Monday, March 25, 2013

Black Beauty Book Club

This month for book club, the girls read Black Beauty, by Anna Sewell. Though it was first published in 1877, it still speaks to young girls of today. At least half of the book club girls are crazy for horses right now, so this was a natural choice to have them read.

I began our discussion by explaining to the girls that Anna Sewell wrote Black Beauty with the intention of changing some of the ways that horses were treated in Victorian England. She purposely highlighted some of the sadder details of a horse's life. At the same time she managed to weave a story about friendship and loyalty. To her credit, attitudes about the humane handling of horses did begin to change shortly after her novel was published.

It was interesting to see how well the girls were able to draw comparisons between foolish, harmful fashions for horses and ridiculous fashions for people. They once again upheld my theory that exposure to great literature is a desirable tool in shaping great minds.

For our project we made these adorable horse heads (black of course) using the outline of each girls' shoe to form the face. Three more triangles of paper form the neck and ears. The faces were drawn on and the mane was made from snips of black yarn.

The girls all enjoyed reading and discussing Black Beauty. Next month we'll be discussing, Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos, by R. L. LaFevers.

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