Taming the Star Runner | Critical Review by Charlene Strickland

This literature criticism consists of approximately 1 page of analysis & critique of Taming the Star Runner.
This section contains 276 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Review by Charlene Strickland

Critical Review by Charlene Strickland

SOURCE: A review of Taming the Star Runner, in School Library Journal, Vol. 35, No. 2, October, 1988, p. 161.

In the following review, Strickland maintains that Taming the Star Runner pales in comparison to Hinton's earlier works, faulting what she perceives as weak characterization, a flimsy storyline, and a theme of hopelessness.

Devoted fans will leap on Hinton's new novel, [Taming the Star Runner,] yet her protagonist Travis is no Tex. On the surface, this 15 year old resembles the classic misfits from the author's previous books; however, Travis lacks Tex' zest for living. Released from juvenile hall to cool down at his uncle's Oklahoma horse ranch, he acts the role of sensitive punk—he looks like a rebel and flies into violent rages, yet he seeks to publish his novel and he loves his cat. He wants to be left alone, but he suffers from being ignored by the "hicks" at school. The high point of his introspective retreat is his attraction to Casey, the riding instructor who leases his uncle's barn. The scenes of stable chores, riding lessons, and horse shows may interest some readers, while the equestrian jargon will mean nothing to the book's primary audience. Hinton uses a horse, Star Runner, as a counterpart to Travis to illustrate her theme of life's quirks: some win, some don't. Without making much of an effort, Travis ends up a winner—alive, free from jail, and a published author. Hinton builds a sparse plot around a predominately bleak theme. Although the story isn't fleshed out, tough-guy Travis will appeal to a certain readership. Others will find him forgettable, especially compared to his fictional predecessors.

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This section contains 276 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Review by Charlene Strickland
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