Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Black Stallion, by Walter Farley

Alec Ramsay is a young boy returning from visiting his uncle in India.  While his steamship is stopped at an Arabian port, Alec witnesses the crew struggling to bring an untamed black horse aboard.  Days later, after a terrible storm at sea, the ship goes down with the only survivors being the horse and Alec!  Alec soon learns that his new horse is built for speed, but any dreams of the racetrack will have to wait until after they can be rescued!

I enjoyed this book because it’s a story that’s half adventure and half sports.  Also, even though the book was a contemporary novel when it was published in 1941, it reads more like a well-researched historical novel today.  When Alec eventually gets rescued by a passing freighter, his parents send him a telegram with instructions to book a ticket on the next ship bound for New York.  I thought that was hilarious, compared to the availability of instant messaging and jet travel that we take for granted nowadays!

Even though this book is nearly seventy years old, it’s still just as exciting to read today.  “The Black Stallion” is pure escapist fantasy about a boy and his horse, the two of them alone against the wild world.  Whenever you mix together ocean travel, deserted islands, wild animals and athletic championships, that recipe is sure to be a success with boys who love to read!       

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