A teenaged boy struggles to accept the human frailties in members of his family and in himself when he becomes mixed up with a bad crowd at the harness track.
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Grade 8-12-- Against her familiar well-drawn backdrop of standard-bred racing, Easton tells a boy's story of insecurity, rebellion, and gradual maturity. Sixteen-year-old Rob Walsh is caught between divorced parents and their lifestyles: his mother's affluent stability and his father's unpredictable racetrack successes. Although Rob recognizes his mother and grandfather's concern for him and the easy comfort of their home, he loves the thrill and independence of racing and tending horses. During a summer spent with his father, Rob renews an old friendship with veterinarian Mary Tanner; tries to impress Kylie, Mary's niece; and forges a special relationship with "the Rat," a temperamental colt. Upset and disappointed that his father's enthusiastic plans rarely include him, Rob hangs out with a group of hard-drinking grooms. When he is badly beaten in a drunken fight, Mary comes to his rescue, and Rob's father realizes that he has neglected his son. In a dramatic finale, "Rat" races to a disastrous end, injuring Rob's dad and jolting Rob into understanding that he, unlike "Rat," has the power of choice. This well-paced story blends (and, at times, stereotypes) life at the track with the pressures of growing up. While Rob's drinking and aggressive behavior around Kylie reveal his insecurity, his protective involvement with promiscuous Dixie and his concern and care for horses reveal a sense of responsibility. Rob's struggle with self-identity and self-esteem will strike a sympathetic chord among teen readers. --Gerry Larson, Chewning Junior High School, Durham, N.C.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Harcourt Childrens Books (J), 1989. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0152005714
Book Description Harcourt Childrens Books (J), 1989. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0152005714