Black Beauty tells the story of the horses own long and varied life, from a well-born colt in a pleasant meadow to an elegant carriage horse for a gentleman to a painfully overworked cab horse. Throughout, Sewell rails–in a gentle, 19th-century way–against animal maltreatment. Young readers will follow Black Beautys fortunes, good and bad, with gentle masters as well as cruel. Children can easily make the leap from horse-human relationships to human-human relationships, and begin to understand. 262 pages.