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For Teachers, Children's Literature @ NYPL
Booktalking "The Black Stallion and the Lost City" by Steven Farley
The waiting... waiting... and more waiting. That's the central theme of this Black Stallion novel set in the middle of a movie production... Alec aboard the temperamental Black, of course — Alec being the only person who can ride the Black. Alec plays Alexander the Great, and the Black is Bucephalus, Alexander the Great's horse. The Black, of course, does not want to wear his race costume, and some of the other animals do not always do what their trainers want either. Lots of different animals inhabit the tents on the set when they are not being used for scenes.
Drama ensues when two horse collide during a race scene and they go into a river. The Black and Alec slip into the water. The Black then pursues a phantom albino mare, and Alec follows. They end up in an adventure and in a magical place where the Black is stabled in a stall bedded in fine grass sprinkled with colorful flowers. His water bucket and hoof pick are plaited in gold. Alec is intrigued with a girl from the movie set, Xeena, and he sets out on the Black to find her when she goes missing. With Xeena and Alec double-riding the Black, injuries on all sides, Alec and the Black never knew that this movie set would be the least of their adventures in this foreign spectacular place.
A Horse-Crazy Girl: I grew up inhaling the aura of the terrific Black Stallion novels that were written by Walter Farley. I was a horse-crazy girl, and I could not get enough of the fantasy of a boy and his horse stranded on an island who became the best of friends. I also watched the movie and the television shows. Walter's son, Steven Farley, continued the tradition by writing his own Black Stallion novels, which seem very similar to his father's books. The stories are very intriguing, and always include the wild, temperamental Black as the focal point.