Hinton again uses the theme of the teenage youth maturing as expressed in the central character of Tex. In fact, Tex as a novel is again the story of a narrator who (like Ponyboy in The Outsiders, 1967) is made to undergo some of the most intensive weeks of his life. At the end the reader again sees the character come to a new realization about himself and his world, though this new insight is achieved subtly.
The theme of alienation again appears in Tex, as it does in all Hinton novels. Tex feels apart from his world, a world that seems to be beyond his control most of the time; for example, he loses his treasured horse, Negrito, who is sold by Tex's brother to get food for them. The scene of loss is part of the high drama in the book. Cole Collins, the father of Jamie, does not approve of Tex and his brother for reasons Tex cannot completely understand. Finally, Tex feels intensely alienated from his father — he is not his father's child. The interview Tex has with his father after learning this startling fact is among the very best scenes in the novel; it is also a mark of Tex's growth toward maturity.
(The entire section is 207 words.)