Parents' Guide to

National Velvet

By Barbara Schultz, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Inspiring horse story has small but mighty heroine.

Book Enid Bagnold Animals 1935
National Velvet Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 1 parent review

age 14+

Difficult to decipher hundred-year-old dialect!

I am the mother of a 7-year-old girl and 9-year-old boy who are both advanced readers. I thought I would read National Velvet to my children before showing them the movie. *I* had difficulty getting through the first chapter. The colloquialisms (local or regional dialect expressions) were beyond me and I have seen the movie and knew the general story. I wish there were an updated "American-ized" version available because I will not be reading this classic to my kids.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Enid Bagnold's National Velvet is written in a somewhat unusual way; frequent shorthand dialogue conveys the intimacy of a close-knit family, but could be difficult to follow for very young readers. However, Velvet's miraculous story is suspenseful and inspiring, and will be especially entertaining to horse lovers.

Velvet's older sisters are very well-drawn at their different stages of maturity, and the youngest of the Brown children, preschool-age Donald, is an adorable, enfuriating toddler, who adds comic relief. This is an entertaining, motivational novel about a young girl's great love for horses, and the way she challenges widely held gender prejudice.

Book Details

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