Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 231
National Velvet (1935), by Enid Bagnold, was made famous by the 1944 movie starring Elizabeth Taylor. It is a story about a fourteen-year-old girl named Velvet Brown who trains a horse for the top steeplechase competition, the Grand National, and wins against all odds.
A favorite American horse story is My Friend Flicka (1941), by Mary O’Hara. It is about a Wyoming boy, his special relationship with a filly, and the complex marriage of his parents. The book was so popular that it was made into a television series in the 1950s.
The original story of Bambi (1926), by Felix Salten, gives a serious message about the cycle of life and nature’s law as told through the viewpoint of the forest animals.
Probably the best-known animal autobiography following Black Beauty is the novel Beautiful Joe (1893), by Margaret Marshall Saunders. It depicts the true story of a cruelly abused collie. It was the first book to sell a million copies in Canada.
Sheila Burnford’s Incredible Journey (1961), about two dogs and a cat traveling together across the wilderness to get back to their human family, is one of the most popular animal stories of all time and was made into a hugely popular film.
The Black Stallion (1941), by Walter Farley, is an adventure story about a boy, a wild horse, a shipwreck, and a desert island. It was made into a popular movie in 1979.
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