Monday, April 4, 2016

Reading Challenge 2016: The Black Stallion

Week 14: A book written by a first time author

The Black Stallion
by: Walter Farley

Predictable, but still enjoyable

So I feel like I may be cheating a little bit by reading this book for my #vtReadingChallenge of a first time author. But I read several books by modern first time authors last year and, as a whole, wasn't particularly thrilled. I figured, hey, every author that got its start had their first book which was when they were a first-time author ... soooo if I read that book then it counts. So, sue me if you disagree.

I love horses, and I've vaguely known the story of the Black Stallion for, um, ever it seems. I've even read some of the other books in this prolific series, but I wasn't sure I had ever read the book that started it all. So I did.

The beginning of the book was distracting to read because of the tense, but somewhere in those first couple chapters it started flowing well, and I didn't look back. It's a well told story of an untamed stallion and a boy who form a strong friendship when they are forced to depend on each other to survive. Now, that all happens fairly early on. Once they are back at Alec's (the boy's) home, they settle in to a new normal together.

I liked the can-do attitude and the message that you can live a dream and do well in school simultaneously if you are disciplined. The awe of the stallion is well communicated, but I could be biased in that way since I've had a lifelong love of horses. I don't like that Alec is sneaking off in the middle of the night and hiding things from his parents. Sure he eventually told his father what was up, but he should've let them know from the get-go.

Still, it's an enjoyable read and one children will also like. The only other Stallion book I know for sure I have read is The Black Stallion, Challenged! and it had some similar features to this book. Now, it is the book we are introduced to Fury in, so that may be of necessity. I'd have to read a couple others before I determine if all 20 books are really just the same story retold, or if they add to the story.

Book 1, though, get 4 stars.

Bonus! The only female in the work is his mother. As a woman, I am 100% ok with this. I'm tired of people adding in a love interest so there is a female character, or to try and bring in female readers or whatever. Just give me a good story. If you do that, I don't care if your cast is all one gender or not. So, thank you, Mr. Farley, for that.

This post appears as part of the Reading Challenge 2016, to see all books in the challenge, click here.

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