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The Black Stallion Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 40 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Black Stallion.
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The Black Stallion Summary & Study Guide Description

The Black Stallion Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on The Black Stallion by Walter Farley.

The Black Stallion is a young reader's fiction novel about the relationship between the teenage Alec Ramsay and the wild stallion called the Black. As a result of their time together on a desert isle, the two build trust in each other. After surviving on the island by relying upon each other, a passing boat stops and its sailors save the two. After being away from his family for five months, Alec and the Black make it to Flushing, New York where Alec's story soon gets picked up by a newspaper. With the help of his neighbor, Henry Dailey, Alec trains the Black to race and a reporter named Jim Neville manages to get the Black into a race against the fastest horses in the world. The Black and the boy win the race.

Walter Farley's novel, The Black Stallion, opens with Alec Ramsey and his trip back from India. Alec boards a ship called the Drake which is set to sail to London where Alec will then board the Majestic and return to New York. Along the way, the Drake stops at an Arabian port where a massive, black stallion boards the ship. Each day, Alec feeds the horse a sugar cube and slowly gains its trust. When a storm hits and the Drake capsizes, only the boy and the horse survive. The two land on a deserted island where they must rely upon each other to survive. After the Black saves Alec from a poisonous snake and the boy begins to feed the horse dried carragheen, Alec decides to ride the beast.

After a little less than a month, Alec’s shelter catches fire and a passing ship stops to rescue the pair. They journey to Rio de Janiero and then to New York City where, after five months, Alec finally reunites with his parents. At home in Flushing, a suburb of New York City, the Black stays with Alec’s neighbor, a retire horse jockey named Henry Dailey. Henry convinces Alec to train the horse to race and the two begin breaking the Black to the saddle and exercising him regularly. Eventually, the reporter who wrote about Alec’s story introduces him to another writer at the Daily Telegram named Jim Neville. Jim who had just organized a race between the world’s two fastest horses, sees the Black race and decides to try to get the wild horse into that very same event.

Weeks go by and finally both owners of the two racing horses, Sun Raider and Cyclone, allow Jim’s mystery horse to race. Alec, Henry, and the Black travel to Chicago where the race is to be held. Once there, Alec sees the other two massive and muscled horses and Henry warns him that the race will not be easy despite the Black’s superior size and immense speed. Alec tells his mentor that he trusts the Black to win the day.

At the race itself, the three horses line up to start, but the Black and Sun Raider begin to fight. Eventually, Alec is able to get the Black under control and line him up again. Just as the horse calms, Sun Raider rushes over and kicks the Black in the leg, leaving the horse bleeding. When Alec moves to check the wound, the race starter fires and the race begins. Alec leaps onto the Black and the two rush after the other two horses who have a 100 yard lead on the wounded horse. Despite the distance, the Black beats Cyclone and Sun Raider with record breaking speed.

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