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Taming the Star Runner

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Travis is the epitome of cool, even when he's in trouble. But when he's sent to stay with his uncle on a ranch in the country, he finds that his schoolmates don't like his tough city ways. He does find friendship of a sort with Casey, who runs a riding school at the ranch. She's the bravest person Travis has ever met, and crazy enough to try to tame the Star Runner, her beautiful, dangerous horse who's always on edge, about to explode. It's clear to Travis that he and the Star Runner are two of a kind: creatures not meant to be tamed.

“A powerful story. . . . Travis is Everyteen: part insecure hell-raiser, part closet intellectual, prone to both sneers and tears. Hinton continues to grow more reflective in her books, but her great understanding, not of what teenagers are but of what they can hope to be, is undiminished.”—Kirkus Reviews

An ALA Best Books for Young Adults

An ALA Quick Pick

181 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published January 1, 1988

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About the author

S.E. Hinton

91 books6,405 followers
S.E. Hinton, was and still is, one of the most popular and best known writers of young adult fiction. Her books have been taught in some schools, and banned from others. Her novels changed the way people look at young adult literature.

Susan Eloise Hinton was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She has always enjoyed reading but wasn't satisfied with the literature that was being written for young adults, which influenced her to write novels like The Outsiders. That book, her first novel, was published in 1967 by Viking.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 220 reviews
Profile Image for Scott.
1,745 reviews123 followers
April 4, 2020
"He wasn't cool. He wasn't tough. He wasn't even good-looking. He just stood there - a brainless, homesick idiot." -- protagonist Travis' self-regard, on page 49

Hinton's Taming of Star Runner is probably best remembered for being her last in a series of well-received and popular YA novels, as well as being the only one not adapted into a film version during the 80's. (I guess actors Matt Dillon and Emilio Estevez, as part of Hinton's unofficial stock company, were a tad 'long in the tooth' by the time of its publication to take a main role.) Although I was aware of her books - if only because of said movies - I had not actually read any of them until this one.

Travis is a sixteen year-old from (I think) suburban Missouri, straddling a very uneasy line between misunderstood teenager and juvenile delinquent. After unfortunately being goaded into a physical altercation with his abusive and sadistic stepfather, Travis is sent to reside in rural Oklahoma - a staple setting of Hinton's YA works - with his uncle Ken, a young attorney in the midst of a strained marital separation. Although naturally not everything goes swimmingly at first, loner Travis begins to finally get his life on track - he falls into a job at a nearby horse stable (and maintains a good work ethic), he develops a crush on an older and more mature young woman, and his uncle becomes a sort of de facto father figure to him. Oh, and Travis also gets a book deal (!) from a publishing firm.

I'm probably either making this story sound a bit boring or implausible, but it was remarkably sturdy, concise and contemporary book that - even though it is nearly 33 years old - I think still translates well to a present-day young-adult audience. Remember when I remarked in the first paragraph that I hadn't read any of Hinton's books? Well, I am definitely interested in reading the rest of them now.
5 reviews
September 24, 2009
This book is about a boy named Travis who almost kills his step dad and is sent to his uncle’s house. While he is at his uncles he finishes a book he is writing and finds a new part of him self. That he will never give up. Even when his step dad won’t let his mom sign the contract saying he can purplish the book he doesn’t give up.

In this book he finds a girl named Casey who is intimidating but at the same time the bravest loveliest girls he has met. She tames a horse called the star runner that no one else will even get near to. she helps him find a side in him that most people wont see, caring, loving, and best of all daring. Daring to show her that he has feelings for her.

I love how the characters how they work together. How they mix and mangle. How they show different sides of each other. How they show how much they care for each other in the weirdest ways.
22 reviews
January 23, 2015
I thought that the book, Taming the Star Runner, by S.E. Hinton, was kind of boring. It tells the story about how Travis was so cool when he was at his old school in the big city. He then moves to a very small town school to live with his uncle. He finds out that he is no longer the coolest kid in his school because it is way different than his school. Travis meets Casey, a local horse trainer, and immediately likes her. Travis wants to be an author and actually writes a book that he eventually gets published.

Travis is the main character in the book. He is around 15 years old and enjoys hanging around with his friends after school. He is the most liked kid in his old school but when he moves to the small town he notices that no one pays any attention to him.

Casey is the horse trainer on the private farm. She goes to many horse competitions and ends up winning most of them.

The time this book takes place in is modern day. The first part of the book takes place in a large city high school, the latter part in a rural country high school. The place is very important because Travis is from the city so he is very popular at his old school, but is pretty much non-existent in his new school.

The authors message is to keep with something even if you don’t like it at first. Travis hated when he moved to a small town but eventually he ended up liking it more than when he was back in the city.

I would recommend this book to young adults, either gender, because it has a great lesson that should be learned.

I would give this book a 3 out of 5 star rating.

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Anne Osterlund.
Author 5 books5,517 followers
May 28, 2022
It's been a long time since I last visited this book. Taming the Star Runner is my favorite S.E. Hinton book after The Outsiders. It's not a horse book--not really. It's a book about Travis, a city kid in trouble. A writer. A cat person. A teenager who almost killed his stepfather and is lucky to be taken in--by an uncle who is nearly a stranger--after Travis's exit from juvenile hall. The uncle happens to own a horse ranch, and the girl Travis falls for rides a crazy untameable jumper.

The question is who is less likely to be saved: the horse or Travis.

I miss 190-page YA novels like this. There's something wonderful about sinking into a deep amazing world for 300-500 pages, but there's also beauty in precise, direct storytelling. Hinton is a master of the latter, and Travis is a full-blooded character full of contradictions, astute observations, and original thought.

*I'm also particularly fond of his cat, Motorboat, and the hero's use of the term, "happy feet." My cats all do "happy feet." And I have this book and Travis to thank for the early adoption of that terminology into my daily life.
Profile Image for Brittany McCann.
1,645 reviews405 followers
May 1, 2023
While there was value in the plot, there were many disjointed moments.

The book couldn't really pick a topic, and it felt like a few different stories were written at different times and then mashed together around a single MC. The tone and the styles felt completely different. This really messed with the flow.

If the story would have stuck with the horses and Travis' uncle, it would have been stronger.

Stuck at a 3 star, but I'm glad I read it.
Profile Image for Aaron.
75 reviews4 followers
January 10, 2019
Taming the Star Runner was much better than Rumble Fish and Quite better than That Was Then, This is Now. I still think The Outsiders can be beaten out of all of her YA Books. This one was really good though and quite different from her usual protagonist. I enjoyed each character though very much. I felt that the ending was a bit abrupt but it did answer most of the questions one would have about the fate of some of the characters. I really like the setting and I believe the background for Travis was far more flushed out and easier to get an understanding about than the lead characters in That was Then and Rumblefish. I gave it four stars because I truly did enjoy it a lot but I still don't think it could be The Outsiders. The Outsiders actually caused me to cry and pull emotions from me. You connect better with Ponyboy, Johnny and the rest of the gang better than the characters in the other books. Travis you can connect with in some ways but even his story was still less emotional compared to Ponyboy's. I will definitely reread this book at some time but I move on now to Mrs. Hinton's Adult Novel Hawkes Harbor. I will be interested in seeing how her writing changes for a different audience.
Profile Image for Berlin.
11 reviews1 follower
January 6, 2019
While I adore Hinton's other books, this one feels like something is missing. She still hits on the experience of being a teenager - introspective but naïve, emotionally sensitive but desperately "cool" - expertly. But here, her habit of mundane Odyssey plots, in which we follow a character through his ups and downs in a crucial time in his life, falls a little flat. None of Travis' adventures seem to be fully unpacked; conflict ends before it really begins. The novel plotline sails by with little interference on Travis' part, Joe's plotline is rushed and pushed to the sidelines, and the relationship between Casey and Travis feels flimsy, never fully developed. Even the symbol of the Star Runner is never quite explored to it's full potential. More of the very real, sympathetic characters Hinton is so good at creating are present here, but ultimately the story feels rushed.
Profile Image for Avonlea Gal.
65 reviews4 followers
May 21, 2023
This is SO GOOD.
of course, there was a few things I didn’t like. Like Travis, okay I get you, horse girls are whatever but you also like a horse girl? And thinking just because a teacher is mad she has PMS. okay. You might be right but don’t be like that.
There’s just something about Travis. From the very beginning you felt for him because of Stan. And the ending gave me chills. I’m so proud of him for doing the thing. You know, his book.
This is a lot like That Was Then, This Is Now. I guess S. E. Hinton likes endings that don’t actually turn out the greatest. I started reading him because I saw someone’s review of The Outsiders but I still haven’t found a copy of The Outsiders.
Ok. This review sucks but the book doesn’t.
Profile Image for Jared.
17 reviews1 follower
April 22, 2015
I read "Taming the Star Runner" by S. E. Hinton. I thought the book was great. It was set up perfectly. It has a little bit of everything in the book such as action. Travis likes to get into fights and at times they have to catch the Star Runner when it jumps the fence. There is romance between Travis and Casey. There is some comedy just because Travis is only 16 and some of the things he says are still immature at times. There is suspense when Joe shows up on Travis's doorstep looking for help. The only thing I don't like about the book is the end. Travis doesn't get the girl and the horse dies. Hinton likes to end books in mid sentence too, which bothers me.

Travis is the main character of the book. He is a writer and one day he came home from school to see his stepdad burning the papers he had typed for his book. Travis ends up hitting him in the head with a fire poker and is sent to a juvenile center. When he is out, he gets sent to live with his Uncle Ken in Oklahoma. Ken is Travis' uncle who is currently going through a divorce with his wife and is selling his land. Stan is Travis' stepdad who is a complete jerk to him. Joe is Travis' best friend from back home and at the end of the book was involved with a murder. Christopher is Ken's young boy. Casey is a girl who rents out Ken's barn to train horses and give riding lessons. Travis likes her but they become just friends at the end of the book.

The book takes place in the 1980's when people could get away with a lot more. When Travis sneaks into a club and gets drunk, they never called the cops. They just beat him up a bit then kicked him out. The book starts off in a big city airport because Travis is being sent away for a while because of what he did to his stepdad. A majority of the book takes place in a small town in the middle of Oklahoma. It is hard for Travis to get used to because everything goes by much slower there than in New York.

I feel the author's purpose in writing this book was to explain that it doesn't matter what happened in your past, you control the future of your life. It is just a matter of if you want to actually do something to change it or not. In the book Travis was put away for a while for almost killing his stepdad with a fire poker, but when he moves out with his Uncle Ken, he finds himself. Travis no longer wanted to be that person, so he went out and changed himself.

I rate this book five out of five stars. I would recommend this book to ages 12 and up of any gender. The book is fun to read, but it may be hard for someone younger to fully understand what is happening throughout the book.
Profile Image for Sierra.
27 reviews
April 15, 2023
I decided to sit down and reread this book.

I don’t give a shit about horses and I have never tried to kill my stepdad (I don’t have a stepdad), but this is one of the few books that I read almost exclusively for its characters, and honestly only a few of them: notably, Ken “in this economy?!” and Travis “too cool for school” Harris. Travis is what sells the story for me, despite how cringe he sometimes is. We have a lot of similar mannerisms—minus the violent stuff.

Of Hinton’s “Oklahoma Five”—what I’ve come to refer to her five Oklahoma-based young adult novels as—Taming the Star Runner is by far the weakest. The characters are fine enough (I appreciate a few of them, but they are far from revolutionary), there’s some decent dialogue, the writing is okay, but the plot gets worse the further you read. This was the first of Hinton’s young adult novels that was written in third-person-POV, and especially compared to her other novels, it definitely leads to a less personal, less cohesive reading experience.

I do not give a shit about the romance. Remove it and focus more on Travis’s relationship with Ken and Travis’s whole process of trying to get his manuscript published. The plot is honestly pretty solid for the first ~120 pages—simple, sure, but I like simple. But past that, it devolves into madness!

The ending is whack. Maybe it has some larger meaning, but it is so poorly executed that it’s hard to tell. It reads as if Hinton compiled a bunch of ideas for books she knew she would never finish and just threw them all together so they wouldn’t rot in her notes. Maybe you could tie back some of the ideas in the ending to bigger ideas present throughout the book—of unbelonging, loneliness, change, growth, defiance, cultural divides (city vs. town), all the other coming-of-age stuff. But those connections can only be made loosely, and Hinton sacrifices much of the simple beauty that is often present in her books for farfetched ideas that are not nearly as fleshed out as they should be. Rather than enhancing my reading experience, the last 25 pages or so took me out of the story completely.

Overall, glad I reread it, and Hinton has some excellent books, but this is not one that I would typically recommend, unless I thought that the theoretical person receiving my recommendation would value the same aspects of the book that caused me to raise it from the 2-point-something that it probably deserves, to a 3-point-something.
Profile Image for Jason Pierce.
722 reviews84 followers
October 2, 2022
Either 2.5 stars rounded up to three, or three whole stars, I'm not sure.

This started out strong as a four+ star read, but it quickly began to weaken. It was just a tad at first, but the stars really started falling off in the last 50 pages. I got the sense Hinton had a stack of trunk stories and she tried to cram them all together in this book. A lot of them went nowhere, and I'm afraid the effort as a whole just fell kind of flat. Is this about Travis being a badass but not really being as badassy as he thinks he is? Is it about Travis the writer? Is it about equestrian shows? (There were two whole chapters about that, each filled with technical information about jumps, runs, etc.) Is it about... Just what the hell is it about? I really don't know. A book can have multiple stories and themes going on at the same time, but they should be woven together better. This was a jumbled mess by the end. Still, I liked it most of the time, and I never wanted to put it down, so there's that. I might even reread it one day.

This was a little grittier than Hinton's previous young adult offerings, at least concerning profanity. I guess since she was an established author she was able to slip in a "bullshit" and "Goddam" every now and then and get away with it. Part of this is autobiographical and shows Hinton's experiences in getting The Outsiders published, including how she had to remove profanity from it. I know Hinton has a thing for horses, and so that's in here as well. The problem is the two don't gel well, nor did the other things she included. I think each taken by itself would've made for better short stories.

Then there's the problem with Travis. I liked him, but he wasn't a believable character. He was the too-cool-for-you kid with the attitude to match, and yet he was also a writer and had all the attendant insecurities, and I'm sorry, but that just ain't cool, at least not in the way Hinton was trying to present it. I think part of the problem is that she was too far removed from her teenage years when she wrote this. She was about 40 years old when it was published. (I'm guessing she was 37 when she started it because that's how old Travis' uncle was, and she seems to like that kind of parallel in her works, but I could be wrong).

She also still doesn't have a firm grasp on how boys think and behave. Travis is straight, but he spends an awful lot of time focusing on himself and paying attention to how attractive other dudes are. Don't get me wrong, a lot of teenage guys make sure they look good, comb their hair and style their clothes to match whatever the current fashion is for their group, but not at the same level a girl would. Take this section on page five as an example:
Travis combed his hair, staring into the mirror with fixed concentration. He was good-looking. Probably one of the best-looking guys in the school. He had dark brown hair, not so long that he looked like one of the dopers, not so short that he looked like one of the straights, the student-council preppies. Five foot eight. Not bad for sixteen, and by the size of his hands and feet he hadn't stopped growing yet. Good eyes. Great eyes, actually. Gray-green and as cold as the Irish sea. He had read a book about F. Scott Fitzgerald once, and it said he had eyes as cold as the Irish sea. Travis liked that. He secretly liked his eyelashes, too, a black fringe, as long as a girl's. He had a good build, long-boned and lean and flat-stomached, and that was the reason he liked tight T-shirts. Kirk was taller, and had broad shoulders, but Travis thought his own build was as good as any in the school. A lot of girls thought so. A lot.

"Maybe I'll get a tan," he said out loud. If he had a fault to find with his face, it was its paleness. But then, from what he read, Fitzgerald had never tanned either.

"Huh?" Joe said. He never spent as much time looking in mirrors as Travis did, being one olive-brown color all over, hair, eyes, and skin, and inclined to pudginess.
I'm pretty sure no man ever wrote a paragraph like that first one. That's the kind of attention to detail that only a woman would give to a male character. And since Travis is our narrator, such observations are a little out of character. Eyelashes? Guys discuss grooming habits with each other throughout life, but I don't ever recall discussing eyelashes with my friends at any age unless one fell out and got stuck in my eye. The girls, however, could talk about such things forever and a day, but we'd just zone out if they did it in front of us. Female grooming habits confuse men. Jeremy from the Zits comic strip explained it best several years ago (and Lord do I wish I could find this one online) when he said "Why is it girls spend so much time on their hair and their shoes when it's everything in between that we care about?" And while I'm on the subject, why is it that women will pluck their eyebrows out one hair at a time with tweezers, then grab a pencil and draw them right back in? What the hell is that all about?

Enough of that. I just couldn't believe Travis was a real person due to that and a few other things, such as him being a bad ass but also falling apart emotionally at the drop of a hat, or doing dorky things like writing. I couldn't buy both of those being in the same character. Those would battle with each other, and one would have to win out. I know the cool kid thing was kind of a front, but at the same time it wasn't. Speaking of characters, I also had a hard time accepting the child Christopher who I assume was supposed to be a toddler, but he acted like an elementary age kid (especially with how he talked) except when he didn't.

Like I said before, I enjoyed reading this, but it definitely has its problems, and I think it's the weakest of Hinton's five young adult novels. If you like the others, you'll probably like this one too, but probably not as much.

Since I'm done with these, I reckon this is as good place as any to corral all of my reviews for my own reference:

The Outsiders
That Was Then, This Is Now
Rumble Fish
Profile Image for Marianna Brown.
34 reviews2 followers
November 30, 2021
5 stars for this booking being written by S. E. Hinton and for it being about a juvenile delinquent boy who is "not like other juvenile delinquent boys."

3 stars for the choppy writing and for the story.

All around a good time.
Profile Image for Dann.
199 reviews12 followers
July 19, 2022
This was my least favorite of the S.E. Hinton collection.

Not to say it was bad (I rated it three stars, obviously). But it just didn't feel as meaningful as the others, and it didn't speak to me in the same way.

Maybe I should reread it?
Profile Image for Veronica.
443 reviews48 followers
March 27, 2015
This is my second favorite S.E. Hinton book, right after 'The Outsiders'. Other than the end chapter (which I found lackluster and odd), I really enjoyed reading this book.
18 reviews
December 21, 2019
All of the S.E Hinton books that I have read I have found them interesting. Although these books are short they make it feel like it’s real. Everything started because Travis attempted to murder his Stepdad Stan. Travis is sent to his uncles ranch because of the incident that had just happened. Travis never liked to ask Stan for anything because Stan would feel like he owns him and would remind him what he bought for Travis. Just like Stan would do this to Travis’s mom. I liked how Travis had a chance to publish his book and how happy he was and how his uncle was so happy for him. I thought that Casey and Travis were going to end up together but that did not happened. This book showed the everyday life of Travis.
9 reviews
May 1, 2020
This book fluctuates between paper thin characters and sudden deep philosophical realisations. The Star Runner itself barely even appears in the novel, there is a random romance between the main lead and Casey that I will never understand, and also a completely bizarre and out of nowhere "my friends are dead" moment that was included either to increase the shock factor like in The Outsiders, but this time done for no reason, or to symbolise something to do with Robert Frost's poem. Overall, it is an extremely inconsistent book even for a YA novel.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
2 reviews
January 17, 2015
Although S.E. Hinton's work in Taming the Star Runner was intriguing and captivated my attention quickly, I felt that the plot became doubtlessly predictable and disorganized while the characters were done and never evolved as an individual. The story begins with Travis, a sixteen year old boy who is practically the definition of cool in his urban hometown, but when he attempts to murder his stepfather he is sent to his uncle's ranch and finds that his tough attitude doesn't cut it. As Travis settles in, he finds himself attracted to Casey, a determined and a some what intimidating girl that works with his uncle's horses. Meanwhile, Travis reveals his sensitive personality when you figure out he has a secret love for writing and has a chance to publish his book, although this opportunity provides some obstacles for him later in the novel. Overall, Travis never experiences any major complications and since the book is told in the third person, it is difficult to understand what the characters are feeling.

Being the follower of S.E. Hinton that I am, I picked up this book with high expectations that quickly dissolved within minutes of starting the book. Even though the story kept me wanting to read, it was unorganized while containing multiple events fraying from each scenario. Second, the plot was easily anticipated with common themes and generic schemes though out the entire book. Additionally, the characters were uniform to the ones of other S.E. Hinton novels. Not only were they unoriginal, they seemed to never elaborate into respective individuals. Despite the fact that the book was appealing to begin with, the predictable plot and overused characters made it very unfavorable compared to my expectations.
Profile Image for Alannah Davis.
299 reviews12 followers
September 3, 2011
After nearly killing his stepfather, teenaged Travis is sent to live in the country with his uncle. Tough, city-bred Travis finds himself out of his element with life on his uncle's ranch and in the small-town school.

He finds himself fascinated by Casey, the young woman who runs a riding school on the ranch. He grows to admire her tenacity in trying to tame a horse called the Star Runner, who doesn't seem meant to be tamed. Travis feels he himself isn't meant to be tamed.

S.E. Hinton, my favorite author, is also the author of "The Outsiders," which has been my all-time favorite book since I discovered it as a teen. I've also read and loved her other books, particularly "That Was Then, This Is Now."

On one hand, I enjoyed the storyline and I loved the twists at the end, especially when Travis's past seems to come back to haunt him. (The book would have had more impact without the last chapter, but that's just my opinion.) I like that Travis has intellect and a talent for writing, which is a constant surprise to others who don't expect much from a tough-guy teen. Once I started reading, I didn't want to put this book down.

On the other hand - and it pains me greatly to say this since I'm such a huge admirer of the author - Hinton has done this tough-guy character before, and better. I had hoped for something different from her. I know it's unfair not to judge this book on its own merit, but being so familiar with the rest of Hinton's body of work - I couldn't help myself.

Overall, I definitely recommend it.
Profile Image for K. M. .
49 reviews
May 26, 2021
Two and a half stars, if only because the homophobic slur at the beginning made me pause enough to not want to keep going, but it soon became obvious that Travis' unlikeability was intentional and his bad attitude was punished by other people not wanting to talk to him or be friends with him. While that part was well-written and it was enjoyable to see Travis come to this gradual realization, despite the attempted murder, the allusions to gangs and drugs, there wasn't that much tension in this book at all. More meat could've been added to the story to put more pressure on Travis to change and grow up.

Also, the one-sided romantic subplot was weird.
Profile Image for Rea K.
707 reviews36 followers
April 3, 2016
I read this one year in grade school, and I vaguely remember that my teacher said that some of his other students who read it found things that they considered... offensive or some shit. Yeah, I don't know what those kids were reading at the time, but this was pretty damn tame. Even as an eighth grader I'd read some pretty sketchy books.
Profile Image for Katie Groom.
84 reviews7 followers
December 14, 2013
i would give it a 4.5- any book about a writer i'm a sucker for. I can get over the crude language because of the very good plot- I'll read other books by this author certainly
Profile Image for Matisse.
426 reviews5 followers
January 24, 2019
This is my favorite SE Hinton novel.

I remember reading 'Taming the Star Runner' in middle school, when most kids encounter Hinton, but while I loved her other four, I didn't understand THIS novel. Why was it in third person? What was the point of the horse? What did any of this have to do with the world Hinton created in her other books?

Now that I'm a grown-ass librarian, I understand it. The third-person narration gives us Travis as the classic Hinton protagonist, but his guardian, Ken, embodies all of the reflection of an older greaser: lamenting his failed marriage, piecing together a life after reckless youth, asking about fate versus will. Meanwhile, Travis himself spends the book coming into his own as the debut author of a novel strikingly similar to The Outsiders.

...As her final YA book, this is Hinton reflecting on her own life, career, and decisions.

She's asking, what of her life was her own making, and what was destined to happen?

It ends up heartbreakingly poignant that Travis ends the story about to type up his second novel, not only because it bookends Hinton's YA novels ino echoing Ponyboy's ending, but ALSO because when Hinton began writing That Was Then, This Is Now (her sophomore title), she had matured, and her book showed the growth of someone who knows consequences and reality. Hinton was like her greaser characters in her first novel, and she was an adult writing the greaser-esque heroes of 'Rumble Fish' and 'Tex'. With 'Taming the Star Runner', the maturity of Hinton's hero has caught up to the Hinton in reality, and with that, her career writing young people comes to a close. You feel that she herself has resolved the questions asked across five books.

Hell, the fate of the Star Runner itself, and the implications of its relationship to Travis and Casey, much less to Ken and adulthood, are so complex that any middle-schooler is easily forgiven for missing it.

Re-reading 'Taming the Star Runner' as an adult had me in conversation with my younger self, just as Hinton is with herself in these pages. It's quick, it's profound, and it's a great start to my reading in 2019. =)
Profile Image for Clare O'Beara.
Author 21 books335 followers
August 8, 2022
I hadn't read any other of this author's works. Travis is a sulky and troubled teenager, who gets sent to live with his uncle to keep him out of worse trouble. Divorces and new families are common themes in this book. It's quite similar to Footloose. Without the dancing. Travis, who used to think he was cool, takes up a job holding horses in a riding stable run by young Casey, a top competitor. He doesn't know or like girls, yet now he's surrounded by them, all babying their ponies and ignoring him.

America is so puritanical about age limits for alcohol, yet at sixteen many characters are smoking. There's also mentions of various drugs, but we do get to see they cause harm, and the cycle of generations is made clear. For me the unbelievable part is Travis writing a novel that gets considered by a publisher. For many years I've been hearing that American publishers won't look at a book unless it is agented, to weed out the dross, and the agents won't look at anyone who isn't already published, to avoid wasting their time.

The pace is quite fast and it's not a long read. The story also reminds me of The Horses of Petrock by Vian Smith, in that a race riding stable is what gets Johnny Driscoll out of a downward spiral. Travis is made sympathetic by his affection for his cat, and his having helped in a vet clinic. However, he really doesn't do very much throughout the story, except get down to work. But it's better than the alternative.

This is an unbiased review.

Profile Image for Brad.
736 reviews
November 16, 2019
Two-and-a-half stars. My least favorite of Hinton's books for young adults. As a huge fan of her other books, I wanted to like it more. We have an interesting protagonist, but the things that happen to him that could be interesting for some reason aren't: Reflecting on my read, I think there wasn't much in the way of stakes. Maybe if... As is, the most interesting moment for the protagonist () happens before the action in the book begins.

There's a lot of horse lingo in the book that goes unexplained, which, for me, meant it wasn't understood.
243 reviews5 followers
June 20, 2021
Travis isn't a trouble maker, but he will meet trouble head-on with no problem. He's the cool guy, the guy kids look up to, and the guy girls adore. Travis has some problems though and he is sent to his uncle's horse ranch in Oklahoma until things cool down.

Travis isn't used to NOT being that guy any longer. Things are very different in this little hick town where life is so different than what Travis is used to. But, as happens, life starts to take on a routine for Travis and he starts to enjoy country life. He also likes Casey, a girl who works with the horses. One horse in particular -- Star Runner -- is hard to tame, hard to control, a beauty of a horse.

Loving to read and also having a love for writing, life starts to take a strong turn for Travis. Along with Casey, the horses and shows, things start to come together...or do they?

S.E. Hinton has done it again with her down-to-earth characters, wonderful writing, and her amazing view into the human mind, heart, and soul. I loved this book as much as I have all of her others.

This is a recommended read for teens, young adults, and us older chicks. I can easily highly recommend!
8 reviews
December 11, 2018
TAMING THE STAR RUNNER characters include Travis Harris, Uncle Ken, Ponyboy Curtis and several other side characters that appear as the book goes on. The author of TAMING THE STAR RUNNER is S.E Hinton. The story is based in Tulsa Oklahoma, in the 1950s. I found this book while looking through The Outsiders shelf, and had to read it.
The story starts off in third person point of view, and soon transitions between Ponyboy, and Travis. The story starts off with Travis leaving his friends for Tulsa. When Travis gets to Tulsa, he is met with his Uncle Ken. Travis gets introduced to a certain a horse that he chooses to break.
The ending of TAMING THE STAR RUNNER was pretty good. My favorite part of the book was the journey of tame the dangerous horse.
My personal opinion of the book is that I really liked it. Other books by this author is, The Outsiders, That was Then, This Is Now, Rumble Fish, and Tex. I recommend this book for readers that like historical and realistic fiction. TAMING THE STAR RUNNER was a great book.
39 reviews
January 25, 2020
I don't know how she does it, but S. E. Hinton always makes the best classic YA books. "Taming the Star Runner" was great. I loved Travis' relationship with Ken. How Ken became like the father he never had. What I love most about S. E. Hinton is how emotional but somehow simple all her books are. Somehow you're right there with the characters. You feel everything they feel. And yet, it's so simple. The stories aren't complicated; they just tell themselves in a way that anyone can understand even if they are about a teenage boy in the 60's, 70's, 80's.

I will say though that most of Hinton's books end just a little to soon for me. I would have liked one more chapter. Also in this book the whole situation with Joe seemed to come out of nowhere. I think she wanted to add it to show how Travis has changed. To show to contrast between how his life was like and how it is now.

One part that I really loved was when Travis and Ken were talking about why Ken let Travis stay and why Travis agreed to stay with Ken. How they both thought each other would be like Travis' dad.
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