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Black Beauty

By Anna Sewell

“My doctrine is this, that if we see cruelty or wrong that we have the power to stop, and do nothing, we make ourselves sharers in the guilt.”                    

– Jerry, Black Beauty

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Would you like to read ‘Black Beauty’ with your girl’s book club? Download our BTB Book Club guide for girls below.

Book Summary


Children’s Literature, Historical Fiction, Novel


Friendship, Morality, Endurance, Kindness


8 -12 years


Black Beauty is a well-bred, beautiful horse who is born into caring circumstances and brought up in a loving family. However, his situation changes when he must be sold, and thus begins the story of his life under the ownership of many different kinds of people.

We meet human owners with good character and others with poor character. As we also meet other horses along the way, we learn a great deal about the treatment of horses from their point of view.

This is a powerful story that contrasts kindness versus cruelty, knowledge versus ignorance, fashion versus common sense, and many other important comparisons.

The use of anthropomorphis (a style of writing that gives human emotions and characteristics to animals) by Anna Sewell is incredibly effective in arguing for the better treatment of horses in her time, and changed much of the way children’s literature was written thereafter.

Content Warning:

Animal Cruelty

This book review by:

Treasured Hour Bookshop was started in January 2021 out of Leilani’s passion for books and gratitude for what reading together as a family had done for her relationships.

Leilani is a grateful follower of Jesus, a wife, and a mother to five beautiful children and another on the way. She enjoys books, coffee, and secondhand shopping (for more books!)

To follow Leilani and learn more about her, head to @treasuredhourbookshop on Instagram for reading encouragement, resources, community and giveaways! You can also visit her shop at

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