Cover image for Black gold
Black gold
Henry, Marguerite, 1902-1997.
First Aladdin Books edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Aladdin Books ; Toronto : Maxwell Macmillan Canada ; New York : Maxwell Macmillan International, 1992.

Physical Description:
172 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm.
A heroic small-boned horse with a will to win is finally ridden to glory by his devoted jockey.
Reading Level:
820 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.2 5.0 8510.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 4.2 7 Quiz: 01306 Guided reading level: R.
Added Author:



Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



No one thinks much of Black Gold because he is so small. But Jaydee sees something special in his eyes. He knows Black Gold would be great if he was his rider! Finally, Jaydee gets his wish. And Black Gold grows strong and fast under his careful hands. Soon it would be time for the most important race in America. Did they really have what it takes to win? Black Gold's inspirational story proves that the power of love and dedication can make any dream come true.
Set against the thrilling and colorful world of Thoroughbred horses, Black Gold is the true story of this legendary horse and his determined young jockey.

Author Notes

Marguerite Henry was born on April 12, 1902 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After high school, she attended the Milwaukee State Teachers College. She became an English teacher.

She sold her first published story to a woman's magazine in 1913. Her first book, "Justin Morgan Had a Horse" was named a Newberry Honor Book. This and her other titles to follow were written in collaboration with illustrator, Wesley Dennis. They worked together until his death in 1996. Her other works included "King of the Wind," the story of the Godolphin Arabian horse, which won a Newberry Award, "Misty of Chincoteague," which won the Junior Book Award Medal of the Boys' Clubs of America, and "Justin Morgan Had a Horse," which won the Junior Scholastic Gold Seal Award. She was presented the Children's Reading Roundtable Award for her lasting contribution to children's reading in 1961. At the time of her death she had written 58 books. Her works have been translated into eight languages.

Marguerite Henry died of complications from a series of strokes on November 26, 1997 in California.



As the trail nears the town, excitement mounts. Wagonloads of Indians come streaming in to join the procession. At the helm of each wagon sits an Indian brave, tall and solemn; behind him his squaw and children, bright-eyed. They have just left the government warehouse, where new farm implements were being parceled out -- rakes and plows, discs and harrows. But today is the match race! Spring planting can wait! Now the trail takes a quirly turn and the whole parade is fanning out around the race course. Whistles are blown, men and children calling to each other, women sighing in relief that the trip is safely made. In the more orderly activity near the track, two men are talking earnestly before an open shed. Within it stands the lone filly, U-see-it, still as a little wood carving. She is studying the two men with her big wide-set eyes, and they in turn are studying her. The shorter of the men is saying, "Far as I can see, Al, the postponement hasn't done a thing for Halcomb's U-see-it. He must've thought a little more time was all his filly needed, but," he paused, "it don't appear so to me! My Belle Thompson is fit as a fiddle, and knows how to run. Sort of embarrasses me to match her against this poor little greenhorn." It is Ben Jones speaking, young Ben Jones who has a knack of getting speed out of his horses. The other man is Al Hoots -- tall, dark-eyed, dark-haired Irish Al Hoots, who looks more Indian than the Osage tribesmen with whom he lives. On the palm of his hand he is offering U-see-it a pink peppermint. He starts to pick off a few shreds of tobacco clinging to the candy, then laughs at his foolishness, remembering that horses like both. "Here, little one. My pocket has dirtied it some, but it's still tasty." As U-see-it crunches the peppermint, Al Hoots sizes her up, thinking. So wispy she is, and little. Nothing about her to make one take notice -- her coat mud-brown, like Oklahoma ditch water in spring, her tail and mane sparse. Nothing to set her apart. Nothing except maybe she's just coming into her power. Else why that knowing, eager look? "Ben," he says, "she's plain-looking and drab as a November hillside, but her eyes seem to kind of follow me around, like she's begging me for something, and I don't mean, "Just a peppermint!" Clusters of people are gathering about the shed, exchanging family news, talking crops, talking horse. They make room for a handy-boy who steps forward, eases a saddle onto the filly's back, and a bit into her mouth. Ben Jones starts off to saddle his mare, Belle Thompson, but something makes him wait. He understands men as well as horses, and he likes big, soft-spoken Al Hoots. He senses the man's impulse to run his hands over the filly, to stroke her neck, her barrel, her rump. "Hey, Al," he laughs, "you're not thinkin' of buying Halcomb's little critter, are you?" There is no answer. "I been wrong before," Ben goes on, "but if there's a promise here, 'tain't just around the corner." Al Hoots shakes his head. "Maybe not now. But I've been watching her. Under that mousey coat of hers she looks Thoroughbred. And," he smiles, "to me , she's big for her size!" A second time Ben Jones turns away, then thinks better of it. He can spare a moment; Belle Thompson saddles and bridles easily. "Al," he says, "you already own a bunch of poor platers. And I've seen this one in her workouts. She's a skittery thing. jumps in the air at the start and gets left at the barrier. Then she wakes up and sprints like a Jackrabbit. But then it's too late!" The dark eyes are laughing now. "Sure, sure. From a two-year-old what else can you expect? She sprints, yes. But my wife Rosa, in her Osage talk, would say, 'She's...'" he hesitates a long time before he adds, "'She's a haunt in the wind.'" Excerpted from Black Gold by Marguerite Henry, Wesley Dennis All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.