Reading Memory Lane – The Black Stallion series

              To this day, The Black Stallion series still holds a special place in my heart. It is the first series I remember being obsessed with as a child. It was probably the first series I read considering my name and fourth-grade teacher are written inside “The Black Stallion and Flame”.

That’s right. The books pictured are the books I’ve had since I was little. As you can tell by their condition, they were sufficiently read. I’m sure I had more of them but these were the ones that have survived over 30 years of moves, kids and spring cleaning.

It was a series that first showed me the adventures you could have through reading. It’s not every day you get to be shipwrecked, befriend a wild stallion and race across the deserts of Arabia. For most of my childhood I was obsessed with horses. (So much so, I volunteered to muck out stalls at the county fair just be around them.) Because of The Black Stallion series, I was especially interested in Arabian horses and would check out every book about the breed I could find at the library.

The first book in the series, “The Black Stallion”, written by Walter Farley, was first published in 1941 and tells the story of an incredible friendship between a young boy named Alec Ramsay and a wild stallion named the Black through adventures that start with a shipwreck, their survival on a desert island, their rescue and return to America. The series continues throughout 19 more novels, some featuring Alec and the Black and others focusing on secondary characters or the offspring of the Black.  Steven Farley would later continue the series with four more books.

The Black Stallion is more than a story about a horse. It’s a story about friendship and perseverance. It’s a story about respect and believing in yourself. I credit “The Black Stallion” with being the series that hooked me on reading.

Did you read The Black Stallion series as a kid? Tell me your thoughts below.

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