Form and Content

(Survey of Young Adult Fiction)

The story in this short novel is episodic but tied together by Texas McCormick’s struggle with the changes in his life. It begins when Tex comes home from school one day and discovers that Mason, his older brother, has sold their horses in order to pay the household bills. Because their father is off riding the rodeo circuit and their mother has been dead for twelve years, Mason has taken responsibility for the household and his brother’s well-being. Tex has never quite realized that the money their father left with them would not last long and that Mason’s discipline in running the house is vital for their survival. The loss of his horse, however, begins to awaken him to these facts.

Tex spends most of his free time with his friend Johnny Collins, who has a motorcycle they ride together, and Jamie, Johnny’s twin sister, with whom he is falling in love. His feelings for Jamie create conflicts with Johnny and, later, with Jamie when she tells him that their relationship will not last.

Mason plans to attend college on a basketball scholarship, but the stress of being the head of a household causes him to develop an ulcer that is diagnosed at a hospital in the city. While in the city, the brothers visit Lem Peters, Mason’s former classmate who lives there with his wife and new baby. Lem is working at a gas station, and they discover that he is dealing drugs for extra money.

On the way home, the brothers pick up a hitchhiker...

(The entire section is 574 words.)

Historical Context

(Novels for Students)

The Late Seventies
During the late 1970s, the United States struggled to overcome the upsetting legacy of the Watergate scandal,...

(The entire section is 605 words.)

Literary Style

(Novels for Students)

Tex is characterized by simple first-person narration; in other words, the story is told from Tex's perspective....

(The entire section is 271 words.)

Literary Techniques

(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

The world of Tex is a rural one, and love of the outdoors and horses pervades it. His regret over Negrito's loss seems deeply felt....

(The entire section is 249 words.)

Social Concerns

(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

Tex is unusual in the writings of Hinton in that it leaves the area of urban peer-group gangs and situates itself in the rural part of...

(The entire section is 333 words.)

Topics for Further Study

(Novels for Students)

Due to the commercial success of Hinton's novels, young adult literature has become a popular genre. Educators are divided as to whether this...

(The entire section is 302 words.)


(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

Tex was filmed as a Buena Vista release by Walt Disney Productions in 1982. It was directed by Tim Hunter, and it starred Matt Dillon,...

(The entire section is 60 words.)

Media Adaptations

(Novels for Students)

Walt Disney released a film adaptation of Tex in 1982. Hinton assisted director Tim Hunter with the casting, script-writing, and...

(The entire section is 47 words.)

What Do I Read Next?

(Novels for Students)

Hinton wrote her first book while still attending Tulsa's Will Rogers High School. The Outsiders (1967) focuses on the interaction of...

(The entire section is 240 words.)

Bibliography and Further Reading

(Novels for Students)


Jay Daly, "Tex: Those Who Go and Those Who Stay," in Presenting S. E. Hinton, Twayne Publishers, 1987, pp....

(The entire section is 224 words.)


(Masterpieces of American Literature)

Daly, Jay. Presenting S. E. Hinton. Boston: Twayne, 1989.

Donelson, Kenneth L., and Alleen Pace Nilsen. Literature for Today’s Young Adults. 3d ed. Glenview, Ill.: Scott, Foresman, 1989.

Mills, Randall K. “The Novels of S. E. Hinton: Springboard to Personal Growth for Adolescents.” Adolescence 22 (Fall, 1987): 641-646.

Stanek, Lou Willett. A Teacher’s Guide to the Paperback Editions of the Novels of S. E. Hinton. New York: Dell, 1975.