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"Black Beauty," Anna Sewell’s only book, was published in 1877. There’s a good reason it has sold 50 million copies and is said to be the sixth-most popular novel in English: The horse is the narrator, and he has a great story to tell. After a happy childhood, he heroically saves lives, survives abuse and injury, and, finally, enjoys late-life peace. As he did in “A Christmas Carol,” Jesse Kornbluth has abridged a book too long for young readers. And Paige Peterson once again contributes illustrations that are as unforgettable as this courageous, noble horse.

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