I'm actually really enjoying Black Beauty, but in a much more intellectual way than I did when I originally read it- probably because I'm not 12. When I first started rereading, my initial reaction was along the lines of "oh...this is a mistake", because the sentences are really short and so I started to think there was a reason I read it when I was 12. It comes off a little like a kids book at first. But I persevered, because I was all bundled up in bed, and putting it down would have required not reading at all, or going to the basement to find a new book, or reading the Scarlet Letter; and I wasn't really feeling any of those options.
I'm glad I kept going, because its proving really interesting to reread at twice the age I was originally (ok fine...I'm being a little generous on the twice). It has the reputation as a children's book, I suppose because it's about horses (and maybe because of the short sentences), but it wasn't written as such, and it's actually really ahead of its time in regard to discussion of animal welfare issues.
I'm only up to about page fifty- I haven't had much reading time lately- but I'm actually going to use it as the basis of a little research on Victorian era horsemanship over at The Queen's Scullery. If you're interested in a more analytical look at the book and its social commentary on animal welfare in the Victorian era, or in any other aspects of Victorian culture (like keeping bees or cooking whole rabbits), The Queen's Scullery is all about it.
Over here I will be continuing with my book project and with more trivial observations about life in general. :)