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Taming the Star Runner (Laurel-Leaf contemporary fiction) Mass Market Paperback – October 1, 1989

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 790L (What's this?)
  • Series: Laurel-Leaf contemporary fiction
  • Mass Market Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Laurel Leaf; Reprint edition (October 1, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440204798
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440204794
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #427,233 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

When rebellious adolescent Travis is sent to live on his uncle's farm, he forms an uneasy friendship with a young riding instructor and a strange kinship with her restless horse, Star Runner. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 7-10 Devoted fans will leap on Hinton's new novel, yet her protagonist Travis is no Tex (Delacorte, 1979). 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 punkhe 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 winneralive, 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. Charlene Strickland, formerly at Albuquerque Pub . Library , N.M
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Susan Eloise Hinton's career as an author began while she was still a student at Will Rogers High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Disturbed by the divisions among her schoolmates into two groups--the Greasers and the Socs--Hinton wrote The Outsiders, an honest, sometimes shocking novel told from the point of view of an orphaned 14-year-old Greaser named Ponyboy Curtis. Since her narrator was male, it was decided that Hinton use only her first initials so as not to put off boys who would not normally read books written by women. The Outsiders was published during Hinton's freshman year at the University of Tulsa, and was an immediate sensation.Today, with more than eight million copies in print, the book is the best-selling young adult novel of all time, and one of the most hauntingly powerful views into the thoughts and feelings of teenagers. The book was also made into a film, directed by Francis Ford Coppola and featuring such future stars as Emilio Estevez, Patrick Swayze, Matt Dillon, and Tom Cruise.Once published, The Outsiders gave her a lot of publicity and fame, and also a lot of pressure. S.E. Hinton was becoming known as "The Voice of the Youth" among other titles. This kind of pressure and publicity resulted in a three year long writer's block.Her boyfriend (and now, her husband), who had gotten sick of her being depressed all the time, eventually broke this block. He made her write two pages a day if she wanted to go anywhere. This eventually led to That Was Then, This Is Now.In the years since, Ms. Hinton has married and now has a teenaged son, Nick. She continues to write, with such smash successes as That Was Then, This Is Now, Rumble Fish and Tex, almost as well known as The Outsiders. She still lives in Tulsa with her husband and son, where she enjoys writing, riding horses, and taking courses at the university.In a wonderful tribute to Hinton's distinguished 30-year writing career, the American Library Association and School Library Journal bestowed upon her their first annual Margaret A. Edwards Award, which honors authors whose "book or books, over a period of time, have been accepted by young people as an authentic voice that continues to illuminate their experiences and emotions, giving insight into their lives."

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Customer Reviews

It was an easy book to read, and it has a surprise ending that turns the book around.
Ninth grader
Then Travis tells his editor he dreams about his characters as if they're people he knows, but the reader gets almost no information about them at all.
Bradley R. Cook
Anyone that is a fan of the book The Outsiders should definitly read Taming the Star Runner.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Bradley R. Cook on September 5, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Reviewer Jamie Curran states that this is the only book by S.E. Hinton that she has read, and she may never read another. That would be tragic.
While THE OUTSIDERS, HInton's debut novel, is quite powerful, her best book by far is RUMBLE FISH, which is not only a great novel for young adults but a true literary masterpiece.
If only I could say the same of TAMING THE STAR RUNNER.
It seems to have been written by a different author.
Perhaps it's a matter of perspective: Hinton wrote this book much later than the others, after her own son was a teenager. Too, this is the first time she has used a third-person voice in one of her novels. THE OUTSIDERS owes much of its success to the fact that it sounds like it is told by a kid - it was. Hinton was only 17 when OUTSIDERS was published. (The 14-year-old narrator, Ponyboy, is a boy, but Hinton pulled off the voice flawlessly.)
Here, the omniscient third person narrator sounds like an adult, and a mostly disapproving one at that. We read a great deal about the trouble that Travis got into, and we are introduced to two of his friends, who come off as complete dorks, but we are provided little insight into Travis' motivations for doing what he does, or his perceptions of them. Instead we hear about his transgressions from some anonymous adult who seems to like the boy but can't really relate.
Much of what Travis does throughout the story is spectacularly stupid. Somehow, in RUMBLE FISH and THE OUTSIDERS, we knew that what the characters were doing was wrong - carrying switchblades and sometimes using them, stealing cars, breaking into stores, getting into fights - and they were things that most of us readers would never do, but we could empathize with the characters who did these things.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 10, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Taming the Star Runner" was awesome! I loved every minute of it, even if it wasn't challenging or long. To make it longer would have dragged it out too much. The plot was interesting (especially since it was about horses!!) I first read "The Outsiders" in school and fell in love with S. E. Hinton's books. I couldn't never even imagine trying to get a book published when i was 16!! I did notice a lot of similarities between the two books (same quotes and character portrayl, things like that).
I recommend this book highly!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 12, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If I had to choose from a rating of 1-10, Taming the Star Runner, would be a 10. I have always wanted to live on a farm. I thought this book had alot of emossional ups and downs. I like how a bad, non-emossional, punk, turns into a caring, emossional, young man. There was a little bit of everything in the story. There was love, anger, sadness, and happiness. It gave me a good lesson on drinking and its consequences. It really shows me what a bad step-father is like. My step-father is no where near as bad as Stan. It taught me to be sure to choose the right friends and the right descisions in life. Taming the Star Runner was the best book I have ever read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on October 20, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read Taming The Star Runner by S.E. Hinton, S.E. Hinton is my favorite author. I have read every single last one of her books and I have enjoyed them all. This book is a realistic fiction book and it's really exciting. Especially when Travis gets a phone call from his best friend Joe, telling him that the twins are dead, Orson had killed them, he helped and that he's out at a gas station near Travis's house and he needs to get picked up.

Taming The Star Runner is about a boy named Travis who was sent to juvi for beating the snot out of his step dad. Now he has to live out at his uncle's ranch when he gets out. So he gets out there and he's in a new school, where no body likes him and then he finds out the book he wrote is going to be published. What happens when he gets a weird phone call from his best friend, Joe? What's going to happen when a tornado strikes near his uncle's ranch? Read the book and you will see.

I would recommend this book for some one who likes to wonder what is going to happen next and likes really exciting books.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Penny Thoughtful on March 20, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a good book. Travis starts out as a desperate kid and through trial and error and the love of an uncle he'd never seen before he turned sixteen, he begins to grow into a young man. Family relationships are sensitively handled: parents and children who fight but still love each other, husbands and wives who find themselves in hurtful situations, kids who are trying to figure out the right thing to do and not necessarily being able to do it.
The best part of this book is the juxtaposition of Travis the writer with Travis the tough city kid. Some of the funniest and most exciting parts of the book deal with the way he sees himself in relation to other people.
In addition, the book has a theme of finding true belonging and acceptance, which is a difficult enough thing for anyone. It is definitely one of Hinton's best books, and the most mature.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 9, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Taming the Star Runner
This novel is fascinating and covers important stages of adolescence. The main character Travis, is a traditional cool gay. Part of his problems begin with the differences between his step-father, Stan, and himself. Travis is separated from his mom and friends, when he is sent to live with his uncle. When Travis arrives to uncle's Ken ranch, who is fighting for his son's (Chris) custody with Teresa (ex-wife), the story truly begins. He finds out that his new schoolmates don't like his tough city ways. Yet he is able to find a friend on the ranch, Casey. She is a bit older and runs a riding school at the ranch. She is brave enough to tame Star Runner, her dangerous horse. Back at his old home he had sent one novel he had written to New York. However, nobody knew this. He receives the answering letter which talks really well about his novel. He has big illusions of having his novel published. He is not 18 and this means his mom and Stan will take care of his book.
Most books are the same for me, however, this novel was really a pleasure to read. Even though you are not going crazy to know what? will happen next, it flows easily and is fun. Many young adults could feel identify and find similarities with some of their problems in this story. I like the fact that it has an entertaining plot and a well thought out theme.
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