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The Bent Bookworm

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Black Beauty

Black Beauty - Anna Sewell ~*Full review here on The Bent Bookworm!*~

“Good luck is rather particular who she rides with, and mostly prefers those who have got common sense and a good heart.”

Black Beauty is a book of anthropomorphic animals. Highly intelligent animals. While told in the language of its time (roughly the 1870s-1880s), it still has an appeal to anyone with a love of animals and an even slight interest in history. The details included are absolutely fascinating and paint a exquisite picture of England and London at that time. I love books that give such perfect, clear pictures of their time – without it feeling like an info dump. Of course, we can only hope that the author gave accurate descriptions, but even today the world Black Beauty lives in feels very real.
“Do you know why this world is as bad as it is? Because people won’t trouble to stand up for the oppressed.”

Some words are as true today as over 100 years ago. This book is 20 times better than the last anthropomorphic animal book I tried ([book:Smoky the Cowhorse|2705881]…which earned a BIG FAT NO). The animals are all different, with their own experiences and personalities – and so are the humans! Of course the reader’s first loyalties lie with Black Beauty and his friends, but he has some genuinely kind, good owners that are good characters in their own right. Ginger, another horse with whom he becomes friends early on, truly stole my heart.

There are some beautiful quotes, even if the prose occasionally descends to a bit of a preachy tone when it comes to how we treat animals and our fellow man. That is my only real complaint about this lovely story, which, despite having a few notes of sadness (as any good story ought, in my opinion), is a completely worthy addition to any reading program or library.

“Don’t you know that [ignorance] is the worst thing in the world, next to wickedness?”


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