Book Reviews of The Last Chance Texaco

The Last Chance Texaco
The Last Chance Texaco
Author: Brent Hartinger
ISBN-13: 9780060509149
ISBN-10: 0060509147
Publication Date: 3/1/2005
Pages: 240
Reading Level: Young Adult
Rating:
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 3

4 stars, based on 3 ratings
Publisher: HarperTempest
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

2 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Last Chance Texaco on + 7145 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Reviewed by Mark Frye, author and reviewer for TeensReadToo.com

Brent Hartinger has crafted a touching and suspenseful novel sure to capture and hold any teen reader's attention. He knows his craft well, having created an edgy novel about the foster care system with a tasteful, deft touch, ensuring it a wide readership. He has proven that tough issues and hard situations teens face can be portrayed with minimal violence and profanity.

Like his earlier novel, GEOGRAPHY CLUB, Hartinger has crafted several sympathetic characters among a microcosm of society's misfits. This novel's group of excluded teens are orphans, kids whose perception of themselves is nearly as negative as their peers at school, who deride them as "groupies" (foster children in group homes). The reader is drawn into their conflicts, both within their own walls, their own psyches, and with society-at-large.

The narrator, Lucy, has been a foster child for over half of her life. Kindle Home is the last, "safe" stop for teens like her, for those who have been in trouble. Children who "wash out" of Kindle Home are then sent to Rabbit Island, a place for teens beyond redemption--in the eyes of the system, at least. As a veteran of group homes, she vows to make an effort to fit in at Kindle, which proves to be difficult. Newcomers are viewed as a challenge of the "pecking order" and it isn't long before Lucy is facing serious challenges from others in the home.

Her school environment presents another challenge when she is caught in a social caste disagreement with two of her peers. In spite of the odds against them, she makes a friend from one of her earlier antagonists, a person who proves to be a crucial ally when Kindle Home faces community persecution and budget cuts. As the new friends try to find out who has been setting fires in the neighborhood in order to frame the members of Kindle Home, Hartinger provides an unexpected twist when he unveils the perpetrator.

With a heart-warming ending, Hartinger proves that edgy young adult fiction can still leave a reader with hope. THE LAST CHANCE TEXACO is suitable even for middle school-aged students. Recommended.
reviewed The Last Chance Texaco on + 7145 more book reviews
Reviewed by Mark Frye, author and reviewer for TeensReadToo.com

Brent Hartinger has crafted a touching and suspenseful novel sure to capture and hold any teen reader's attention. He knows his craft well, having created an edgy novel about the foster care system with a tasteful, deft touch, ensuring it a wide readership. He has proven that tough issues and hard situations teens face can be portrayed with minimal violence and profanity.

Like his earlier novel, GEOGRAPHY CLUB, Hartinger has crafted several sympathetic characters among a microcosm of society's misfits. This novel's group of excluded teens are orphans, kids whose perception of themselves is nearly as negative as their peers at school, who deride them as "groupies" (foster children in group homes). The reader is drawn into their conflicts, both within their own walls, their own psyches, and with society-at-large.

The narrator, Lucy, has been a foster child for over half of her life. Kindle Home is the last, "safe" stop for teens like her, for those who have been in trouble. Children who "wash out" of Kindle Home are then sent to Rabbit Island, a place for teens beyond redemption--in the eyes of the system, at least. As a veteran of group homes, she vows to make an effort to fit in at Kindle, which proves to be difficult. Newcomers are viewed as a challenge of the "pecking order" and it isn't long before Lucy is facing serious challenges from others in the home.

Her school environment presents another challenge when she is caught in a social caste disagreement with two of her peers. In spite of the odds against them, she makes a friend from one of her earlier antagonists, a person who proves to be a crucial ally when Kindle Home faces community persecution and budget cuts. As the new friends try to find out who has been setting fires in the neighborhood in order to frame the members of Kindle Home, Hartinger provides an unexpected twist when he unveils the perpetrator.

With a heart-warming ending, Hartinger proves that edgy young adult fiction can still leave a reader with hope. THE LAST CHANCE TEXACO is suitable even for middle school-aged students. Recommended.