Posted by Abu Abdurahman | No Comments yet
Classic Starts is a series of summarized books which aim to introduce some of the classical works to a younger audience that would otherwise be inaccessible to them.
Summary: Black Beauty, as he is so named by his first owner, belongs to a very wealthy family and is in the best of care. His life quickly takes a drastic change when his owner’s wife becomes terribly ill forcing them to move to a warmer climate. In order to make the move, the family needs to sell everything off, including Black Beauty. This event paves the way for a very rocky road for Black Beauty as he moves from owner to owner in a series of unexpected living situations. Some of his experiences are more pleasant, while others are quite disastrous and cruel. The story is an autobiography told through the eyes of the horse.
Pros: Kids love books about animals, and this is one of them. It’s a good book to teach your child about horses, and it is also a very good book for discussion on treatment of animals, as Black Beauty faces both extremes of kind and cruel owners. There is also a part in the book that offers an opportunity to discuss the ills of alcohol, where the horse is injured quite badly, and the rider killed due to riding the horse whilst being drunk. Outside of this, there was nothing of questionable material within the book.
Cons: The book does do a lot of jumping around. In Nearly every successive chapter the horse is thrown into a new situation with new owners. Depending on the age and maturity of your child this can be quite difficult to follow as new characters are constantly being introduced for brief periods and never mentioned again. The unabridged version may have been much easier to follow even though “Classic Starts” is designed for a younger audience.
Our Rating: Overall I would pass on the Classic Starts version and go for the original. Some things are better left as Classics. The book seemed to have a very interesting story line, and uniquely told from that of a horse. It was overall a clean story, and had quite the interesting turn of events in the end, but the choppiness of the story line as a summarized version helped in pushing me to look forward to reading the original version.