"You saved your mistress's life, Beauty! yes, you saved her life"
Black Beauty is the prettiest young horse in the meadows, and spends many happy days under the apple trees with his friends Ginger and Merrylegs. But this easy life comes to an end when Beauty is sold and goes from farm to inn to cabhorse in London, enduring rough treatment from foolish and careless masters. Beauty remains faithful, hardworking and full of spirit despite his trials, and through him we learn that all horses and humans alike deserve to be treated with kindness.
BACKSTORY: Find out about the unusual author and learn some horsey vocabulary.
One of the greatest books ever narrated by a horse, with a fine message: be kind to animals, and they'll be kind to you
One of the most enchanting and best-loved children's stories of all time
This was the first book that reduced me to tears - I saw what it meant to campaign ardently and successfully for an important cause.
So what makes these different to any other set of classics? In a moment of inspiration Random House had the bright idea of actually asking Key stage 2 children what extra ingredients they could add to make children want to read. And does it work? Well, put it this way...my 13-year-old daughter announced that she had to read a book over the summer holiday and, without any prompting, spotted The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas...and proceeded to read it! Now, if you knew my 13-year-old daughter, you would realise that this is quite remarkable. She reads texts, blogs and tags by the thousand - but this is the first book she has read since going to high school, so all hail Vintage Classics!