The Black Stallion


Paperback, 2002


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RANDOM HOUSE (2002), Paperback


Young Alec Ramsay is shipwrecked on a desert island with a horse destined to play an important part in his life. Following their rescue their adventure continues in America.

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LibraryThing member rmckeown
When I was about 10 years old, I lived in a brown stone row house in Philadelphia. It was a few years before they planted trees on our block. We had about a 10 by 10-foot slab of concrete for a back yard. When I read The Black Stallion by Walter Farley, I fell in love with horses and horse stories.
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I doubt I had ever seen a live horse by then. But I loved that book so much, it became a frequent companion. We had an alley between our house and a neighbor’s, and I begged my parents to let me have a horse, which I could stable in the alley. As time passed, I forgot about Farley and horse stories.

Recently, I began searching for nice, clean copies of Farley’s 41 stories. I have found about 6, but “The Black” as Farley named him, eluded me. Suddenly, I found a pristine copy of a new edition of Farley’s work. In every detail, it perfectly matched my memory. I sat down and red it again—complete with the original illustrations and dust jacket. I am going to intensify my search for others in the series.

The story line is a typical YA novel. A young boy, Alec Ramsey, is on a ship bound for home from an Arabian port on the red sea. Alec watches as the huge, magnificent stallion tries to break out of the hold, with no success. Then a storm comes, and the small ship is tossed up and down and all around. The ship began to sink. Alec and the other passengers abandoned the ship. Farley wrote, “When he came up, his first thought was of the ship; then he heard an explosion, and he saw the Drake settling deep into the water. Frantically, he looked around for a lifeboat, but there was none in sight. Then he saw the Black swimming not more than ten yards away. Something swished by him—a rope. And it was attached to the Black’s halter! The same rope they had used to bring the stallion aboard the boat, and which they had never been able to get close enough to the horse to untie. Without stopping to think, Alec grabbed hold of it. Then he was pulled through the water, out onto the open sea” (22). Ah, how those thrilling words came back to me.

Alec was ship wrecked on an uninhabited island. First, he tried to get close to the horse with no luck. He began to explore and found some fruit trees. Slowly the Black began to trust Alec, and they formed a heart-warming bond. He was able to build a fire, which spread to some trees. He ran to the shore. A ship saw the smoke. As they approached, the Black ran off. The sailors tried to convince Alec to leave the island without the Black. Farley writes, “Alec’s eyes blurred; he couldn’t see. He stumbled and fell and then clambered to his feet. Again, he rushed forward. Then they had their arms around him. // ‘For the love of St. Patrick,’ the man called Pat groaned, ‘he’s just a boy!’” Alec stubbornly refused to leave the island without the horse. Then the stallion appeared, and Alec mounted him. Farley wrote, “Approximately thirty yards away, Alec cane to a halt. ‘You just have to take us both, Captain! I can’t leave without him!’” he yelled” (59). Lots of exclamation points and lots of suspense.

Walter Farley’s, The Black Stallion, is a magnificent story for readers of all ages. It is a story sure to delight Texans who love horses. 5 stars

--Chiron, 9/11/18
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LibraryThing member ktibbs
This is an excellent adventure story that follows a young boy, Alec as he embarks on an adventure out to sea by himself after visiting his uncle. Disaster strikes when the ship sinks and Alec and a wild stallion horse are the only survivors stranded on the island. Alec begins to befriend the
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stallion while on the island and when they are rescued, he talks his parents into letting him keep the horse. The two get into some mischief when Alec befriends an old jockey and begin to train to race the stallion against the world's fastest horses--without Alec's parents knowing. This book is full of excitement, passion, following your dreams and never ending spirit.
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LibraryThing member stacylynn00
Here is a masterpiece of adventure and the love of animals. The young hero, Alec Ramsey, is shipwrecked on an island with a beautiful stallion. Once they are rescued, back in the world, they start a partnership, with a trainer, and the story takes off as an exciting partnership between a boy and a
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horse. The writing is easy to read and would captivate kids of all ages.
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LibraryThing member yhgail
A favorite author when I was a young girl
LibraryThing member ShellyCBuchanan
This well-loved classic about a young boy in a shipwreck, saved by a wild stallion stranded on a tropical island, and finally rescued to return home with his horse savior is a bit of a period piece, to be savored by those immersed or interested in the time period in which it was written, the 1940s,
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or the genre, horse/coming of age stories. For today's readers there are no surprises in this story, nor are there any thematic layers to explore beyond the obvious-boy-overcomes-odds-with-horse-as -his-passion theme. Farley tells a somewhat predicable story about a boy and his horse. They have a tough journey, overcoming odds here and there, with people doubting them, and then they succeed to beat the odds. If this story were told today, it would likely include peer complications, family strife, community challenges and maybe some racial tension. We expect more from our best literature today in the 21st century.

The illustrations go a fair way to add to the dramatic tension of the novel, The artist know horses well and shows them in all their powerful motion, lending movement to the novel that the writing do not have, until the end.
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LibraryThing member m.belljackson
The Black Stallion reigns as a beloved classic to return to, again and again, for inspiration.

Alec Ramsey is the only human survivor of the shipwrecked Drake, thanks to his courage and strength
in holding the Black Stallion's rope. Together, they find fresh water and food on a tiny island until
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their fortunate rescue.

Home in New York brings many challenges, a lot of love and happiness.
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LibraryThing member ctpress
A classic children’s book about a boy and a horse. Alec Ramsey have a first brief scary meet with the wild black stallion on a ship - then tragedy strikes and he is shipwrecked on a desert island - and the only survivor apart from him is the horse.

I liked the first part of this book a lot - when
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Alec and the stallion learn to take care of each other and they become inseparable. Back on safe ground in USA the second part deals with entering a horse race.
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LibraryThing member Schmerguls
This book reads as if it was written by a high school kid, and it was, in part. But it won the the Young Reader's Choice Award in 1944, and I was amazed to see that The Incrdible Journey, by Sheila Burfored, won that same award in 1964, and I considre The Incredible Journey one of the best books I
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have ever read and I read it when I was an adult. But The Black Stallion is poorly plotted, filled with unlikely events, and the dialogue is painful to read. Furthermore there is no suspense in the book because always Alec and the horse who saved him when the ship they were on sank always triumph. I guess it just goes to show that some juvenile fiction should not be read by an adult, whereas some is worth reading.
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LibraryThing member lalenaz
A little boy is on a boat from India all the way to the U.S. There is a wild black stallion on the boat. The horse jumps over board and knocks the boy over. The boy grabs on to the rope that is tight to the horse and the boat sinks. Then the horse swims and drags the boy to a deserted island. The
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boy is stock on the island with the horse for a long time. He gets to know the horse and rides it. They get rescued by a ship and the boy brings the horse back to the U.S. The boy meets his mom and dad who thought he was dead. He has his neighbor keeping the horse in his barn, because he is a good horse and there is a chance of winning in races. Eventually they get the horse in a race against two other really fast horses and he wins.
This story is about friendship between humans and animals. This story is also about helping others, since everyone in the story somehow helped the boy. I liked the neighbor's help to the boy. Without his presence in the story perhaps it would have been more difficult for the boy to enter the horse in the race.
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LibraryThing member MarysGirl
Nostalgic read...I read all Farley's books when I was a horse-obsessed pre-teen. The language is quaint, but the story still excites.
LibraryThing member otterpopmusic
I probably haven't read this in 30 years. It is really hilarious to re-read it as a parent. Love the dad's reaction when he learns that his kid - recently rescued from a desert island, after a shipwreck in which the kid was presumed dead - has been sneaking out after midnight for weeks to break
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into Belmont Park and race his wild stallion around the track. That is one calm dad.
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LibraryThing member echoesofstars
The Black Stallion is about a boy, Alec, and a wild horse that survive a shipwreck, become friends, and go on to win a championship race. It is a well-written children's book especially aimed at boys.

The book mainly focuses on the taming and training of the stallion. Henry, Alec's coach and friend,
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is also a key character in the book. Alec's parents are minor characters and have only limited roles in the story.

I do wish the author had developed the relationships between Alec and his parents a little more. Alec's parents didn't seem overly distraught at their son being in a shipwreck, and Alec's father agreed to letting Alec race pretty easily. I would have liked to see more conflict between Alec and his parents, which would seem more natural considering the events that had happened in Alec's life.

In spite of this shortcoming, the book is very well suited for young readers. It is entertaining and captures the reader's imagination easily.
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LibraryThing member Payten
Haven't read the book yet...But please message me about it
LibraryThing member shumphreys
A heart-warming adventure story about a boy named Alec and a wild stallion named Black. The two are shipwrecked on an island and come to depend on eachother for survival. When rescued, Alec takes the horse with him and a horse trainer near where he lives helps him train the horse to race.
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4-8. Wide appeal. Independent Read. Positives - desirable adventures, highly relatable protagonist, wild animals!
Negatives - some violence.
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LibraryThing member molliewatts
Alec Ramsay finds himself shipwrecked on a desert island with the wild and beautiful Black Stallion. They soon become friends and after they are rescued, Alec takes the Black to live with him, where he and trainer Henry Dailey begin to race the fiesty stallion. The first of many "Black Stallion"
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LibraryThing member satyridae
I haven't read this book in 30 years or so. It is still every bit as heart-poundingly exciting, and only slightly anachronistic.
LibraryThing member jverke
This classic should be on every shelf. I was drawn to this series in middle school and read each book as quick as it was published.
LibraryThing member Stsmurphy
Published originally in 1941, this book is about a young boy, Alec Ramsay who finds a wild black stallion at a small Arabian port on the Red Sea. Between the black stallion and young boy, a strange understanding grew that you lead them through untold dangers as they journeyed to America. Nor could
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Alec understand that his adventures with the black stallion would capture the interest of an entire nation
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LibraryThing member RR16
this book is about a boy named alec and a boat with some stallions and horse's they were traviling well alec was going back home and the stallion well he didnt know why he was on there but when they were traviling but there was a storm at sea and the boat falling, drounding into the water alec and
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the horse in the water...
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LibraryThing member cedargrove
'The Black's' first book is a must read for any horse lover, young and adult alike. The story, which Farley began writing during his High School years, follows the fortunes of Alec, a boy from New York who, while returning from visiting relatives in India is shipwrecked, along with a wild black
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stallion. The two survive together, befriending each other and when rescued, Alec brings the stallion home, cares for him, and ultimately ends up running in the race of a lifetime against the two greatest horses of the time.

The writing, though uncomplicated, draws the reader into the adventures shared by Alec and The Black. The emotions of the characters as they thread their way through the story, all are conveyed with a simple economy of words that leaves the imagination of the reader to build the full picture in a way that is refreshing in a world where so much is often over described, and overplayed.

The overall tone of the book, and the voices of the characters are believable and fit within the era in which the book was written and is set. There are times, for example, during last chapter of the book, the reader can almost 'hear' what is being said by the characters, and this only lends and excitement and believability, (and increased enjoyment), to the whole experience of reading the book.

The first half of the story, as well as introducing the reader to the characters, covers the shipwreck and fight for survival of both Alec and the stallion that becomes his companion. Farley balances the necessity to show the hardships and the trials the pair faced, with the simple tone of the writing to create an imagery, and tell this part of the tale vividly and with a fluid narrative that leads the reader from one day to the next; one even to the next as the two learn how to survive together.

The latter half of the story is well grounded in horse and the racing culture of the day, (which has sadly not remained true through the march of years since the publishing of The Black Stallion), making that aspect of the story more understandable for young readers, and for those not fully versed in such matters, and as such proves one of the highlights – as well as providing for an exciting climax of the book.
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LibraryThing member mirrani
Admit it, someone says "horse adventure" and this is one of the very first images that comes to mind: a beautiful Arabian standing on a beach, the wind blowing his mane, and a shipwrecked boy beside him. Anyone who has ever read this book or seen the movie has been so caught up in that "horse
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adventure" that it has become a part of their lives in some way or another, even deep in the subconscious mind.

This book isn't considered a classic for nothing. Though the writing is simple, the plot is mildly outrageous, and things fall into place a little too easily, the whole of the package is somehow pure perfection. The story perfectly feeds off of the deep desires of so many who want to wake up one day and have a horse of their own just fall into their lap. Any young reader who picks up this book is certain to try and read it all in one sitting and will most probably deepen their love of horses.

As an adult, rereading this book transports me to a time when the racetracks of America were open and alive. I can exist in a time when people talked as much about what horse was the best as they now wonder who will be the National Champion at basketball. Reading the lives of Alec and Henry, taking in the words that so perfectly describe the action and sound of a racetrack, and experiencing the call of the race as if it were live on the radio, are all elements of this book that jump quickly to life inside the hearts of so many, capturing a time gone by and making this story one that will keep readers forever young.
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LibraryThing member larasimmons2
The Black Stallion was first published in 1941. I would categorize this book in the realistic fiction genre. The story is about Alec, a young boy returning to the United States from India. He boards a commercial ship that stops in the Red Sea to pick up a challenging black stallion, cargo, and
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other passengers. The ship wrecks a few days later. Alec saves the stallion prior to being thrown overboard; struggle in the ocean and become marooned on an island. The two struggle to survive, and Alec has difficulty training and assisting the Black. Alec and the stallion develop a bond, eventually are rescued, and brought back to the US via Rio de Janeiro. Upon his return, Alec boards the Black at a neighbor’s “farm”. The neighbor happens to be a retired trainer. Alec and his neighbor team up to “break” the Black and train him into becoming a racehorse.
I have mixed feelings about this book. I felt I was reading a fictional version of a shipwrecked Seabiscuit. While the shipwreck was not originally part of the Seabiscuit story, the racing portion seemed oddly familiar. Being a horse fan, I was hoping to enjoy the book more than I did. I found the plot to be two floating stories, not really joining together to well. The shipwreck and survival on the island was the better-developed part of the book. I liked the characters, but felt they could have been developed more. I would have enjoyed more illustrations than the 10. The positive side is I think he does have strong foundations of horse culture.
The main idea of the book was hard work and determination can often reap positive results. Alec was able to remember things from biology class that helped him survive. He was also extremely determined and driven to make things work with the Black.
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LibraryThing member Chris_El
It has been years since I read this book. But I remember it well. As fun as the movie was it really couldn't compare to how much I liked the book.
LibraryThing member wichitafriendsschool
First published in 1941, Walter Farley's best-selling novel for young readers is the triumphant tale of a boy and a wild horse. From Alec Ramsay and the Black's first meeting on an ill-fated ship to their adventures on a desert island and their eventual rescue, this beloved story will hold the rapt
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attention of readers new and old.
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LibraryThing member Pferdina
A boy and a horse survive shipwreck and become friends. Later, they return together to the boy's home in New York, meet a retired racehorse trainer, and race the nation's two fastest Thoroughbreds.


Original publication date


Physical description

8.43 inches


0679813438 / 9780679813439




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