As a young girl, I think I read the entire Black Stallion series 20 or 30 times. Probably even more than that, I even read the clearly lesser, but still by the same author Island Stallion series. I could not wait to share this series with my kids, and I especially could not wait for Princess to read the Black Stallion. I figured she was horse crazy enough to absolutely love the book.
I was only kind of right. She did like the book, but still was upset the main character wasn’t a girl, and she just didn’t like the writing style as much as I did.
But, she did like the book. So I count that as a win.
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The Black Stallion synopsis
Alec Ramsay is horse crazy. He’s also been traveling and is now headed back home on a steamer ship. While they load the ship an amazing black stallion is loaded onto the ship. While they cross the ocean, the ship goes down and Alec and The Black are the only two survivors. Alec must learn how to tame the horse if he is going to survive this harsh island and somehow get home.
He obviously gets home, because there are about a dozen books in the Black Stallion series.
Black Stallion projects and questions to discuss
There’s a lot you can discuss here, and while we didn’t do any projects (and I forget why at the time), there’s certainly a few you can do.
- If you had only a minute to grab what you need from your sinking ship, what would you grab?
- If you were Alec and stranded on the island, what would you work on getting ready first?
- What would be the hardest part for you adapting back to civilization?
- If you were Alec would you keep secrets from your parents?
- How would you train The Black to be able to survive in New York?
I had a harder time coming up with some fun hands-on projects for this particular book, but here are the projects I came up with.
- Write a journal for Alec while he is on the island. Write at least 10 days worth of entries. Think about the challenges he had on the island, and what it must have been like trying to gain The Black’s trust.
- Make a model of the island Alec and The Black lived on.
- Research horse racing, what is required to be able to race a horse in official races, can anyone enter, or are there rules?
The Black Stallion snacks
I was spectacularly ill-prepared for our Black Stallion movie night*, and did a poor job planning, so we had lots of fun watching the movie, but my snacks I put together look quite pathetic. We had for Black Stallion movie snacks:
- apples, because horses love apples
- sour punch straws* to simulate seaweed (I wish I’d found this one, rather than the multi-flavored one I got)
- haystacks (though I got no picture of them)
- blue Powerade to represent the sea water.
- I told you it’s pathetic, what would you add for snacks?