an abridged version of this book is necessary for children, if you insist on getting your child one, I recommend this one.

5 stars.

This book review appears as a part of the Reading Challenge 2016, to see other books in the challenge, click here.

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