BW Chapter by Chapter header

Our next selection is a bit different from what we’ve looked at previous at our online read-along book club. While previous offerings have all been in the science fiction genre, this is not. It doesn’t have superheroes, either…as far as I know. It is, however, part of a series of books that have become a series of movies. It’s a young reader book and not something I would have gotten myself, even when this became part of my library. When I was a kid my parents encouraged my love of reading. So they signed me up for the Weekly Reader book club. Every…I don’t remember how often–monthly, I think, I received a new book. You couldn’t choose your genre and that’s actually a good thing. I can’t say for certain that my preferences were set in stone so while I still had my drawn I was still open to something outside of my usual circle and it’s good for kids to have a wide range of exposure to see what they like and what they don’t.

I remember when my mom tried to read me this book at my request. We sat on the couch, began to read, and then I had to go to the bathroom. Every time she tried to read it, actually. For some reason I really had to go a lot that day, until finally she gave up and I didn’t blame her even then. I was disappointed and for some reason never tried to read it again. It’s sat on my shelf for years (not counting the years it was in a pile of books before I had a shelf to put them on) unread…until now!

I’m not sure what else to put in this intro so no more “horsing around”. The next Chapter By Chapter book is………..

Chapter By Chapter Black Stallion's Ghost

The Black Stallion’s Ghost

By Walter Farley

I once tried to ride a pony at some farm or something, I don’t remember. What I do remember is that I didn’t feel stable on the pony and I think I was even scarred. I just prefer having both feet on the ground I guess. Sadly, I haven’t gotten over that as a grown-up so I don’t know if I’d be comfortable on a horse now, either. I remember one of my schoolmates was a huge horse fan, but she stopped going to my school long before graduation. I never knew what happened to her.

The Black Stallion is not something I was drawn to in either book or movie form. All I really know about it is it’s about a black horse. The creator, Walter Farley, died in 1989 but according to Wikipedia his son, Steve, continues the series.

Farley’s uncle was a professional horseman and taught him various methods of horse training and about the advantages or disadvantages of each method. Mr. Farley began to write The Black Stallion while he was a student at Brooklyn’s Erasmus Hall High School and Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania. He finished it and had it published in 1941 while still an undergraduate at Columbia University. The USA part of the book was located in Flushing,Long Island, NY in a part of Queens that was near the World’s Fair site in 1939. Part of the action took place on Colden Street, just a blook or two from Main Street and only several blocks from the terminus of the Flushing subway line. This area up to the end of the 2nd World War had a number of actively working farms. There were cows, horses and truck farming. After the War, the land was sold and eventually high rise 20 story apartments were built. The area was not very far from Belmont race track.

Farley and his wife, Rosemary, had four children—Pam, Alice, Steven and Tim—whom they raised on a farm in Pennsylvania and in a beach house in Florida. In 1989 Farley was honored by his hometown library in Venice, Florida, which established the Walter Farley Literary Landmark in its children’s wing. Farley died of cancer in October 1989, shortly before the publication of The Young Black Stallion, the twenty-first book in the Black Stallion series and after the start of production on the television series Adventures of the Black Stallion.

See if you can find the two typos in the first paragraph my spell-checker caught. The Black Stallion’s Ghost was published in 1969 and is the 18th book in the series. The series follows a black horse just called Black (although Wikipedia also mentions the name “Shêtân”–your guess is as good as mine) and his owner, Alec Ramsay, who comes into possession of a sheik’s horse (Black) and the two have many adventures. So what awaits Black and Alec this time?

Alec Ramsay and the Black–lost in the Everglades at night!

Maybe they’ll run into Swamp Thing?

Not since those first days together on the desert island had Alec and the Black been so free. Then one morning, during their vacation, Alec led the Black down a path into the beautiful but mysterious swamp. And what started as an innocent ride turned into a living nightmare. Alec could no longer tell what was real and what wasn’t!

So Black isn’t dead and this isn’t his ghost. Should we feel ripped off? Well, not me. This was free as part of a book club. The inside front page mentions a “mysterious black man riding a grey mare”. There does appear to be a mysterious surrounding the white boy and black mare and their black man/grey mare counterparts. What is it? We’ll find out as things roll along.

This book has 20 five or six page chapters with no prologue or epilogue. I may end up reviewing more than one chapter at a time. I’ll decide in two weeks when we begin our reading. The link in the title above (through the Amazon affiliate program) has a Kindle version as well as a few forms of printed book, but a different cover than mine if you want to follow along. See you in two weeks for the beginning of our story.

Next time: The Ghost (and possibly “The Black Stallion)

Just jumping right into it, book?

About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

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